Banana Peel 5.8
Apron, The Chief
About the Climb
Banana Peel is one of the easiest routes on the Apron, weaving its way to the Broadway ledge. It is a great introduction to multi-pitch climbing in Squamish. The route starts from the Diedre Ledge, at the same location where Diedre (5.8) starts. The climbing is a great mix of low-angle slabs, cracks, and grooves offering lots of variety.
The crux is very short, and basically is only a single 5.8 move up a short layback corner. Although the crux takes protection very well, some of the easier low angle slabs are a bit runtout (5.5R). There are no bolted or fixed belays on the route, but most of the belays can be made from trees, only requiring some long slings.
The route does get quite busy, but there are variations on the route that can allow you to pass slower parties. However, it is wise to prepare for alternatives in case the line is too long. Since Banana Peel is one of the easiest routes on the Apron, most of the alternatives are more difficult. The classic Diedre (5.8) starts from the same location, but is even more popular. Another great climb starting from the same location is Over the Rainbow (5.10a), which climbs the moderate slabs between Diedre and Banana Peel. On the approach to Banana Peel, you passed Snake (5.9), which also is a great alternative if Banana Peel is too busy.
The Apron has a high density of routes, so there are plenty of options for combining Banana Peel with another route. Instead of hiking and scrambling up to the Diedre Ledge you can climb The Bottom Line (5.9), which is a short slab route that starts right of the trail along the base of the Apron, and finishes at the right end of the Diedre Ledge.
From the top of Banana Peel there are various options to add more pitches of climbing to your day. The Boomstick Crack (5.7) starts right where Banana Peel finishes, and traverses along an amazingly thin flake. Alternatively, you can move left along Broadway to the northern end of the Apron and climb the Memorial Crack (5.9). From both routes, you can continue up and climb either the Squamish Buttress (5.10c) or Ultimate Everything (5.10b) all the way to the top of the Chief. If you combine the Bottom Line (5.9) with Banana Peel and some of these extensions, you can climb up to 20 pitches in total, all the way from the base of the Apron to the summit of the Chief.
Another option to climb several additional pitches is the Upper Apron. If you descend along the Broadway Ledge towards to forest, you will past directly below the Upper Apron, which has several spicy slab routes (5.8-5.10a). The sparse protection on these routes will test your slab climbing skills and your nerves.
If you are looking for multi-pitch climbs at a similar grade, you should try Calculus Crack (5.8) or Diedre (5.8). Calculus Crack is the easiest of the two, with a short 5.8 crux. Diedre offers more and longer sections of 5.8 climbing, and is an amazing classic that should not be missed. Both routes have less face climbing and much more crack climbing and laybacking than Banana Peel.