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Squamish trip ideas
10:24:49 AM
The missus and I are heading off to Vancouver and Squamish in August for three weeks. It's mostly a climbing trip, with some rest-day activities thrown in. I know a few of you on here will have been to that part of the world so keen to milk the collective knowledge of the 'Stone.

We plan to take a full trad rack; typically climb trad up to 5.10c (22) ish, we also plan to hire a couple of pads as the bouldering looks v good. We've got copies of the two main guidebooks for routes and bouldering (how good are they!), and the "Top 100" tick lists seem a pretty good place to start.

My questions to the group then are, what are the hidden gems around Squamish that you enjoyed that don't make top 100, and so might not be too crowded? Also, any suggestions for non-climbing things to do around Vancouver and Squamish that were particularly cool.

Thanks all.
12:13:53 PM
I can't help you about the climbing, but just up the road a bit Whistler has several zip line tours that are better than most. (Mainly because they haven't been so sanitised that all the fun has been taken out of them.) For example, the last zip line on one tour is steep enough that they attach an extra pulley line which doubles as an additional braking system plus it generates electricity for the night lights on their zip platforms!

> 5.10c (22) ish

I don't know whether Canadian grades are different (entirely possible!) but in Yosemite I remember thinking 5.11a was around 22. On the other hand, that was for cracks. Faces and slabs did seem harder for their grades! :-)
1:33:32 PM
Agreed with PeterW about grades. I found 5.10d was around 21.

We spent about a month at squamish a few years back. We loved the cragging on offer in the smoke bluffs and there was plenty of quality single pitch routes on offer, but it was mega busy ALL the time. In comparison the multipitches on the Chief see less traffic, but we still found it busier than multipitches at say Araps. The more flexible you are with your ticklist the more you will enjoy.

The bouldering offered a good change up as it was much less busy and the quality was awesome to say the least.

There is plenty of bushwalking and mountain biking on offer in close proximity to Squamish. I've also heard kayaking near Vancouver is good. Watch out for the occasional storm around Squamish, it can absolutely downpour even in Summer.

Have a great trip!

3:52:19 PM
Have been to Squamish once in August in 2014. It was hot (. 36 degrees) and really crowded. We have just been back in June this year and I liked it a lot better, and despite reservations, may well end up back there in August.
Getting up early, or going to places like Murrin Park with afternoon shade options are strategies to consider. This recent trip we had great fun on the Papoose and Malamute.
Smoke bluffs is good if the weather is iffy, but again gets very crowded.
I may just suck at slabs and cracks, and have been sick and jet lagged both times I have been to Squamish, but I happily climb 11d/ 12a at Skaha ( or Araps) and found some 10a climbs very stout at Squamish. 5.9 slabs there are about as much as I can handle.

One Day Hero
5:56:28 PM
On 4/07/2017 Vwills wrote:
>both times I have been to Squamish, but I happily climb 11d/ 12a at Skaha
> ( or Araps) and found some 10a climbs very stout at Squamish. 5.9 slabs
>there are about as much as I can handle.

Skaha is soft like the blueys sport crags. Squamish slabs are graded like booroomba. Most of the climbing is well protected cracks. The 3 star routes are crowded, 2 star routes are less crowded but still amazing. If you want to do the popular routes on the apron stress free, night missions are the go. I'd take triple yellow alien to green cam, the whole place eats those sizes

9:08:45 PM
Not at Squamish but only a few hours drive away. Yak Check 5.10a at Coquihalla Pass is an awesome granite slab about 600m long.

5:20:51 AM
Will you have a car?

There's some fun stuff near the US border if you want more alpine type climbing Nesakwatch/Rexford and Slesse a few hours back past Vancouver. Or in the states, Washington Pass has some fun routes. The Tantalus also looks great for alpine routes, but I still haven't made it up there.

Or the Bugaboos... highly recommended, but quite a drive

Like ODH says The apron... don't bother unless you are early, if you can start late say 4, you can almost have it to yourself though.

Skaha is nice... but will be pretty baking hot in August. I'd only bother if you were passing anyway or particularly desperate to get a full appreciation for Assholes of August/Peach Fest..

Karl Bromelow
9:14:07 AM
If you've got the time and a car Vancouver Island is definitely worth a visit especially if you surf, though if you must there is climbing too (I only surfed there).

9:17:12 AM
Sure the island is nice... but going from Oz to BC to surf seems nuts to me...

You could check out the Eldred though:
1:42:39 PM
Thanks, all good stuff.

Yes, we'll have a car. We'll be staying in Squamish right next to Smoke Bluffs so early or late starts are both an option if the crowds are hectic. We were in Yosemite a couple of years ago at peak climbing time (late September/October) and it was pretty busy then so hoping nothing much worse than that. Perhaps I'm being naive though.

We'll be in Vancouver for a few days at the beginning of the trip and are definitely planning on getting to Vancouver Island. I also really want to see Orcas if anyone has done the whale watching thing?
2:41:07 PM
We went whale watching from Tofino a few years back. The whales weren't playing ball and we only got a bit of a glimpse, but we saw a few bears smashing open crabs on the shore of the sound and got to ride in a fast boat so it was still fun. If I'm honest, my most cherished memory from visiting Tofino was the massive bowl of chowder and polenta fries we had from SoBo.
2:41:27 PM
On 5/07/2017 peteclimbs wrote:
>I also really want to see Orcas if anyone has done the whale watching thing?

No need 2go ova ther 4 that. Jus hang aroun tha Piles an watch my fiends from Nati toppin out theez daze sinc aging catchn them up. Long way inlan but U'd swear itz a beech ifU did.

Btw cupl of stoners (apart from trog) livin ova ther @ tha mo.
Fishboy an Brendan coud alsoB good 4 loco (Squam) secrit info.

4:52:57 PM
Bust your ankle on the first day then proceed to get wasted in the pub overlooking the apron every day for the next 2 weeks

9:03:55 PM
On 4/07/2017 peteclimbs wrote:
>The missus and I are heading off to Vancouver and Squamish in August for
>three weeks.

Although I am originally from Vancouver Island and love the place to bits, if you only have three weeks I'd suggest giving the Island a miss and go back for a visit another time. It costs quite a bit these days to take a car there and back and you'd need to drive if you were going to see anything.
If you want a couple of "rest" days from climbing there is some great hiking in the Squamish area. Here's a glimpse:
Have a great time. Squamish is a brilliant place to chill for a few weeks. If the weather is good you won't want to leave ...
8:24:24 AM
I've been living in Squamish for 5 years now. Any questions, hookups or whatever just ask.

Route development is a frenzy over here....the newest guide is 4 or so years old and doesn't include lot of good stuff. Forget about the apron during the day....I hit it after 5pm and that's when you get to choose your routes.

What do you mean when you say you are staying next to the Smoke Bluffs? We have had a big crack down this year on campers...I got tips for that.

If you like cracks you'll be in heaven. Bring all the cams and one biner of mid sized nuts, that's it. Oh, and a 70m rope is very handy.
8:26:19 AM
I'm also an avid hiker and biker and squamish is world class for those things too, so I can help with that. Doug is correct, forget about the Island.....Do the sunshine coast, it's super beaut and close.
11:09:37 AM
Thanks Nick. We're staying in an Airbnb on Sky Pilot Drive near Smoke Bluffs so no camping issues.

I've a 70m but it's been trimmed once so needs a measure - probably more like 65m now. I was planning on bring that, plus another 60m. I'll drop you a PM with contact details as it would be good to catch up if you're going to be around during August.


There are 17 messages in this topic.


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