Yes, it’s November, and we’re still talking Squamish. I guess we liked the place. [Click “Read More” and scroll to the videos if you want to skip the ramblin’.]
It’s been about six weeks since we uprooted the trailer and left the forest nymphs in our wake, with Bert’s steely grille pointed at the rising sun. A junk-food-fueled drive across three time zones brought us, via the homes of many generous friends, to Boone, NC and now Chattanooga, TN. I’ve got a whole post about the South upcoming, but this is a retrospective.
Squamish totally blew us away. I’m not letting any cats out of any bags by saying that Squamish is one magical-ass place to spend a summer. If you ain’t heard: Squamish combines every aspect of a climbing area that one could desire (with the possible exception of soft grades). In this temperate rainforest you will find traditional climbing rivaling Yosemite (minus the big walls, of course), concentrated bouldering as good as anywhere, a lively campground that is walking distance from more climbing than one could do in a lifetime, and enough natural beauty and alternative activities to mollify your non-climbing friends for as long as necessary. The only thing missing is a place for campfires.
You will meet more interesting characters than you can keep track of: folks who live on the road and make Squamish their summer routine; Aussies on extended trips (Alex, Jon, Marissa, James, we miss you mates!); locals who love the summer enough to put up with the winter; true adventurers, just in from cherry-picking in the Okanagan. And if you need to rest your tips but are still stir-crazy, you can go for a bike ride, watch the kite surfers, wrestle salmon, gawk at the BASE jumpers, or do some world-class hiking. If it’s not raining, you simply cannot be bored.
Some of the highlights of the summer have been discussed, like Vikki’s and my birthday challenges, and of course meeting and filming the Wide Boyz. As far as the daily climbing went, I have to say that it was about as good a summer as either of us could’ve hoped for. Vikki was able to use Squamish’s notoriously open-handed climbing to help heal her finger, while I managed to send more than a few trip goals.
I’m most proud of The Egg, because it was the very first “hard” boulder problem that I’d ever heard of, besides Midnight Lightning. My first ever climbing partner, Chris Yorks, told me about this blank granite egg that “only Sharma was strong enough to grab on to and climb.” I wondered if I’d ever get anywhere near that level of strength, and while I’m sure that Sharma guy took many fewer attempts than I did to complete it (and certainly more than Ty Landman, who flashed the thing), I still managed to climb the same chunk of rock that a young Sharma did, and that’s always cool. Plus, it took most of the summer, maybe 7 days of effort in total. I also managed to scrape my way up more than half of the Top 100’s, and flash a V10 (King Kong)!
Vikki spent most of the summer leading epic yoga/foam-rolling sessions, cranking mileage in the main bouldering zones, and working her way up to second-try sending Wafer Thin, her first Squamish V5. Perfect preparation for the South.
My favorite day had to have been Highball Day. We’ve got a sweet video waiting in the wings…don’t change that dial, it’s coming next week. I’ll have a more in-depth post about that as well.
For now, you’ll have to be satisfied with these two little doses. I hope you enjoy these videos. If you have any questions about beta, Highball Day, or cinnamon rolls between Squamish and the South, I’m your guy. Leave ’em in the comments section.