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North America, Canada, Coast Mountains, Mt. Dione, Cheech and Chong

Mt. Dione, Cheech and Chong. On July 21 Jamie Chong and I summited a new route on Mt. Dione in the Tantalus Range. They dubbed it Cheech and Chong (700m, 16 pitches, V 5.10d). The line ascends the central buttress of the west face. Chong and I were prepared for aid pitches but didn’t need to bust out the hooks and copperheads: Cheech and Chong is the first free route on Dione’s west face.

The route starts at the toe of the west buttress, about 200m up the prominent couloir. After pitch five we unroped for 100m of 4th and easy 5th class, leaving us on a perfect bivouac ledge. The following three pitches, up the central buttress, proved to be the crux. One rivet was placed for protection near the bottom of pitch eight, and one piton was left on a traverse just before the belay station. We deemed pitch nine the most difficult of the route because of an awkward offwidth. The climbing eased a bit until the upper headwall, where protection was somewhat meager.

We spent two nights on the mountain—the first on an excellent ledge halfway up, the second on the summit, which offered spectacular views of the setting sun. Note that this route could probably be done in one long day with the help of a topo. A double rack of cams to three inches and a set of nuts are required; also bring four pitons for belay stations. Descend the standard Southeast Ridge route.

Conny Amelunxen, Canada