Squamish Photos and Stories

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supafly

Trad climber
vancouver, bc
Sep 8, 2017 - 08:59am PT
Some more deets about the accident here:

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/climber-describes-partner-s-20-metre-fall-on-the-chief-1.3578449
frostback

Social climber
great white north
Sep 8, 2017 - 09:53am PT
RIP coco!
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Sep 8, 2017 - 01:06pm PT
The Les that I knew was no curmudgeon, but he was a lot younger then. Perhaps Tami's dog was the second, fifth or tenth unleashed dog he had run into that day.

He was definitely a "hard" person on the rock. Quite possibly the strongest rock climber in Canada at the time. For some reason he favoured a Euro-style chest/shoulder system for tying in.

I used to have a few Les stories, but now think that they were mostly made up by Big Jim and Tony C, to tease a naïve youngster who knew nuttin' 'bout electrics, carpet laying, steelwork or anything else important. And still doesn't.


Cheers, Les.
Cheers, Les.
Credit: hamie
Oplopanax

Mountain climber
The Deep Woods
Sep 8, 2017 - 03:04pm PT
That pic looks like Staircase, on the north face of the Sugarloaf at Murrin?

EDIT: could also be Hot Wire, the 10c to the left. Not quite sure. Needs MH2 pic in same pose to verify :D
MH2

Boulder climber
Andy Cairns
Sep 8, 2017 - 06:00pm PT
There is a gap in my coverage.

Mighty Hiker

climber
Outside the Asylum
Sep 13, 2017 - 04:59pm PT
Leslie (Les) McDonald: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/vancouversun/obituary.aspx?n=leslie-mcdonald&pid=186645809
bearbreeder

climber
Sep 15, 2017 - 02:45pm PT
Y duuuu whyte boiz liek eit loosay goosay

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

Da gapping maw uf darknezz swallows camz n whyte pholkz whole

Credit: bearbreeder

AZN princezz nadda impressed by loosay goosay

Credit: bearbreeder

I hear deres a new route u da aprun !!!

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

Plai bumpah kam fur 30 meterzz

Credit: bearbreeder

Whyte boi whyte boi whuddah u gunna duu wen da AZN belaying u goes hands free n taikz fotoz

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

;)
bearbreeder

climber
Sep 15, 2017 - 03:00pm PT
Speakang uf da aprun i dunno y diz dun get moah traffic

Credit: bearbreeder

Gotta klimb FAST 2 escape dem river sealz dat wanna eat AZNs

Credit: bearbreeder

AZN princez wantz snake soup

Credit: bearbreeder

Dey ulso wanna play slotz at da casino

Credit: bearbreeder

But ask AZNs 2 rock un n dey take napz

Credit: bearbreeder

Whyte gurlz duuu soh mucho yoga !!!

Credit: bearbreeder

AZNs kant maik whyte boiz crye fur merci

Credit: bearbreeder

Diz foto wuz taken wen pteredactylz still roamed da chief .... Really

Credit: bearbreeder

Went n did ai cordluzz lap un ai classik

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

At da top saw sum whyte pholkz mushang sume peaz

Credit: bearbreeder

Found miii ai rock seal !!!

Credit: bearbreeder

Credit: bearbreeder

;)
hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Sep 15, 2017 - 08:03pm PT
Sad to read about Les. Another Squamish pioneer gone. Les didn't climb very often, but when he did, he sure climbed hard. Both on the rock and in the mountains. He was a person with many different interests and abilities.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Sep 15, 2017 - 08:21pm PT
I guess the suspended sentence concerning starting a riot is now moot...

Les, we hardly knew ye !

hamie

Social climber
Thekoots
Sep 17, 2017 - 12:13am PT
After thinking about Les the last couple of days, I remembered this short story. Quite mundane, and not nearly as exciting as starting a riot. I know this story is true because I was there, and I think that Glenn was there too.

