Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Squamish Update

It's been an incredibly cold, rainy spring and early summer on the west coast of B.C. For me, this has been a good thing, because I've been injured since Turkey last fall and the wet weather pretty much eliminates the temptation to get on projects and risk slowly my recovery. Also, I've been working hard on a new climbing guide to Squamish, so the downtime has provided lots of opportunities to research the book. For most other climbers, this season has been a frustrating one, though. The Squamish Climbers Festival just finished and - wouldn't you know it - it rained all week. Regardless, fun was had at the various events, and I feel confident saying it was a success despite the weather.

We are headed on a much-anticipated road trip for the month of August, and will likely spend our time in the Canadian Rockies using our newest guide book, Bow Valley Sport!

Here's some shots from the spring. The crags have dried out from time to time, but multipitch climbing has been very challenging. The first photo is of Burning Down the Couch on Petrifying Wall. Always a great place to go after rainstorms - the smooth rock dries very fast.

Some local fauna at Murrin Park. He doesn't mind the damp weather!

Aerial shot of the Chief during a photo shoot for the new guidebook. Lots of really good multipitch climbs have been established on the Chief in the last few years. The most popular one of late has to be Skywalker on the Shannon Falls wall adjacent to the Chief. This moderate is five stars and a must-do at the grade.

Squamish critters. They come in a variety of colours and flavours.

Ill Communication (5.13b) at Chek Canyon. This is the one cragging zone in Squamish that almost always stays dry in the rain. It's seen a lot of traffic this year.

The well-known Chek roof route Freewill (5.13c). This roof is like nothing else in Squamish and provides 30-40 metres of physical climbing on a 30-degree overhanging wall.

The Fleeing Heiffer (5.12c) also at Chek Canyon. This is a rite of passage on the Circus Wall and the style of climbing is often compared to the blocky funkness of Rifle, Colorado.

Fungus in the forest. The damp weather has caused all kinds of interesting plants to thrive this year.

Watch for posts from the Canadian Rockies. Hopefully, August will be a drier month in western Canada and some projects will go down! If you need topos to any of the new climbs around Squamish, visit our fee downloads page here.

Marc Bourdon - Squamish, BC

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