Every summer, climbers flock to Squamish in order to improve their skills, tackle certain projects, battle their demons and learn new skills.
As a relatively new climber myself, it can often be quite hard to find partners willing to mentor you and help you learn those necessary skills for climbing. Most climbers will begin indoors, and spend a few hours, days, weeks or years gaining the confidence and strength they need before moving to the rocks outside. But none of this indoor experience will teach you how to clean/set up an anchor, belay from the top or lead a multipitch climb. Time on the rock, good friends, and taking a number of courses in the climbing area can help you develop this knowledge.
Here’s a list of our picks for the best multi pitch (5.7-5.9) climbs for those just getting into this new challenge:
(Conroy’s Castle – 5.8 – 2 Pitches – Sport)
Image from RandomEdgePath
This was my first ever multi pitch lead climb and it was perfect! The climbing was easy in itself, the moves flowed nicely and were a little thought provoking (occasionally causing some puzzle solving). As my first multi, I remember it was sometimes a little bit nerve racking, although the pitches were not crazy long, and the views of the Tantalus range at the top were breathtaking. Seconding this climb is just as fun!
(Cheakamus Canyon – 5.9 – 3 Pitches – Sport)
Image from OutdoorProject
This is a top 100 climb, and the crowds reflect this. This climb follows the arrete of a cliff and works its way high above the raging rapids on the cheakamus river. Pitch one and two involve easy climbing (around 5.7 level) where the last pitch is 5.9 and slightly run out). I recommend getting their early (I’m talking 7/8am) as crowds can cause panic, rushing, and easy mistakes for new multi pitch climbers. Also be aware that in order to access this climb, 4 rappels are needed to get to the river level.
Bulletheads – 5.8 – 2 Pitches – Trad)
Image from Gripped
This is one of my favorite (short, quick and beautiful) easy trad multis. It’s only two pitches long, and the crux of the whole climb is getting off the ground. Once you’ve places a few pieces, it’s smooth sailing and the views of the Howe Sound and mountains as you work your way out of the trees is staggering. From the top, follow a trail down to the left and avoid needing to rappel.
(Shannon Falls – 5.8 – 5 pitches – Trad)
Image from Jeremy Frimer
This is another really popular easier multi pitch climb in Squamish and after completing it, there’s no surprise why. All anchors are bolted, the climbing is varied, exciting and safe, and the views of the Howe Sound, mountains and valley is amazing. Check out the famous Shannon Falls on the way home and make a day of this climb.
(The Apron – 5.8 – 6 pitches – Mixed)
Image from Mount Baker Experience
One of the easiest and most varied climbs on the apron means it’s sure to be popular. While the crowds ahead of you can sometimes be frustrating, it’s a beautiful location to sit back, relax and enjoy being on the rock. There’s a mix of slab climbing and corner crack systems (with slabby feet) and some exciting unprotected traverse moves. I would recommend this for those looking to get part way up the chief.
Note: For an easy route up the entire chief, start on rambles (4 pitches of 5.7), move onto Diedre, then head up Butt lite (4 5.6/5.7 pitches and 2 5.9 pitches).