Friday, 27 September 2013

Squamish - My review

So I have been back a few days now.
Looking back at squamish I have absolutely no regrets giving up almost a years worth of holiday on one trip. So here is my breif take on the place.
 
Ease of Access - the boring stuff
 
Once you are at squamish everything is a short drive away. I imagine without a car it would be difficult to do everything with out a lot of motivation. For example seal cove is a long way down the road from the cheif campground/squamish down town. It is an amazing and quiet location for an easy day. Hitching would be a possibilty but the notice board might not get you a lift easily (having not used the notice board I could not say).
Also if the weather craps out cheakamus is a drive away so agian with out a car its a hitching job or notice board for lifts.
Most of the crags have a short walk in which is always nice but the car park areas can be a little crowded. I went at the end of the season so probably missed the worst of it.
 
From the air port the drive is reasonably straight forward but I took a wrong turning both times trying to get through down town vancouver. The sea to sky is a great road to drive on.
 
The Crags - My take
While in squamish we tried most of the crags. Here is what I though of them.
 
Murrin park - It was a nice introduction to granite lots of low grade routes with harder things next to it. Also it had a really nice lake for swimming in it.
Seal Cove - beautiful but lacking in steeper angles and harder climbs. Great for a hot easy day pottering.
Cheakamus - I only went to forgotten wall but it reminded me of giggleswick south which I always thought that in another country people just would not bother with it. It is a wet day option as it stays dry but it was shit! However there was a nice 7a
Smoke Bluffs - Good climbing but too urban I felt I was climbing in some ones garden.
Shannon Falls - too busy (stupid 5.7 crack)
Bulletheads - Not the most inspiring from the base. However I did one of the best pitches of climbing I have ever done there.
Base of the grand wall - Again not overly keen. There is no real warm ups. It all starts at 5.10b but the routes look amazing if you are climbing a bit harder than I was
The Apron - A great place to get into the multi pitching. Nice easy grades did not feel too commiting and a fast drying option. Gets a bit warm in the sun.
The Chief in general - The best place I have ever climbed in my life. Brillinat climbing at every grade. Every type of climbing and amazing views. Easy access and fantastic situations.

My tick list (exported from UKC)

Climb name Grade Style Partner(s) Date Crag name
Any Lip'll Do V0   Sent O/S simon 19-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Any Rock'll Do V1  * Sent O/S simon 19-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Flourescent Black V0   Sent O/S simon 19-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Sphinx'ter Quits 5.8  ** Lead O/S simon, bex 18-Sep-13 Little Smoke Bluffs
Quarryman 5.8  *** Lead O/S simon, bex 18-Sep-13 Little Smoke Bluffs
Health Hazard 5.10a  ** Lead O/S simon, bex 18-Sep-13 Little Smoke Bluffs
Popeye and the Raven 5.10d  *** 2nd simon 18-Sep-13 Little Smoke Bluffs
Fun Gus Arete V0   - 17-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Rambles 5.8  *** Lead O/S bex 15-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
Bronze Traverse V0   Sent O/S bex 15-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Ain't Easy Being Easy V0   Sent O/S bex 15-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Banana Peel 5.7  *** AltLd O/S hobbit 13-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
Squamish Buttress 5.10c  *** AltLd O/S hobbit 13-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
The Butt Light 5.9  * AltLd O/S hobbit 13-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
Granville Street 5.8  * AltLd O/S hobbit 13-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
Zoe 5.10a  *** Lead O/S simon 11-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Jugs, Not Drugs 5.8 Lead O/S simon 11-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Squamish Days V0  ** Sent O/S 10-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Fried Ant V0  *** Sent O/S 10-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Easy Peezy V0   Sent O/S 10-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Bob Barker Cut My Dog's Nuts Off V1   Sent O/S 10-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Spotters on Strike V0   Sent O/S 10-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Squamish Days Traverse V2  * Sent x simon 10-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Bubble Buddy 5.8  ** Lead O/S simon 09-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Lost Horizon 5.10b  *** 2nd simon 09-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Future and a Hope 5.9  ** 2nd simon 09-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Barknuckles 5.8  *** Lead O/S simon 09-Sep-13 Murrin Park
The Seal Cove Traverse 5.9  ** Lead O/S simon 09-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Summer Vacation V0  *** Sent O/S hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
The Warm-Up V1   Sent O/S hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Superfly Slab V0  * Sent O/S hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Dyke Surfer V0  ** Sent O/S hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
One Track V1   Sent O/S hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Nick's Idea V1   Sent x hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Easy Traverse V1   Sent x hobbit, bex 08-Sep-13 Grand Wall Boulders
Bullethead East 5.10c   Lead simon 07-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
Forgotten Realm 5.10a  * Lead O/S bex 06-Sep-13 Cheakamus Canyon
Shaggy 5.9 Lead O/S simon 06-Sep-13 Cheakamus Canyon
Cornflakes 5.7  ** Lead O/S bex 05-Sep-13 Little Smoke Bluffs
One Scoop with Delicious Dimples 5.10c  *** Lead O/S bex 04-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
The Bottom Line 5.9  ** Lead O/S bex 04-Sep-13 Squamish Chief
The Boot V0   Sent O/S bex 02-Sep-13 Apron Boulders, Squamish
Stinky V0   Sent O/S bex 02-Sep-13 Apron Boulders, Squamish
Holiday in Cambodia 5.8  ** Lead O/S simon 01-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Power Smart 5.8  ** Lead O/S simon 01-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Oscar's Slab 5.8  ** Lead O/S simon 01-Sep-13 Murrin Park
Thriller Off the Void 5.11b  *** 2nd simon 01-Sep-13 Murrin Park

