Great Game 5.10d
About the Climb
The Great Game is an amazing route on the 'Squaw', with great climbing from start to finish. The route is full of superb laybacking, starting with a good 5.9 warmup layback section almost right off the ground. After the warmup, you will encounter the crux finger pocket traverse (5.10d), which is followed by steep and pumpy jamming. The top half of the route has awesome finger laybacking and steep juggy face climbing.
From the top of The Great Game, you can escape right to start the descent, or continue left on the Skyline Arete (5.10d). The Skyline Arete finish features sustained and thin face climbing, and is quite different from The Great Game. This finish includes a short bolt ladder (3 bolts) over a roof, so if you plan to finish with the Skyline Arete, it is wise to bring some extra slings.
Climbing on the 'Squaw' gives a welcome break from the highway noises which are always present when climbing on the Chief. From the 'Squaw', the views of the North Walls of the Chief are amazing.
The routes on the 'Squaw' are generally quite short, and consist of 4-6 pitches. Furthermore, the descent is quick and brings you back to the base of the routes. This makes it very easy to climb more than 1 route in a day. Birds of Prey (5.10b) and Jungle Warfare (5.10a) are both great routes to combine with The Great Game. The last pitch of Birds of Prey can be wet from seepage after periods of rain, but retreat is possible from the start of the pitch. Birds of Prey is right next to The Great Game, and is also a good alternative if there is a line for The Great Game.
The first 1-2 pitches of Birds of Prey follow a nice 5.8 finger crack, and from its top one can rappel along trees (bring spare slings). This is a great option if you don't want to climb the entire route.
If you are looking for routes with great laybacking at a similar grade, you should check out Peasant's Route (5.10c) or the super classic Grand Wall (5.11a). The Peasant's Route is located at the base of the Grand Wall, right next to the awesome Exasperator (5.10c) finger crack, and it is very easy to combine these 2 routes.
The Squamish Buttress (5.10c) also has a great pitch with 5.10c finger laybacking. Although it is a nice route to the top of the Chief, the climbing is not very sustained and mostly in the 5.6-5.8 range.