blurr ambassador Jack Fieldhouse has been on a developing spree lately and graciously aged to put forward info on The Distillery, an area he developed recently with friends. We've helped pull together the topo and are happy to share with you here.
From Jack -
After recovering from an illness that put me out of the game for much of 2013, I was desperate to climb rock, specifically to establish new rock climbs. Throughout last fall and this past winter and spring I was really focused on boulder problem development. A few of my friends (Israel Cruces, Stu Smith, Scott Milton and Sandra Studer) and I spent a lot of time scrubbing and climbing problems in a new sector north of Squamish. On one of my boulder searches I noticed a nice little shady crag that looked like it had some interesting, featured rock, although at that point it was almost completely enshrouded in moss. Cleaning this crag would be a time-consuming project requiring lots of work. I left it thinking that I might come back to it at some point once I was finished in the new bouldering area.
Well, then summer came, and as locals know, it was a hot one. Scrubbing and climbing new problems in a sundrenched talus field with a steep approach hike became uncomfortable and on some days, unsafe. This was a big disappointment for me as I had set a goal to establish 500 problems this year and was on-pace until the temps really started to become unbearable.
Reluctantly, I decided to stop working in the new sector. Feeling a little bummed, I thought about what else I could do to keep myself busy. A few other shaded bouldering spots came to mind but nothing got me psyched. So I decided to adjust my goal to include some routes and I started work on the little crag. My wife, Shannon, came and helped me scrub and equip the first line, which was really cool. Since having kids we don’t often get the chance to do that kind of thing together and it was fun to spend time that way. The rest of the lines I did either on my own or with my friend, Alec Fernandes. Alec had actually noticed the crag earlier as well and when he found out I was developing it he expressed interest in being involved so he joined me and together we developed the remaining easier lines.
The crag, which I’ve named “The Distillery”, is located just off the trail to the Pillary crag at Area 44. The routes are at a variety of grades up to 5.11+. With the autumn temperatures on the way I’m glad to have the crag complete and once again be able to focus on boulder problem development down in the new sector. I hope people enjoy the routes at The Distillery this fall. The routes are all bolted, really fresh and haven’t seen many climbers. We found the routes tricky to grade and they may be a bit “off” on the topo. If you climb them, please comment on the grades by posting at the following link so we can build consensus. Thanks, and enjoy!