Saturday, July 30, 2011

20 Days on the Road: The First 2 Days at Squamish

The drive into Squamish is stunning, the Howe Sound, the Chief, Shannon Falls, and views of glacier covered mountain slopes. The temperature was 60 degrees.

The Chief
The bouldering experience at Squamish is profoundly influenced by the forest. I'd never been in anything like it. The trees are huge, and shade everything except the largest boulders which were glowing as we entered the dense woods, spotlighted by the sun let in through spaces the boulders create in the canopy. Tree roots collect the soil, and create raised platforms between blocks of talus. The air and boulders had a moist feel, but the rocks were climbable and we had planned to stick to moderates for the first day anyway.

We got started at the Easy Chair area. I was excited to flash "Easy in an Easy Chair."

We did a variety of problems in the sector. Ashley's favorite for the day was "Swank Stretch."
We finished the day by both getting worn out on "Minor Threat." It's the only problem we ended up spending more than a day on during the trip.

The next day was a rest day, and it rained. The day after was a climbing day, and it rained. The guide recommended Gibb's Cave as a place to go, sheltered from the rain, so we did. The top out holds were wet, and a number of holds in the cave were seeping. At least we were protected from the rain. We made up some contrived starts and finishes across the roof just to get a workout. Late in the afternoon the rain stopped, and boulders outside of the forest dried out. We jumped on "The Cutting Edge" and both managed to climb it after about 5 tries. It felt really difficult for a V4. Later we learned that a hold has broken off the lower arete. It's been renamed and regraded.

"The New Cutting Edge" V5/6

We climbed a few more moderates nearby, and it was nice to complete a few problems that day, after we had given up any expectations to. The next day was a rest day, and it rained.


alan_pirie said...

the cutting edge looks amazing

Lloyd Family said...

It's a really fun problem! Surprisingly, it doesn't even make the top 100 in the guidebook list.