Date: Aug 27, 2014
Participants: Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger, Edzis, Anders
Difficulty: 4 (short 4th section, lots of 3rd)
Report: I’ll keep this short because the route is so popular and so well documented. Brittany and I saw that the forecast for the long weekend was wet, and we made the decision to take the Wednesday off to get in one last day of nice weather for this August. We took the new gondola up a bit past 9, and hiked up the newly cleared and well marked “Sky Pilot Valley Trail” and followed it up to the West Ridge route up Sky Pilot.
Just as we reached the Stadium glacier we ran into Edzis and Anders, two nice Latvians living currently in Vancouver and who had seen nice photos from Sky Pilot online. They didn’t know the exact route, and after a brief chat we loaned them some poles and grouped up with them for the ascent. As relatively inexperienced scramblers the pink slab was a bit too difficult for them (from base to rap rings above it is 17m), but luckily I had brought a short rope and with the rap rings at the top of the pitch (also there are two rings in the final ascent gully) I was able to give them a quick belay to get down the most challenging parts. Experienced scramblers will be able to downclimb these sections, but I’d bring a rope if you’re going with anyone less experienced.
Total ascent time was just over 3.5 hours. One hour 15 to the end of the Sky Pilot valley trail, another hour and a bit to the Stadium glacier. From the bottom of the pink slab to the summit was about 45 minutes. The descent was only slightly shorter due to the aforementioned belays that I gave on the two steep parts. In all, it was a beautiful day, and the rock is just perfect for scrambling on. Highly recommended even with its popularity!