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Summer Trip to Squamish...Help!!!


Original Post
Brian Lavett · · Wilsonville · Joined May 2016 · Points: 250

So my wife and I are going to be in Vancouver this summer for about ten days. We're  climbers, so naturally we would like to take advantage & hit Squamish while we're there. We're from Alabama...which is about as far away from Squamish. Naturally, we have no idea where to even begin. Can anyone help us out with info on camping,food, which guide book, basically a crash course in all things Squamish. As our time there will be limited, we don't want to waste a moment. This will probably be the only time we ever get up there...unless my wife finally gives in, lets me sell our house, buy a van, and hit the road. LOL. Also, a good gear shop. Since this isn't just a climbing trip, we aren't going to be able to haul all our gear. We are planning on buying a few bigger things, like rope and a few cams, when we get there and then shipping them all home when we leave. 

Ideally we would like to take a rental car from Vancouver, drive to Squamish, hit the grocery store and gear shop, then...well that's where our plan stops at this point. Haha. I would even be open to hiring a guide service, simply to avoid wasting any time. So if there is one that anyone can recommend, please message me.

Preferably, if there is a climber in the area that is keen on earning some dough for showing us around, message me, and we can talk about it. Its just my wife and I, and we get around the mountains pretty well & are both experienced climbers, although my wife is mostly a sport climber. I think that given out time constraints, we would like to just sort of hit as many classics as possible. If we are going to hire someone, I would prefer that the person be available for at least 3 of the days that we're planning on being there. I am happy to cover your expenses for camping and food in addition to a guide fee. Normally I would just scour the net, buy guide books, and spend hours on here and Supertopo, but I have an 8 month old daughter, and simply don't have the time or energy. Lol. Plus, this is really rare opportunity for us, and we want to do as much as possible. I don't want to waste time walking around looking at a guide book, and trying to find the routes we want to climb. Anyway, hit me up if you're interested.

I think that we're going to be there the weekend of July 22. I'm hoping we can get 3-4 days of camping and climbing before heading back to Vancouver. I think that the Arc'teryx Climbing Acedemy thing is that same weekend. So we probably want to check that out too. I have no idea where in Squamish that is, or if that would affect where we needed to camp.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

Squamish is one of those rare places with Climbing just off the road or a short and concise approach on a nicely groomed trail from the parking lot (for the most part)

the visitor center right on the main highway has the guidebooks, on your right as you enter town and has water falls in front of it.  Valhalla is off the main drag and has gear and hooks.  MEC in Vancouver is like the REI of Canada. 

Cheekamus Canyon is IMO the best sport Climbing near Squamish. 15 min drive north of town.  Start at the foundation wall for a warm up (100 yards from the parking area) then just keep following the trail past hundreds of sport climbs.  You could spend 3 days just in this area.

id seek out one of the private camp grounds with a pre reserved spot.  The public grounds get swamped with Vancouver and Seattle climbers on the weekends

you shouldn't need a guide if you are proficient in outdoor climbing....the book (Squamish select) is self explanatory.

good luck and have fun. 

Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

Squamish is pretty convenient. There is car camping at the base of the Chief. Town is small and nearby including a gear shop, grocery store, and all the other stuff.  Buy the guidebook. I was there once with just some info from mountain project, and I spent a lot of time wandering around trying to figure where things were.

Matthew Tangeman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 35
Dan Cooksey wrote:

Cheekamus Canyon is IMO the best sport Climbing near Squamish. 15 min drive north of town.  Start at the foundation wall for a warm up (100 yards from the parking area) then just keep following the trail past hundreds of sport climbs.  You could spend 3 days just in this area.

Chek is indeed the best sport climbing near Squamish, and you could easily spend multiple days there, but the style of climbing and the rock isn't really unique to Squamish, if that makes sense. Unless you send 5.14 and can get on the Big Show, it's pretty typical of any other granite/metamorphic sport crag I've been to. Not saying it's not worth going to, it's awesome, but it's not what I'd go to Squamish for. Many pitches do stay dry in the rain though.

How comfortable are you on multipitch and trad? In the ~5.10 range there's some awesome long routes on the Chief, often with a fair share of bolted pitches amongst all the gear. If it's possibly your only time in Squamish, you gotta top out the Chief. 

Squamish Select is the guidebook you want. 

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365
Matthew Tangeman wrote:

Chek is indeed the best sport climbing near Squamish, and you could easily spend multiple days there, but the style of climbing and the rock isn't really unique to Squamish, if that makes sense. Unless you send 5.14 and can get on the Big Show, it's pretty typical of any other granite/metamorphic sport crag I've been to. Not saying it's not worth going to, it's awesome, but it's not what I'd go to Squamish for. Many pitches do stay dry in the rain though.

How comfortable are you on multipitch and trad? In the ~5.10 range there's some awesome long routes on the Chief, often with a fair share of bolted pitches amongst all the gear. If it's possibly your only time in Squamish, you gotta top out the Chief. 

Squamish Select is the guidebook you want. 

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

arrgg are you implyin some pirate guidin matey?

Mark van Eijk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 569

Hi Brian, sounds like you're in for a fun trip. Some quick thoughts:

Camping: chief campground is nice, sociable camping. It can be crowded in the summer but is still recommended as a first option. The Kinsmen campground near the Brennan community center tends not to fill up as quickly and is walking distance from excellent climbing

Food: Save on Foods in Squamish is a standard, garden-variety grocery store. The howe sound brew pub is very nice, has good craft beer and excellent pizza. Bisla sweets is a local favorite. Good, cheap indian food.

Book: "squamish select" by Marc Bourdon

Gear Shop: Either "Valhalla Pure" or "Climb On" can be found within walking distance of the grocery store. Pick up your book while you're there.

Where to climb: The Smoke Bluffs has the highest concentration and variety of single-pitch climbs. It gets crowded, but there are hundreds of routes available. If 5.10 cracks are your thing then you need to go to the grand wall base and campground wall and do the classics. "exasperator", "seasoned in the sun", "arrowroot", "jingus the cat", "rainy day dream away", and "pitch in time" are all walking distance from the campground and are area classics.

Have Fun!

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Why don't you just hire a local guide? 

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=rock+climbing+guide+squamish

Brian Lavett · · Wilsonville · Joined May 2016 · Points: 250
FrankPS wrote:

Why don't you just hire a local guide? 

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=rock+climbing+guide+squamish

I mentioned that in my original post, and that's probably what we will do. Meeting up with some local climbers just sounds more fun though. 

Thanks for the link, I am checking it out now

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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