<-- Map of summer 2017
     climbing roadtrip 
     (click to enlarge)
JULY
31
2017

YAK Peak Route: Yak-Check (5.10a, 1500', 10-14p)

Category: British Columbia/Alberta      Trip Report #254
Partner: Wes Dyck
Rock Type: Granite
Summit Elev: 6,690 ft / 2,040 m

An quick and enjoyable 1500-foot climb up nice 5.7-5.8 cracks and corners and slabs.


INTRO

Yak Peak is the 1500-ft slabby south-facing granite wall high above the west side of the Coquihalla Highway (HWY 5) between Hope and Kamloops. Yak-Check is the most popular of the climbs on Yak Peak, a combination of the good rock on the lower pitches of Yak Crack with the quality upper pitches of Reality Check. 

Ever since planning to climb Yak-Check in 2006 and being rained off upon arrival at the base, I have felt I had unfinished business with Yak Peak. My opportunity to finally climb the route came in July 2017, when I was staying at my parents' home in Abbotsford and had a day to spare. I called up my old Abbotsford climbing gym buddy Wes Dyck and asked him if he was interested in climbing Yak-Check the next day. Wes informed me he had just climbed it (for about the 10th time) a couple of weeks ago, but after a few moments thought—no doubt inspired by the sunny forecast and also by the notion of "trading" a climb of Yak Peak with me for a climb of Liberty Crack with him—he said he would climb it with me. One constraint I had was that I needed to be back in Abbotsford that afternoon to drive to Washington Pass, but Wes assured me we could move fast enough to make this possible. He picked me up at 5:07am and dropped me back off at my parents' doorstep at 3:59pm, with plenty of time to make the drive to Washington Pass. Thanks Wes for climbing this route with me — I had a fun day with you!

I found Yak-Check to be an enjoyable route that can go pretty quickly. The climbing involves a mix of nice cracks, corners, and slab; the climbing is good (yet never awesome), fairly sustained at the 5.7-5.8 grade apart from a few short crux moves, and more thoughtful than strenuous. I had heard rumors that the route is quite runnout, but I found that there were only a few sections of real runnout, and they tended to be on easier terrain; so the route felt quite protectable to me. Another positive of this route is the access: right off the highway, ~40 minute hike to the base, and minimal traffic on the drive to and from. The route makes for a fun day to the top of a enticing summit.

The following page gives a short trip report for our climb. Enjoy!

TIMES

• We soloed up to the top of Pitch 2.
• We simulclimbed Pitches 3-5.
• We linked Pitches 9-10.

~7.5 hours car to car

Times Elapsed time
Car to base of route 6:55-7:30am 35 min
Climb route (includes scrambling at start and to top) 7:50am-12:50pm 5 hours
Top to car 1:15-2:37pm 1 hour 12 min

PHOTOS

Photos:
Photo Descriptions:
Approach 
1.   
2.   
1. Yak Peak as seen from Coquihalla Highway.
2. Approaching the base of the route.

Climb
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3. We soloed up to the top of Pitch 2. Looking down the first corner we soloed (mostly 5.4 with a 5.7ish bulge).
4. Soloing to the top of Pitch 2.
5. A fingercrack on Pitch 3.
6. The fingercrack widens to a handcrack by Pitch 4.
7. Either looking up Pitch 4 or 5.
8. A roof on Pitch 8.
9. Looking the continuation of the Yak Crack route at the top of Pitch 8. This is the point where the Yak-Check route begins to follow Reality Check to the left.
10. Flakes on Pitch 9.
11. A wild tunnel arch on Pitch 9.
12. Wes climbing up a nice corner on Pitch 11.
13. Wes climbing up a nice corner on Pitch 11.
14. Wes cruising the 10a slab on Pitch 12.
15. A corner on Pitch 13.
16. Final slabs to the top.
17. Scrambling to the top.
Descent
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18. A higher summit of Yak Peak.
19. The descent follows a nice trail down around the peak back to the base.