Summer in “Squish”

We’ve settled in to our current temporary home outside the coastal town of Squamish, BC. Or as we’ve affectionately come to call it – “Squish”. With several days of cloudy, rainy weather that seems to describe the landscape of the Pacific Northwest quite well—a groundcover mud, moss, roots and pine needles that takes on a permanent moistness being in constant shade under towering pines. But you sure can’t beat the wonderfully fresh, piney air that results. And after a few days the clouds parted and we could finally see the beautiful mountains surrounding us.

There’s a view out there…somewhere!

We’ve found some creative ways to entertain ourselves while it’s been raining. We join the rest of the fleece-clad crowd at the comfortable, friendly local library to bum the Wifi. We’ve had some wifi issues on this trip with our normal library stops being unreliable. Previously we’ve gotten on-line everywhere from a Jiffy Lube to a Safeway store to the Laundromat.

We’ve watched movies in our tent, soaked our muscles in the hot tub at the community pool and consoled ourselves with large quantities of Nutella. (found here in a large size jar under Walmart’s “Great Value” brand…to our amusement)

Our campground is nestled in the peaceful forest at the base of The Chief, the granite cliff that presides over the valley, reminiscent of Yosemite’s Half Dome, attracting climbers from around the world. This climber’s camp is a hybrid – with walk-in sites that are more spacious and private then Camp 4 (thankfully, we were blessed to snag one of the more secluded ones) but with less amenities than you’d expect at say you’re typical state park campground. Sites are basically limited to a tent pad but there are plenty of communal picnicking areas available for the young, social crowd.

Above the noisy, dirt-bag, “what are you twelve, where are your parents?” crowd, sits the reason we came here—trad climbing on granite.  Perfect cracks lead the climber up granite walls high above the town of Squamish.  Great vistas and excellent climbing creates smiles from ear to ear and some sore feet and hands as well!

This week’s Ticks

The Bulletheads. Cream of White Mice and Xenolith Dance – COWM had an OK first pitch, rest was unmemorable. XD was slabby fun, first pitch had some nice underclings and crimps, second was pure friction.

Cheakamus Canyon. Slipped in a couple nice, long, well-bolted sport routes in the evening once the rock had time to (mostly) dry after morning showers.

Pappoose, Hairpin. Fun, varied route.

The Squaw, Birds of Prey. First 2-3 pitches are really aesthetic cracks. Upper section is OK- pretty dirty. Nice views.

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