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5.8 and A0, 7 pitches (270m), trad


Europa is the easiest full-height climb on the Chief. It follows a line roughly parallel to Crap Crags (Dick Culbert, Hamish Mutch, 1962), chosen to follow the best modern line, rather than the original Crap Crags line. An earlier edition of Kevin McLane's Climbers' Guide to Squamish claims that if the climb were restored to its 7000 BC condition, immediately after the glaciers left, but before the vegetation came, it would be the most popular long climb on the Chief. The route is now open, and time will tell if this prediction is correct.

It should be noted that although anyone capable of climbing sustained 5.7 with a bit of 5.8 could second the route, in some locations gear placements are not trivial, and require evaluation of the soundness of the rock as well as the gear itself. The leader should be somewhat experienced.

Cleaning in Squamish

In most climbing areas, gardening (the removal of plant life from climbs) is considered unethical, for a variety of reasons. Many climbing areas are parks, where any impact from climbers is frowned upon, and many climbing areas are much more arid, where plant life is more fragile and takes much longer to grow. This is not true in Squamish. Most of the climbs that we now enjoy are the result of the removal of dirt and shrubs from cracks. This does not draw ire for a number of reasons: plant removal can quickly be reversed in the Squamish climate, with nature reclaiming some cleaned climbs in as little as a year. Further, there is no lack of vegetation in general. If there is a shortage of anything, it is definitely bare rock. Lastly, despite the best efforts of numerous climbers, photos of the Chief from previous decades clearly demonstrate that the trees are defeating the climbers and are steadily taking over the Chief faster than we can clean it.

Why Clean at All, if the Vegetation is Going to Win?

Cleaning a climb that will not get climbed by others might be a wasted effort, as without steady climbing, the dirt will find its way back into the climb quickly. It is a different story on popular climbs, though. Once they are opened up, the act of climbing keeps the dirt and vegetation at bay. If a climb is genuinely worth cleaning, it will stay clean.

Pitch-by-Pitch route description

Main Topo

Pitch 1 -- 5.7 (5.8 in Squamish Select) (40m)

Start up a blocky chimney/corner crack system. At the top lieback up and left to gain another blocky corner. At the top there is a spacious belay ledge. Gear belay.

Pitch 2 -- 5.8 (45m)

Head up a corner crack (crux) to a system of ledges. Follow the corner system until you are level with a large fir. Belay on tree.

Pitch 3 -- 5.7 (35m)

Climb an intimidating but solid section of overhanging blocks and then follow a finger crack into a short, wide tunnel. Belay on tree.

Pitch 4 -- 5.5 (30m)

Climb up belay tree and gain the top of a large flake. Traverse right and climb up into a chimney. Bolted belay. The bolts here form the top of a rap line made for a single 60m rope, that will allow climbers to retreat from the top of pitch 4 during the falcon closure. If falcons end up nesting near the area, the rap station will be moved lower on the route.

Pitch 5 -- 5.6 (45m)

Mostly easy climbing up a right-trending line of blocks, with a couple of chimney moves. Bolted belay.

Pitch 6 -- 5.7, A0 (45m)

Traverse right and up to a ledge where a nine-bolt ladder starts. Aid up to reach a hand/fist crack. Gear belay at the top of the crack.

Update (2014) The original bolt ladder got removed due to some re-routing for "Sunset Strip". New beta: Aid up 5 bolts to a steep, short crack. Gear-aid that crack on bomber cams (#2 camalots do nicely here), then meet the easier 5.7 brack of the original line.

Pitch 7 -- 5.6 (30m)

Chimney to the top. Belay on tree.


The following list of volunteers is outdated, and will be updated shortly

  • Jeff Mottershead
  • Scott Webster
  • Ben Singleton-Polster
  • Stephen Mullen
  • Seth Adams
  • Kaja Sadowski
  • Duncan McPhedran
  • Julie Patrick
  • Christian Champagne
  • Christian Sampaleanu
  • Christian Veenstra
  • Matt Breakey
  • Piotr Forysinski
  • Eva Wingren
  • Natalie Stafl
  • Yanna Martinek
  • Leah Nurmi
  • Mark Chui
  • Cynthia Thomson
  • Matthew Carroll
  • Andrew Pare
  • Ignacio Rozada
  • Vince Johnson
  • Meghan Anderson
  • Matthew Baker
  • Jill Nemeth
  • Charlie Caunt
  • Miriam Barrueto
  • Urszula Paleczek
  • Devon Carr


The following organizations and people have help to fund the project:

  • Varsity Outdoors Club--$2000
  • Jeff Mottershead (VOC)--$2000
  • Mountain Equipment Co-Op--$2000
  • Alpine Club of Canada, Vancouver Chapter--$500
  • Scott Nelson and Sandra Nicol (VOC)--$300
  • Christian Veenstra (VOC)--$100
  • Piotr Forysinski (VOC)--$100
  • Peter and Silke Gumplinger (BCMC)--$100
  • Matthew Carroll (VOC)--$100
  • Neil Beattie--$100
  • Bob Woodhouse (BCMC)--$80
  • Margaret Hanson (BCMC)--$60
  • Brian Wood (BCMC)--$60
  • Steve Mullen (VOC)--$50
  • Rob Brusse (ACC)--$35
  • Joanna Kolakowska (VOC)--$20
  • Bruce Cassels (BCMC)--$20
  • Urszula Paleczek (VOC)-$20
  • Other BCMC members--$300
  • Other VOC members--$64
  • Squamish Mountain Festival participants--$70
  • Raphael Tsen and Cathy Choiniki--$10
  • Climb-On customers--$40

Donations can also be given at Climb-On in Squamish.

If you wish to donate to the project by mail, please send a cheque to:

Jeff Mottershead
1990 W 6th Ave
Vancouver, BC
V6J 4V4

Jeff Mottershead has spent about $6000 more than he has received on the project. He intends to contribute the $2000 listed above. The remaining $4000 is currently out of a loan, eating interest. Financial aid is appreciated.

All gear purchased with donated funds is being donated to the Squamish Access Society.

Non-Monetary Donations

  • Climb-On--supplies rope and other equipment to the project at cost
  • Scott Webster--has lent his car to the project for many weeks
  • Krystil Koethler--donated a rope
  • Mike Young--allowed indefinite use of his tools
  • Christian Veenstra--donated some cleaning tools