Squamish rock climbing
Squamish rock climbing is world renowned as the destination for granite rock climbing destination, with a variety of climbing options for all!
It is the stone that brings climbers to Squamish from around the world. The rock in Squamish is Granite, but it takes on many different forms in the Sea to Sky corridor, which gives different areas distinctive qualities. The variety of routes is what attracts climbers to Squamish, there are currently over 3500 routes and boulder problems in the corridor with more constantly being developed.
Single pitch cracks and slabs, sport climbing and endless bouldering are all available in Squamish for rock climbing enthusiast of all skills and preferences.
In Squamish the granite is compact and hard, with cracks and corners showing climbable lines. Tiny crystals protrude from the stone providing almost limitless opportunities for face climbing on lower angle slabs. The rock around Squamish has been smoothed by glaciers thousands of years ago, but in some locations you can find edges and flakes making steep terrain travel doable.
In the northern sea to sky region, on the way to whistler, the rock was not affected by glaciers and has been weathered and fractured to produce excellent gymnastic face climbing. The cracks and sweeping slabs of Squamish are replaced by intricate faces, steep, juggy walls and with the odd jaw dropping roof.
Squamish Rock Climbing Guides
A rock climbing guide is a great way to explore the 3500 plus routes in the Sea to Sky region and find the best route suited to your skills and rock climbing style. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, advanced who likes sport climbing, crack climbing, bouldering, single pitch cracks and slabs, sweeping multi pitch and technical vert climbing our guides can help you explore the terrain and improve your skills.
Rock Climbing Squamish Locations
With over 3500 routes with a current boom in new route development, it is difficult to cover all locations and routes. This is to serve as an outline for the different climbing locations in Squamish and the Sea to Sky. In order to climb the best route suited for your skills and levels we suggest that you go with a guide.
Squamishadventure.com will continually cover some of the best locations for visitors of all skills and preference. For a more detailed and complete list please pick up a copy of the latest Squamish Select available at Valhalla pure.
The Squamish Chief
This massive granite rock is a world class rock climbing destination, rising above the stunning views of the Howe Sound. The Chief is located approximately 7 kilometers north of Murrin park and two kilometers south of the entrance to downtown Squamish.
There are a variety of climbing routes & abilities on The Chief, however, due to the granite smooth friction slabs & usual assortment of cracks make up the majority of the features on The Chief. The Chief hosts single pitch as well as the hall mark multi pitch routes.
Murrin Park is a popular climbing destinations in Squamish, that caters to a variety of climbers with different abilities. Whether you are looking for steep, bolted sports climbs, or splitter cracks with gear placement you will find what you are looking for on the cliffs surrounding Browning Lake
Murrin park is located 9km south of Squamish, and 60 km north of Vancouver, directly off of highway 99. The parking lot gets very busy on a sunny weekend, and the gates close at dusk.
The cliffs around Browning lake offer great climbing routes. The Sugar Loaf and brunser offer quality moderates made for top roping. SugarLoaf is a popular climbing route, with a variety of crack and face routes. While Petrifying wall is a world class cliff that features more difficult routes than any other location in the sea to sky.
The Papoose- is located approximately 1km south of the chief viewpoint parking lot. The papoose is a large 150 meter high cliff with a stunning view overlooking the Howe Sound. The climbing routes are characterized by short multipitch routes which follow strong crack lines up the face.
Rock climbing is available year round in Squamish, located at sea level means we get limited snow in the winter and weather conditions are very moderate. The best seasons to climb are as follows:
Behavior in parks
The following rock climbing locations in Squamish are all located within the BC provincial parks, please follow the guidelines and code of conduct when visiting a provincial park.
Gear will be determined by the style of climbing in which you choose to participate, but here is a basic guide line for gear
This Gear and more is available at Valhalla Pure Squamish
A Guide to The Best Squamish Climbs
With over 3000 epic rock climbing routes in Squamish BC, it can be intimidating navigating the guide books for your perfect climb. We created this guide to give you an overview of some of the best climbs in Squamish BC. The following list of rock climbing routes is an overview for a well-rounded climbing experience in the core Squamish area. All climbs are 5.11a and under making them a great introduction to Squamish climbing. Some of these climbs are already Top 100’s, while others you may not have heard of. With more routes being developed every year, stay tuned to Squamish Adventure for more information on the latest developments in the climbing world.
Best Beginners Sport Climb – Zoe 10a
Located in Murrin Park this bolted route offers interesting and varied face climbing past 7 bolts in 23m. A must do while in the area, and very unique for the grade.
Best Intermediate Sport Climb – Pleasant Pheasant 5.11a
This top 100 face climb was originally climbed purely on gear, but is now fully bolted. Positive holds lead way to a pumpy finish. Located in Murrin Park this makes a great combo with Zoe.
Most Scenic – Skywalker 5.8
A varied and well protected beginner multipitch at Shannon Falls provides views overlooking Howe Sounds, as well as the Stawamus Chief. A short walk from the top of the climb will take you to a natural pool near the top of Shannon Falls where you can cool off before the descent. Several more challenging variations exist making this a climb to repeat.
Best Introductory Bouldering Bloc – The Cleans
At the northern end of the North Wall boulders lies ‘The Cleans’, a bloc of boulders with safer than typical landings for Squamish, a high concentration of V0-V2 problems, as well as many high quality intermediate problems. The forest is open and airy allowing the boulders to dry fast, while it’s semi-remote destination allows for a quieter experience than the Grand Wall Boulders. One can easily spend an entire afternoon without needing to travel.
Best Beginners Trad Single Pitch – High Mountain Woody 5.8+
A long pitch on The Malamute has excellent views of Squamish and Howe Sound. The 45m climb begins with the crux and eases off as you ascend making this a great lead for beginners. The route is well protected, and may also be split into two pitches for gear anchor practice.
Best Intermediate Trad Single Pitch – Hypertension 5.11a
This 15m climb located in Murrin Park is a classic test piece of wide-crack climbing in Squamish. Established in 1975, it has seen many names and will require cams up to 6”. Wear your jeans!
Best Slab Experience – Over the Rainbow 5.9
This fully bolted route is one of the easiest friction climbs up the Apron. 6 pitches of quality, sustained climbing with small runouts will keep you on your toes the whole way. Bring gear up to 2’’ to avoid runouts on the final pitches.
Best 1st Lead – Laughing Crack 5.7
This was not only my first fully gear lead, but also many others I know. The climb is easily protected with a standard single rack, has no run-outs, ledges or other objective hazards. The climbing is straight forward and blissful, often leading to uncontrollable laughter after a successful lead.
Best Mixed Bag – Chewbacca 5.10b
Located on Gobsmacking wall at Shannon Falls is one of Squamish’s newest multi-pitches including 3 pitches of extremely varied climbing from finger crack to squeeze chimney to committing moves onto ledges. Combine this with Skywalker for a full day of climbing at Shannon Falls.
Best New Multipitch – Sunset Strip 5.10d
This ‘mostly new climb’ ascends through 12 pitches in the Western Dihedrals, utilizing sections of classic climbs such as Millenium Falco and The Gauntlet creating a direct and diverse line up The Stawamus Chief. The route is a well-protected trad line with several bolts, great belay stances and fully bolted anchors.
For more information on these climbs please drop by Valhalla Pure to pick up the latest guide book or hire a professional guide to show you the best of Squamish climbs & help you navigate the amazing routes around here!