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My Climbing Adventure in Squamish, British Columbia

21th May, 2024

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My Climbing Adventure in Squamish, British Columbia

Explore the stunning granite walls of Squamish, BC, renowned for its world-class climbing spots. From the epic multi-pitch routes on The Chief to the diverse bouldering problems in the forest, Squamish offers an unforgettable climbing experience for all levels. Enjoy breathtaking views, top-notch amenities, and a vibrant climbing community. Discover your next climbing adventure in Squamish today!

 

As a passionate climber, Squamish, British Columbia has always been on my bucket list. Known as the "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada," it's a climber's paradise, offering an array of routes that cater to every level. This summer, I finally made the pilgrimage to this renowned climbing destination, and it was nothing short of spectacular. Here’s a detailed account of my adventure, the gear I used, and some tips for those planning their own Squamish climbing trip.

Getting There

Transportation: I flew into Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is about an hour's drive from Squamish. Renting a car is the best option for flexibility and convenience. Rental prices vary, but I secured a compact car for around CAD 50 per day. The drive along the Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99) is breathtaking, with stunning coastal views.

Accommodation: Squamish offers various accommodation options. I chose to stay at the Squamish Adventure Inn, which is popular among climbers. It's reasonably priced at around CAD 40 per night for a dorm bed and CAD 100 for a private room. There are also numerous campgrounds like the Stawamus Chief Campground, which is perfect if you prefer being closer to nature and your climbing spots.

Climbing Gear

Before heading out, ensuring you have the right gear is crucial. Here’s a breakdown of what I used:

  1. Climbing Shoes: I brought my La Sportiva Miura (around CAD 200), perfect for the granite surfaces of Squamish.
  2. Harness: The Black Diamond Momentum Harness (approximately CAD 70) is a reliable choice.
  3. Belay Device: The Petzl GriGri 2 (about CAD 140) provides excellent control and safety.
  4. Helmet: A must-have for protection, I used the Black Diamond Half Dome (around CAD 60).
  5. Chalk Bag and Chalk: Essential for grip, costing about CAD 20 for the bag and CAD 10 for chalk.
  6. Ropes: I used a 60m dynamic rope from Mammut Infinity (around CAD 250).
  7. Quickdraws: For sport climbing, the Black Diamond HotWire Quickdraws (set of 12 for CAD 160) are great.
  8. Trad Gear: If you’re into trad climbing, a set of cams and nuts from Black Diamond Camalot (full set around CAD 500) is recommended.
  9. Bouldering Pad: For bouldering, the Metolius Session II Pad (about CAD 200) is a solid choice.

Climbing Spots

The Chief: The Stawamus Chief, affectionately known as "The Chief," is the crown jewel of Squamish climbing. It's one of the largest granite monoliths in the world. I tackled the classic multi-pitch route, “The Grand Wall”. It’s a 5.11a and requires a good mix of endurance and technical skills. The views from the top are absolutely worth the effort.

Smoke Bluffs: Perfect for beginners and intermediate climbers, Smoke Bluffs offers a variety of single-pitch routes. I particularly enjoyed “Penny Lane” (5.9), a crack climb that’s both challenging and rewarding. The area is accessible and provides a good warm-up for tougher climbs.

Bouldering: Squamish is also famous for its bouldering. The Campground Boulders near the Stawamus Chief Campground have problems ranging from V0 to V12. “Easy in an Easy Chair” (V4) was a fun and manageable problem for me.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Weather: The best time to climb in Squamish is from late spring to early fall. However, always check the weather forecast as rain can make climbs slippery and dangerous.
  2. Crowds: Popular routes can get crowded, especially on weekends. Starting early can help you avoid the rush.
  3. Local Beta: Don’t hesitate to chat with local climbers. They can provide valuable insights and tips about current conditions and must-try routes.
  4. Safety: Always wear a helmet, especially when climbing in areas with loose rock. Double-check your gear and partner before each climb.
  5. Rest Days: Take rest days to explore Squamish. The Sea to Sky Gondola offers stunning views, and there are plenty of beautiful hikes like the Garibaldi Lake Trail.

Post-Climb Relaxation

After a long day of climbing, I loved unwinding at Backcountry Brewing. Their craft beers are top-notch, and the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for sharing stories with fellow climbers. Another great spot is Howe Sound Brewing, which offers hearty meals and a cozy ambiance.

Conclusion

Climbing in Squamish was an unforgettable experience. The combination of stunning natural beauty, diverse climbing routes, and a friendly climbing community makes it a must-visit destination for any climber. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, Squamish has something to offer. So pack your gear, plan your trip, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime in one of the world’s best climbing destinations.

For more detailed information and updates, check out Squamish Climbing and the Squamish Access Society.

Michael Thompson | Touristify.Live

Hello! I'm MichaelHello! I'm Michael, a 30-year-old travel enthusiast. I have a deep passion for exploring new places, experiencing different cultures, and embarking on thrilling adventures. Through my travels, I've gained valuable insights and helpful tips that I love sharing with fellow travelers. Join me on Touristify.live as I take you on a journey of discovery, providing unique perspectives and inspiring travel experiences. Let's create unforgettable memories together and explore the world one destination at a time!

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