Les came from the UK, where local climbing clubs played an important part in developing the sport. Two well known examples, among dozens, would be the Creag Dhu and the Rock and Ice. The latter was unusual in that it had no rules, no huts and no fees. But it did have Brown and Whillans!

Les decided that Squamish needed a club. A meeting (the first and last) was held at Big Jim's house near the PNE, with about a dozen or so of the usual suspects present. There was hopeful talk of Yosemite, the Andes and the Himalaya. A name was chosen, the Kakademon Climbing Club (KCC), a president elected (most likely Les), and a small annual fee was collected.

And that was as far as it went. All talk but sadly no action. Mostly I think because everyone had their own plans and groups, and there were not enough local climbers to form a critical mass.

Several years later we decided to install a plaque at Squamish to remember Jim Baldwin. The fees from the defunct KCC were still in the bank (surprise!!) and came within a dollar or two of the cost of the plaque. End of story, such as it is.



Tami

Social climber
Canada
Sep 17, 2017 - 10:54am PT
That's a great story Hamie. After I'd been climbing at Squamish for a year or so I wondered why there wasn't a "rock climbers club". There was,after all, the ACC and the BCMC both of whom had robust hiking and mountaineering schedules.

And remember that Hugh Burton had Uncle Bens on the ACC trip list once !

The VOC at that time were doing zillion mile glacier travel trips.

And the SFUOC seemed to be concerned with their cabin at Whizzler.
( IIRC )

But those who climbed at Squamish were unorganized - although I wouldn't go so far as to say disorganized :-D. I wondered why and I must have done so out loud because someone - I have no memory who - sneered the idea down.

Clubs were for old fogeys. Clubs were for those who had a permanent address. We didn't need rules - we had Morals And Ethics! Time spent organizing something like that would be time that was better spent climbing!

And if ya needed a newsletter or some such thing, the kids from Victoria had the Rock'n'Reefer that was typed up with photos cut and pasted on and then mimeographed surreptitiously and passed out by hand.

Anders can speak to this with more cogency then I can but I think the "Squamish Rockclimbers Association" came about when there was a real need for some kind of united voice in the larger non-climbing Squamish community.

I'm glad that the KCC monies went to the Baldwin plaque. That is such an extraordinary place to go and remember our friends.
Kalimon

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Sep 17, 2017 - 11:19am PT
Nice images bearbreeder! Awesome stories everyone.
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Sep 17, 2017 - 11:47am PT
After thinking about Les the last couple of days, I remembered this short story. Quite mundane, and not nearly as exciting as starting a riot. I know this story is true because I was there, and I think that Glenn was there too.

Les came from the UK, where local climbing clubs played an important part in developing the sport. Two well known examples, among dozens, would be the Creag Dhu and the Rock and Ice. The latter was unusual in that it had no rules, no huts and no fees. But it did have Brown and Whillans!

Les decided that Squamish needed a club. A meeting (the first and last) was held at Big Jim's house near the PNE, with about a dozen or so of the usual suspects present. There was hopeful talk of Yosemite, the Andes and the Himalaya. A name was chosen, the Kakademon Climbing Club (KCC), a president elected (most likely Les), and a small annual fee was collected.

And that was as far as it went. All talk but sadly no action. Mostly I think because everyone had their own plans and groups, and there were not enough local climbers to form a critical mass.

Several years later we decided to install a plaque at Squamish to remember Jim Baldwin. The fees from the defunct KCC were still in the bank (surprise!!) and came within a dollar or two of the cost of the plaque. End of story, such as it is.

And that's how I remember it, too. Les wanted a club similar to those in Great Britain, ideally with a club room (or a spot in a pub) where climbers could have a beer after a climb and share stories. But the beer parlours in Squamish weren't overly friendly to climbers (it was a logging town), and some of the climbers didn't drink beer (I know, I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true). And there didn't seem to be any compelling reason to form a clubs and, as Hamie said, there was no critical mass.

