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Stawamus Chief via North Gully
Timestamp Free: 2020.12.03 - 09:45:04
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Pierre Signore
Difficulty: 4: Loose unstable rocks and bush. Need small party.
This article is an update on the scrambling route to the top of the Chief known as the North Gully. Descent is by normal hiking route on Chief.
Many of us have wondered about the North Gully of the Stawamus Chief, a route rated class 4 in the current climbing guidebook: a quick way to the top avoiding the crowds on the trail? A convenient descent route after tackling "The Angel's Crest" I had to go and have a look.

Things started on the positive side with a good trail in open timber shared with climbers on their way to an afternoon on the rock. Unfortunately, that was about it for the good news. As soon as I left the trail, I found myself in minor bush. Minor maybe but stinging for sure: Devil's club! Why did I put shorts on?

I entered the gully along the left wall (probably not the best choice). Water was running down the rock and mud made its appearance. I finally managed to leave the greenery and to catch the rock in the middle of the gully. Good. I thought for a few seconds until I stepped on the first loose block. I then realized that the whole gully above me was a scree slope of unstable and fairly large stones. Good thing I was by myself, after all. Send two guys in, only one comes out!

I hiked up very slowly to avoid releasing too much rock. You never know, another fool might have the same insane idea and be following below. The first scrambling section was on the left of the first chock stone that blocked the gully. There were plenty of small ledges and good handholds ... and moss, and dirt and water! I ended up again close to the left wall in wet greenery. This now looked like the less bad option so I carried on along the uphill platform through bush and dirt.

I had to regain to gully proper after a while. As I feared, the saying "the higher you go, the more unstable it gets" proved to be true. The rest of the route consisted in a series of easy but wet and dirty bouldering problems to...

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