Moderate sport climbing around Squamish


Original Post
Carsten Sels · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Me & my girlfriend will be travelling to Western Canada & Alaska in July for four months. We were planning on doing a bit of climbing around Squamish for 5 days. This will be in mid July. Our level isn't much - around 5c+ in French gradation - which would equal ~5.9. We haven't done much trad climbing so don't want to get into that in Squamish either. Seems safer! We're hoping to find some crags there that are in our ability range before heading off. Perhaps already print some topo maps for the crags...

At the end of August, we will also visit Lake Louise to do some days of sport climbing there.

I found a filtered list for our level here:

Mountain Project Squamish Sport Route Search 

MP Sea to Sky Corridor Sport Route Search


These look like our most viable options - ranked from most interesting to least interesting for us:

* Area 44 + The Pillary (found the topo)
* Cheakamus Canyon (found the topo)
* Murrin Park (no topo found yet)
* Smoke Bluffs (no topo found yet)
* The Chief

Does The Chief really have some moderate sport climbing routes? What would the most interesting crags for us be? I wouldn't mind spending 2 days at one crag if there are enough fun routes either.

Also, it would be good to know what the best camping grounds for these crags were?

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10

Murrin Park is probably your best bet. The main Chief campground will be convenient for you if you can get a spot. 

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

Chek and Murrin for sure. 

The Chief does not, to my knowledge, have any sport climbing on it in general. 

There are some other areas around, stop at the gear shop and pick up Squamish Select and talk to the folks there, there's always new stuff going up, so I wouldn't be surprised if there's a new moderate crag around somewhere. 

Finally, if you can spare some coin, a guide would be worth it for the trad climbing in Squamish. It's really fun, and world class for sure. 

Carsten Sels · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks guys, will get Squamish Select as ebook already. Any alternatives to the Chief campground? Or best area's to camp for these locations?

GTD · · Bowen island, BC, Canada · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

Chek would be great for you and you can camp right at the parking area where there is an outhouse. Recommend climbing charlottes web, 2 pitch sport 5.9. Great views from the top. It does get busy if your there on the weekend.

Nick Niebuhr · · Telluride, CO · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 465

Star Chek in Chekamus Canyon is a must do climb! 3 pitch bolted 5.9 ish.. I was a max 5.9 climber when I did it and had no problems.

Carsten Sels · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Great, thanks a lot. I guess I can spread my 5 days over Chek and Murrin Park. Perhaps Area 44 too - I heard some good things about that for moderate sport climbing.

I will have to buy a rope when I arrive in Vancouver. Any suggestions? I will also use that rope around Lake Louise and later in my trip in Patagonia. A 60m rope would only allow short rappels so I am more leaning toward 2x 60m half ropes. They are also easier for distributing weight with my girlfriend. Would that length be sufficient for most routes in Squamish and/or Lake Louise? 

Jimmy Downhillinthesnow · · Bozeman, Montana · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 10
Carsten Sels wrote:

Great, thanks a lot. I guess I can spread my 5 days over Chek and Murrin Park. Perhaps Area 44 too - I heard some good things about that for moderate sport climbing.

I will have to buy a rope when I arrive in Vancouver. Any suggestions? I will also use that rope around Lake Louise and later in my trip in Patagonia. A 60m rope would only allow short rappels so I am more leaning toward 2x 60m half ropes. They are also easier for distributing weight with my girlfriend. Would that length be sufficient for most routes in Squamish and/or Lake Louise? 

I'd lean towards a single 70m rope in the 9.8mm range. Doubles are a pain for single-pitch climbing.

Carsten Sels · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Yeah, I was doubting on a 70m but would that be enough for multi-pitch sport? Could be that we find some interesting ones during our trip..

Chris Small · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 0

There is a lot happening at Chek this year in terms of access issues. I would suggest looking at the News Section of the squamishaccess.ca website for updated information before your trip. Both parking and camping availability has become a real issue in Squamish in the past few years. The area has seen a tremendous increase in visitation since 2014 ( estimated 50% yearly at Stawamus Chief). For camping I would suggest you plan ahead by booking a commercial campground space as the Chief campground is usually full in July and August. 

In terms of sport routes buy the Squamish Select guidebook.  Squamish, and Murrin Park in particular,  has seen substanial new route activity since 2012. The publisher of Squamish Select (quickdrawpublications.com) has a new topos section on its website.  

GTD · · Bowen island, BC, Canada · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

All the guide books mentioned are great reference material. I would also recommend running a 70m rope, it's what I run doing multi pitch routes. Also when selecting a rope also remember to look at the elongation percentage, I prefer a less stretching rope. But this is all worth starting a new discussion thread. 

If you want to try some 5.9/8 TR routes check out lighthouse park as it would feel pretty cool to climb right on the ocean. It's on the way up to Squamish (kind of). Those climbs are in the Squamish guide book at the beginning.

GTD · · Bowen island, BC, Canada · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5

I also forgot to mention area 44. It does have a lot of moderate sport climbs, but the rock is chossy. Take a helmet!! 

Lauren Yee · · Seattle, WA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 5

If you have 5 days definitely check out area 44 it's great. There's also another crag beyond area 44 I have been to before but I can't recall the name but it also has moderate climbs. Have fun!

Carsten Sels · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0
Lauren Yee wrote:

If you have 5 days definitely check out area 44 it's great. There's also another crag beyond area 44 I have been to before but I can't recall the name but it also has moderate climbs. Have fun!

Do you mean The Pillary?

Lauren Yee · · Seattle, WA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 5

Yes! Thank you Carsten, the Pillary!   

Carsten Sels · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2017 · Points: 0

Cool, thanks. I'll probably spend two days at Area 44 + Pillary, 2 days at Chek, and 1 day at Murrin Park. Perhaps some more days to spend climbing in Squamish at the end of my trip. Thanks for all the advice guys.

Haven't booked anything for camping though so I hope there will be spots at Chek or at The Chief c/g.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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