The shadow, what to say about the shadow... well, its one of those routes where I found myself in a unique place I have titled the ‘self-encouragement stage’. That special point where you have to verbally encourage yourself to keep pushing on. The thing about stemming, I have found, is that the longer I spend in one position the more likely I am to slip. Thats how this route goes, its unrelenting. Fortunately my mental games worked and I was able to send the pitch on the third go ground up on lead. I made two attempts on sunday with very close calls and some fun runout whips into the corner (they were all clean falls) We returned on the next day for the send.
Photo by Anders Ourom. The Shadow 12.d or 13a? The sheer dihedral which hangs high on the Squamish Chief, the direct line of Univeristy Wall- both esthetically and stylistically eye-catching.
I also want to mention that I wasn’t on sighting, I had climbed the route on second last fall but wasn't ready to lead it.
The corner has small pockets for gear but they are quite spaced which requires some exciting run outs. About half way up the pitch the crack widens to #1 for about a meter which is the only rest on the route. However the transition move out from the jam and into the stem is what I found to be the crux. The walls are slightly undercut at this point making both my hands and feet insecure. The rest of the route is protected by stoppers which are run out, but super solid if they are placed right.