Photo Trip Report: Straight Outta Squampton™


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Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Mill Valley
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 30, 2005 - 06:44pm PT
Actually, I got back around 10 days ago, but just now got around to going through the pics.
In case you're wondering, "Squamton" is what many climbers call Squamish, BC.
Why do they call it this? Because there's an astonishing amount of brazen theft that occurs
there, even in broad-daylight in crowded areas. But It is not my wish to cast a bad light on Canada
or Canadians; hopefully these photos will give a feel how awesome the place is.
And I've never met a friendlier group of people anywhere!

{Note: The photos contained total just over 1 MB, which means 2 or 3 minutes on a slow dial-up like mine.
I have more summit-shots (especially cool sunset shots) that I will put in a different thread at a later time.}

First, there's no doubt that Canadian money is way cooler than ours:

On the left is a "Toonie", or 2-dollar coin. Next to the right is a "Loonie", the 1-dollar coin.
When I was there a US dollar was 1.21 Canadian.
When I first went shopping at the supermarket, I couldn't find the beer section.
I quickly discovered that you have to go to a special "Beer And Wine Store".
I went in and discovered that they had no micro-brews, and that a 6-pack of
Bud was $13.65 plus a general sales tax (GST) and a special Liquor Tax.
I decided that I really didn't need to drink beer on this trip, and my wallet
(not to mention my liver) thanked me.

Here's something you'll never see in the Politically Korrect US:

Here's the view of The Chief from near the Save-on Supermarket:

Here's a shot of The Chief from the Chamber Of Commerce downtown:

Squamish is a great little town, and as it's only 2 KM from the camping area, can be walked to
in 20 minutes or so. There's a great little spot called the Sunflower Bakery Cafe; they make
all their pastries and breads, and it's a nice place to chill:

As you can see, there's a perfect splitter hand-crack (cupped hands) to play around on.
Toward the top it narrows to thin-hands. I have to say, the mattress-people sitting around were duly impressed.
And in case you're wondering, I was too chicken to top out. However, I managed to get a gratuitous
heel-hook to show the mattress-people that it is indeed the Americans who wrote the book on "rad"...

Here's the view of The Chief from the back of the main parking lot at the campground:

Here's a shot of the Black Dyke route (5.13b) that goes up the Grand Wall:
Unfortunately, I couldn't find anyone who wanted to try to on-sight with me it in a one-day push,
So I had to settle for telling tall tales in the parking lot....

One day the low clouds or fog came in low and enveloped the Chief:

Seeing all the mattress-people heading for the forrest, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.
I found a killer, 5-star V0 overhang that topped out at around 22 feet.
Here's one of the locals taking a quick puff before doing the slightly scary top-out:

If you look on the left you can see another boulder with a great V1 slab.

Here's the view looking down on that boulder from right where I topped out on another
easy but technical 30-foot high-ball, which requires a scary mantle over a hideous landing:

Another day I went for a hike toward Shannon falls via the summit trail,
which is incredibly steep! The Canadians don't seem to believe in switch-backs;
everything is straight up. They build stairs out of granite blocks, and use ladders
on the really heinous sections. There's a sign at the start of the trail that says:
"This trail is not a walk in the park" No shit!

Here's a cool example of some of the trail work you will typically see:

Here's a great cold plunge I found on the way to Shannon Falls:

The water was !@#$%^& cold!

Here are some crazy roots that I came across:

Here's a shot of Shannon Falls:

Whenever I was hiking around, there were these strange plants everywhere that looked like blueberrys.
I later learned that they're called Salal. Whatever the case, I ate so many of them
during my stay that I'm pretty sure I was shittin' blue!

You gotta love the Canadians and their cool signs!

I hooked up with an Austrian Guy who was there with his family and wanted to climb.
We did some climbing at Checkamus Canyon which was pretty nice.
Here Axel shoes up before nonchalantly hiking a 11a, an 11c, and a 12a in rapid succession.
Unfortunately, I was knott so lucky...

Here's a pic of Axel racking up for yet-another 5.11+ gear on-sight at Murrin Park:

Gotta love the cig-smoking, 5.14-climbing Euros!

On another day I took a hike up to the top of the Chief via the ridiculously steep
Summit trail. Here's a shot of Mt Garibaldi from the 1500ft Chief summit:

Finally here's a shot of Mt Garibaldi at an opportune moment:

Edit 9/12/05: There is now a second series of photos, mostly of the awesome view atop the Chief:

Also I just added a Video Report™ of the fantastic Brohm Lake rope-swing to the forum,
which can be found here:


Trad climber
Aug 30, 2005 - 06:50pm PT
great tr and photos HK...

Social climber
Davis, CA
Aug 30, 2005 - 06:58pm PT
Nice pictures, and way to go on your heroic send of the pastry shop. Shoulda topped it out though.

