With the weather getting warmer and dryer, I have been very fortunate enough to be invited out again this weekend (3rd weekend in a row) to do some trad and sport climbing at Squamish.
Being able to go out and climb at such a varied and amazing venue, I believe that by the time my partner comes here for a visit hopefully this Summer/ Autumn, and before the climbing season finished, I will have more knowledge and confidence to start planning our own little projects and adventures on the rock. It’s one thing watching loads of YouTube videos from mountain guides on how to stay safe and what to do when something goes wrong or reading literature on it, but being able to practice these scenarios is going to make me feel more at ease when climbing knowing what to do in different scenarios.
This time around, my climbing buddy took me on to the North Apron, at the West side of The Chief in Squamish. We did a lovely 6 pitch South Arête which is a classic to start with.
Since I haven’t been crack-climbing like that before, it was great using and figuring out new techniques, especially for my footwork, which helped me a lot feeling more stable. I must say, my toes absolutely hated me by the end. Every next step on or in the crack was painful lol. My buddy did give me some good tips which I have been trying to remember to use, but sometimes you just go with what your body is telling you to do right.
The main thing I have learned from this is trip is that I can’t keep using DIY crack climbing gloves, need to invest some money into buying a proper pair I think 😀
Below are some pictures from the Squamish guidebook that was gifted to me. not long ago. You can see a small part of the Apron and the routes around the north side.
Parking at the Chief is large and there are few different parking lots closer to different crags. The one we went to was Apron Parking Lot, located within a few minutes walking distance away from the crag. Very convenient but with limited spaces as many climbers and hikers are coming around this time. It is always good to get in as early as you can.
The Chief stays in shade in the morning and afternoon, whereas when we were climbing at The Apron we started to catch some nice warm sun later in the morning. Also the higher you go the dryer and grippier the rock is. I must say, granite here overall is super grippy, any shoe will stock I think. There are some polished places from weathering I’m sure, but overall it’s been super nice. I think I tryst my feet a bit more on this rock 🙂 I think if it was limestone my feel would not jam as well as they did on granite.
Here are some pictures from the day.
After finishing South Arête, we have abseiled down a very long way on the east side of the Apron. I guess it was then my turn to do some leaving so we headed back to Smoke Bluffs. We ended up just staying at the car park crag, where I have practised some crack climbing leading. The routes there are fairly easy and great if you are a beginner. Loads people go there to practice or take new climbers on for some easy and fun stuff. Ended up leading 3 routes I think, re-done 2 on a top rope, and did one more sport route on top rope. I didn’t really note the names of the climbs but I think it’s definitely worth giving that small crag a go if you are visiting. It is literally based to the far left when you enter the car park for the Smoke Bluffs.