Not counting than the hike up the backside trail, the earliest club trips at Squamish might have been two successful ones put on by the BCMC: an October 1962 trip up the North Gully (led by me) and an October 1964 climb of the Acrophobes (led by Peter Thompson). These were attended not just by young climbers but by such relative old-timers as Dick Chambers, Paul Binkert, and Esther Kafer. And the VOC held sundry rock schools at Murrin Park in the early 1960s.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Sep 17, 2017 - 11:50am PT
So the rock-tossing belay training at Murrin Park was an old gig when I first came across it around '79? :-D
Tricouni

Mountain climber
Vancouver
Sep 17, 2017 - 02:02pm PT

Yup. Amazing how far back some of this stuff goes.
Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 17, 2017 - 02:30pm PT
And that's how I remember it, too. Les wanted a club similar to those in Great Britain, ideally with a club room (or a spot in a pub) where climbers could have a beer after a climb and share stories. But the beer parlours in Squamish weren't overly friendly to climbers (it was a logging town), and some of the climbers didn't drink beer (I know, I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true). And there didn't seem to be any compelling reason to form a clubs and, as Hamie said, there was no critical mass.

In the early-to-mid 70s, when I discovered climbing and Squamish (simultaneously), the club existed with all the attributes above, except for one thing: there was no "club".

The two pubs in Squamish were friendly enough to climbers by then, but – more importantly – they were in Squamish and the climbers were in Vancouver. So, while a beer in the Chieftan or the Squamish Hotel was often on the menu at the end of the day on Saturday or Sunday, the weekday pub night that the clubs in England centered around developed as "Wednesday night at the Cecil".

I never met Les, and, as far as I know, Hamish and Glenn were no longer climbing at Squamish when I started. Likewise, most of the Squamish Hard Core had graduated to Yosemite and/or real life. But there was a core group of ex-Brits, sort of centered around John Howard, who missed the climbers-night-at-the-pub tradition they'd left behind.

I'm not aware that any of them missed clubs, but they did miss the pub thing, and my introduction to what climbing was all about – no, not the climbing itself, but everything else – was Wednesday Night at the Cecil.

All things pass. The Cecil reinvented itself as a strip club and our Wednesday night moved to The Yale. But it wasn't the same...

I sure do miss John.
Tami

Social climber
Canada
Sep 17, 2017 - 03:29pm PT
I thought the "Weds Pub Nite" started at the Jolly Alderman - next to city hall on Cambie St. Somebody would have to elaborate why it was changed to the Cecil but, as David notes, when the Cecil became the Sleezil peeler bar we may have tried The Yale but it didn't last long until we all moved to The Ivanhoe - or as Jim B said "IvanHole" :-) . That would have been around '81 or so ( again, someone else can illuminate that past ) .

There was a server, Iain, who seemed to have that Weds nite shift and served our beer loads. He was a really nice guy. The pub was fairly quiet - the gangbangers and scary biker dudes were at the American up the block towards Chinatown. But the Ivanhoe seemed to gather retired longshoremen and other old lonely guys looking for a pint. They ignored us.

Expo '86 killed it. Parking became pay-for-play or non-existent and very few rode bicycles to the place. Also significant was a few of the chaps had family and that took them away. And others had seasonal jobs that took them outta town for periods of time.

When Expo closed, we had a few half-hearted attempts to revive the Weds Night Pub scene for climbers but it failed. End of an era, I guess.

Ghost

climber
A long way from where I started
Sep 17, 2017 - 04:43pm PT
You're right -- Ivanhoe, not Yale.

But the venue really didn't matter. The time had come and gone for that part of Squamish climbing.
Jim Brennan

Trad climber
Sep 17, 2017 - 05:00pm PT
The real change was people drinking less alcohol, actually training to climb (climbing gyms) and eating healthier foods more often. Fatty foods and lots of drink were the domain of our ww2 or slightly post www2 parents.

Now we can't figure out how to pay for schools and bridges with a healthier population avoiding sin taxation and living into longer low tax, retirements.
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