PS--"Squampton" is part of the public domain.

Trad climber
Davis, CA
Aug 30, 2005 - 07:17pm PT
thats funny, almost half of my pictures when i went up there were the chief from various spots...

nice shots, makes me want to head back up there

Wasilla, Alaska
Aug 30, 2005 - 07:22pm PT
Awesome stuff! I always love the TRs that leave the majority of the talking to the pictures. Nicely done, and it looks like an awesome time.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 30, 2005 - 07:44pm PT
Good stuff, Knaughty!

Don't tell me you sent no trad when there...

And, for shame, no Cananadian malt beverage? Can't imagine you couldn't at least find something from the OV? No Big Rock? make it sound worse than Utah...


Brian in SLC

Hardman Knott

Gym climber
Mill Valley
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 30, 2005 - 08:14pm PT
Hi Brian –– long time no see! I did do a few trad routes.
The classic, awesome Exasperater, of course (in 1 pitch)
Rutabaga, The 4 pitch Cream of White Mice (with the 11a bolted slab variation;
we both fell at the same spot in the hot direct sun) and a bunch of other gear, mixed
and sport routes, not to mention a little bit of bouldering.
I regret not making it a point to do the Grand Wall route,
the ultra classic grade IV that goes at 11a –– even if I wasn't in shape to climb it all clean.
Next time!

I did have a beer now and then at the Howe Sound Brewery; Tues night was 1/2 off
pizza night, so I usually went down for that. But most nights I just crashed at 9:00
or 9:30, so I really didn't miss it much. And I saved a fortune!

Aug 30, 2005 - 11:44pm PT
Hardman Knott

That was a great trip report. I hate write-up trip reports but I love pictures as they speak better than those long winded rants.

Thanks for those great pictures ....... what a beautiful place.

Oh by the way on DSL this page with all your pictures loaded in 1 second.

Time to upgrade to DSL or Knott?

Aug 30, 2005 - 11:49pm PT
Nice stuff, HK. Thanks for putting it up.

Trad climber
novato ca
Aug 31, 2005 - 12:55am PT
nice trip, just a little than da beach. How was the beer?

Social climber
Joshua Tree, CA
Aug 31, 2005 - 01:38am PT
Nice stuff!!!

Big Wall climber
Crawford, TX
Aug 31, 2005 - 02:12am PT
That is my favorite place to climb. Nobody recognizes me there, they are too stoned to see straight.

By the way, their money may be pretty but it is so worthless it couldn't buy my jockstrap.

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful place. I'll have to put that on my list of places to invade and incorporate into the United States of America.
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Aug 31, 2005 - 02:48pm PT

Or as Wayne Gretzky's lips were seen [but not heard] to say when the Canucks finally won the Olympic gold in hockey, "F*ckin' A!" Ya gotta love a Merrican who "gets it", though you have to admit it does rather look like the States with all those golden arches everywhere.

Superb, brilliant, hilarious! Now you Merricans understand why we Hosers have such a damn hard time with your money, which all looks the same. You guys should try coloUr-coding yours, too.

I really really enjoyed reading that with the pictures. I'm working hard on my Tribal Rite photo essay, which I plan to post the day after LaboUr Day in order to whet your appetites. In the meantime I am off to Kentucky for some caving in Mammoth Cave. Stay tuned, most likely we will set a new world's record. More importantly, I can buy a 2-4 of cheap beer and bring it home. Man, the stuff's even more expensive in B.C. than it is here in Ontari-ari-ari-oh.

Great job, Dave! See yous in Yosemite in less than two weeks. Woo-hoo!



Trad climber
Sep 1, 2005 - 06:25pm PT
great shots , thanks about us canadians, I am pretty sure the pricew of beer at the liquor store is controlled the price u see is included the taxes no extras though if u buy other stuff at other stores there is a sales tax to be added, also u guys can collect your receipts from shopping and get the taxes paid refunded, but there is a minimum limit of expenduture.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Sep 1, 2005 - 06:55pm PT
very nicely done. i gotta go!

Trad climber
Gunks end of country
Sep 2, 2005 - 07:54am PT
Nice TR!
Canadian money is pretty. Plus in a bar you can have some fun asking people who that guy on the five is (or other bills). Seems like the only person on currency that Canadians can recognize is the Queen. (At least it was like that when I was there. :) Maybe it's just the folks in bars who don't know who these guys are.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 20, 2008 - 01:23am PT
You paid $13.65, plus GST and PST, for a six pack of Bud?

Someone must have seen you coming.

Nice report.

Social climber
The West
Jan 20, 2008 - 01:25am PT
so 'someone' baited the kid, just when he was doing so well
Messages 1 - 18 of total 18 in this topic
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