Do you remember your first, 5.9? 5.11?  5.13?   Last summer I captured my friends first 5.13,

The Shadow pitch of the Stawamus Chief is one of the most dramatic rock features on the planet.  Tommy Caldwell once compared its effort to the headwall pitch on the Salathe.

Located in Squamish BC, the Shadow has an honest reputation for being intimidating.  Rated 5.13 it can be described as a single hand to finger sized crack which is tucked into a steep dihedral extending for over 150 feet into the summer sky. The Shadow was cemented into North American Climbing history when legendary stone master Peter Croft first freed the route in 1988, onsight. Since then it’s only been repeated a handful of times.

In this video big bad rad Jesse Huey from Seattle/Boulder battles up the double overhanging corners using grit, tenacity and imagination. His first attempt took 40 minutes before slipping off near the top. His successful burn, 3 hours later, with a pair of lucky shoes, took 45.

Join Jesse on his journey to the chains, from arm barring chimneys and finger-tip laybacks, to pure friction stemming, Jesse uses everything he has. Be sure to take notice of the massive rack on his harness during the opening scene, and also keep an eye open for his palm sweating catch at 6:50, and for the fall at 7:20.

On his second burn, as he nears the anchor at 9:40 watch for the tiny nut that falls out before he clips the ancient and suspect pin (yikes), and of course, enjoy his moment in the sun when he realizes his first 5.13 EVER, is non other than the World Class “Shadow” pitch of the University Wall.

THE SHADOW from Sonnie Trotter on Vimeo.

  • Matt

    Awesome vid Sonnie. Love the interview, gives it a context and a narrative. Went and saw Dave Macleod and Andy Turner last night at a presentation of the Long Hope route movie that they did, great flick, highly recommended if you haven’t seen it already. Not my sort of climbing (sandstone sea cliffs with puking birds in suspect weather) but inspirational nonetheless.

  • Vlad

    That is one sweet video, Sonnie! Really inspirational! I miss Squamish so much already!

  • I watched some Brit (I think) on the Shadow last summer while I was hanging out at seasoned in the sun, and it sounded like he got it. He took ages, and grunted like he was pushing out the most combative turd he’d ever taken in his life. A series of whoops from all the climbers in the area was a pretty nice touch at the end.

  • jason nicolai

    Super rad!!!