St. Vitus' Dance 5.9
Apron, The Chief
About the Climb
Saint Vitus' Dance is one of the best moderate multi-pitch crack climbs in Squamish. The start of the first pitch feels more like a vertical jungle excursion, but the climbing gets much better once you have escaped from the jungle. The cracks of St Vitus' Dance may seem wide when you are standing at the base, but they are quite featured and take smaller gear well. Still, it is helpful to have some larger cams. The cracks do require some wide crack skills, and might feel more difficult for people with smaller hands.
The bottom part of the climb can be wet from seepage after periods of rain, but the cracks take gear very well. The crux sections don't have any seepage problems and dry quickly, escpecially when there is a breeze.
The route does get quite some traffic, especially the first pitch which is shared with various other routes. However, there are several other great options if there are too many parties in front of you.
After the first jungle-excursion pitch you can climb the standard second pitch (5.8) or climb the St Vitus' Direct variation (5.10a) which climbs a great finger crack corner. From the ledge at the end of the second pitch there are also various options, but you will miss the best (crux) pitch on St Vitus' Dance. You can move left onto Calculus Crack (5.8), which is one of the easiest crack climbs on the Apron and does not require any large gear. Alternatively, you can climb Vector (5.9) which is only a few feet right of St Vitus and also climbs a nice wide crack. Vector joins St Vitus Dance one pitch later after a short section of dirty cracks.
There are many options to add one or more pitches to your day on the rock. From the top of St Vitus Dance you can climb Dessert Dyke (5.10a), a one pitch route that tops out on the Broadway Ledge. Climbing this route means that you'll avoid scrambling up the 3rd class gully to reach the Broadway Ledge. Another great short climb is Karen's Math (5.10b), which starts a few feet from the start of the 3rd class gully. The route climbs an amazing super thin flake and ends at Memorial Ledge. From Memorial Ledge you can climb Memorial Crack (5.9) to add yet another pitch. Memorial Crack can also be reached by scrambling up the 3rd class gully, and moving left onto Memorial Ledge just as you reach Broadway.
From the top of Memorial Crack, it's possible to continue up on slabs and through trees to reach either the Squamish Buttress (5.10c) or Ultimate Everything (5.10b), and climb all the way to the summit of the Chief. If you want to go to the summit of the Chief, but there is a line to get onto Memorial Crack, you can move left along Broadway and climb Boomstick Crack (5.7) in order to continue up to the routes.
Another option to climb several additional pitches is the Upper Apron. If you descend along the Broadway Ledge towards the forest, you will pass directly below the Upper Apron, which has several spicy slab routes. The sparse protection on these routes will test your slab climbing technique and your nerves.
Vector (5.9) climbs a wide crack which is very similar in style and difficulty to St Vitus' Dance. However, Vector is more a 2 pitch variation to St Vitus' Dance than a route on its own. Calculus Crack (5.8) also has a wide crack, but it is at a lower angle than for St. Vitus Dance. The crux is a short finger crack section.