I’m just kidding about the title; it’s all about Squamish. Both, in the sense that this blog is about it, but also in the sense that it’s all about Squamish. Because Squamish is amazing. I don’t know i’ve said it enough times. Seriously. It is magic.
Okay. That one wasn’t Squamish. I found this photo by accident, realized that I quite liked it, but never posted for some reason.
And now - you guessed it - Squamish!
After a long and terrible winter, British Columbian climbing is upon us. And that is excellent. It brings all the people joy. For me, it’s not just about the climbing - and the climbing is world class - it’s the whole package: the walls towering above you, the forest, the town, the sound, everything. I cannot think of a more beautiful place.
But enough with the accolades; you came here to see climbing photos. And climbing photos you shall receive!
Climbing is a weird sport, if you’ve never been. Especially bouldering. Every once in a while Abby and I will have the conversation about ‘what are we even doing right now?’ Why do we climb this 15 foot tall boulder the hardest way possible, only to walk off the top?
I don’t know that there’s a good answer. But I do know that we’re getting better at it. Abby’s been rampaging and taking down old projects left and right. When we went out last (but i didn’t post because I am lazy), she finally took down her long standing project, Space Monkey (pictured above) and this past week has been dominating. I’ll come back to this.
I switched jobs recently. That’s not important. What is important is that they gave me the week of the 4th of July off. It’s pretty great, not gona lie. And of course Abby and I did, what you think we would do: we went bouldering for the week. In, yes, Squamish.
Everyone else went to Squamish too, though. So it’s not like we were special. I mean, we are, but not because - whatever. Don’t interrupt me. Where was I going - oh. Yes. What I meant was that we got to climb with lots of good people.
We met up with our friend Morgan who hasn’t spent much time in Squamish and we wandered around the woods ticking off classics that he’s never tried before. It’s cool to come back to climbs I’ve done long ago and have take for granted since, to see someone get excited about them, and work through all the intricacies of the granite features. I miss that feeling.
It’s interesting: watching Morgan have a fresh perspective on Easy Chair reminded me that I wanted to reshoot a photograph I made years ago. When Abby first did Easy Chair, I took a photo that I loved. In fact, it’s where I started to experiment with lighting bouldering. But Abby hated it. We had more than one argument about it, in fact. I thought it would be an interesting exercise for both of us to come back to that same boulder and apply what we have learned in the last two years: Abby climbing and me shooting.
I don’t know that it’s necessarily better, but it’s different. I don’t know; I like it. I think the new one is good. I don’t want to argue about the original. This’ll do.
Anyway. This went off the rails a little. What was I talking about? Oh right. So we were there for a week. I don’t know about you, but I can’t boulder every day for a week. Not at any level of intensity worth mentioning, at any rate. Squamish’s byline, or whatever, is ‘Outdoor Capitol of Canada’, and it’s no joke. We really were there to climb, but on a ‘rest day’ Abby dragged me out to do a hike in the mountains. It was lovely. Truly beautiful place.
It’s interesting how in a place seemingly so wild on a Wednesday shows the impact of human activity on the weekends. Aside from the trail being immaculately groomed, the animals were completely unafraid of humans.
I think that doing week long trips is the correct way to climb. Like, a week as the minimum. More is always welcome. There’s just a pace to it that’s more natural and relaxed. You’re not rushing from boulder to boulder to get all the things you wanted to do in before your 8 hour window closes. You can breathe and come back to find new sequences for a couple days in a row with zero rush. That’s how you send. That’s how Abby took down her most recent two projects: The Tugger and Crystal Method.
Wellp. That’s all i got. Thanks for bearing with me. Hopefully you are now more convinced than ever that Squamish is the ultimate dopness and you enjoyed the photos. If not, then not, I suppose.
Til next time.