Favourite Routes

Bulletheast east first pitch. Completely brilliant route lovely moves about 40m of constanstly amazing moves.
Zoe - After not trying it on the first day to go back and do as a warm up was a fantastic feeling.
Banana Peel - As good as everyone says
The Butt lite - Exposed HVS pitch laybacking then traversing over a massive drop. Then a chimney with one of the best views in the world?

Favourite Boulders
 
Summer Vacation - A classic for a reason. It's high ball 5-6m but you dont realise as the moves are so good!
Superfly - I would of done it if I tried it more but was pretty intense for me.
Fried Ants - Nice easy moves and a fantastic top out
 
Disappointments
 
Probably the length of my ticklist. I forget when you do a big route that you normally only get one tick for it but it does reduce the number of different routes you have done.
My performance on Khalanie Crack. I can try use the hang over excuse but really I was just a punter.
Smoke Bluffs urban situation
Not swimming in murrin park lake (I did swim in Alice lake though)
The lack of sharp knivies in the apartment
The price of beer
 
Suprises
 
The quality of the bouldering. I knew it was going to be good but it was ... Possibly as good as font!
Seeing a bear late at night in a carpark.

Best Part
 
Topping out the chief after 19 pitches by soloing a 10m slab at 600m above sea level

Other Cool things

Howe Sound Brew house - Quality!
The apartment - More like a house
The kitchen in the apartment - Massive
Making a roast dinner - I love cooking roast pork and potato's
How friendly everyone was
The people I was with

Recommendation
 
Pub - Howe Sound brewery
Breakfast/cafe - Big D's
Route - .. too many but probably Bullethead East P1 as a single pitch the upper pitches looked amazing too.
Boulder Problem - Summer Vacation

The Cost

The trip was expensive.
Flights were £600 return
Motel for 2 nights $90 each (split between two) (£55-60)
Car hire £170ish Each (£670 for three weeks)
Food £15+ per day
Drink £5-6 per beer

Would I go back

Definately

Would I go Back Next Year

Probably not.
To justify the trip you need at least 2 weeks which is half my years holiday allocation. I will go back just not next year .. unless someone turns round to me and says I am booking a trip do you want to come ... I would strongly think about it.

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