Monday, August 6, 2012

Return to Squamish

The last time we were in Squamish, almost two years ago, it rained almost every day, and we eventually gave up on the weather and left.  This time we had considerably better luck.  In the 10 days we spent there we didn't see a single drop of rain, and went climbing every single day of our stay.  Squamish has such a variety of climbing to offer, and we took advantage of as much of it as possible, doing a mix of trad, sport and bouldering.  Of course we tried to do as much multi-pitch trad climbing as we could, culminating in climbing all the way from the base of the lower apron to the top of the Chief.

Unfortunately with the good weather also comes the people, with massive amounts of climbers all over the place, especially on the weekends.  Of course that isn't all bad either.  It was awesome to run into Hugo and Pigeon from back home and we met two great groups of climbers from southern Ontario who were camped next to us. In an effort to avoid the crowds, we spread out our climbing over many different areas and rarely had to wait to get on a route.

Here is Kristal on the stellar Klahanie Crack 5.7, located just beside Shannon Falls.

And trying to find some gear on the 4th pitch traverse of the amazing Skywalker 5.8.

One of the highlights of Skywalker is that from the top it is a short hike to some really cool swimming pools formed along the waterfall.

We also made it to the Cheakamus Gorge, where we climbed the highly rated 3 pitch sport climb Star Chek 5.9.

Which climbs a prominent arete coming straight out of the raging river.

Another highlight was climbing the slab at Seal Cove, which comes right out of the water of Howe Sound.

Which also had some great views.

Of course we also spent a couple of days climbing on the Chief.  Here's the view of the first summit from the second summit, after topping out The Ultimate Link-Up 5.10b, which we did by linking Rambles 5.8, Banana Peel 5.7, Boomstick Crack 5.7 and The Ultimate Everything 5.10b.  In total it is described as 24 pitches of climbing, but between simulclimbing and linking pitches we managed to do it in 17.

Here is Kristal on the second pitch of Rambles 5.8.

We also spent some time climbing at the Smoke Bluffs, the Malamute and the Papoose.  After being rained out on our first visit, we were really excited to finally experience the amazing climbing Squamish has to offer. It is pretty ridiculous how much easily accessible quality climbing there is to be had.  Sadly the easy access has its price.  Aside from having to deal with the crowds, the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape are all to often marred by hydro lines, the highway under your feet, and the constant sound of traffic and machinery from the docks.

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