/ Canadian Trad
Just wondered about where the best spots for Trad are Banff/Whistler/Squamish?
Will be there for August so any info on best spots or any tips would be much appreciated!
Ideally i dont want to lug all my trad gear out there but if the trad is awesome i will do!
August is a good time to climb in Squamish, and the Pacific Northwest in general. The PNW is basically a temperate rainforest, and so the season is short by UK standards.
Whistler and Squamish are practically the same area. The good trad is centred around Squamish town though. Lots of alpine routes to be had around Squamish too of reasonable to very good quality.
As far as Banff goes (the Rockies), there's an amazing area called the Bugaboos which is in the Purcell Range. Big trad in an astounding apline environment, August is perfect. Apart from that, you're better off in Squamish for trad, although I haven't explored extensively yet.
More details from a post I wrote recently:
Geography is important here. The Coast Mountains in Canada and the Cascades in Washington are part of the same E/W watershed - wet side is west (temperate rain-forest), dry side is east (semi-desert). Visiting wet side crags before July / after September is risky weather wise, you could lose half your time. The east side is climbable all year round, but can get hot in summer. For my money, the best crags are on the wet side.
Within reach of Vancouver (with minimal approach) with driving distances from there:
Squamish Area - Canadian wet side - 1 hr north. Lots of cracks, single pitch to all day. Not much below VS. 'Squamish Select', Marc Bourdon (2012).
Skaha - Canadian dry side - 4 hours east. Gneiss trad and sport, soft grades, good vibe. 'Skaha Rockclimbs', Howie Richardson (2012).
Leavenworth - Washington dry side - 4.5 hours southeast. Similar to Skaha, but better. Another hour east is Vantage, popular sport venue, never been. 'Leavenworth Rock', Viktor Kramar.
Washington Pass - Washington dry side - 4 hours southeast. Easy access alpine, not been yet.
Washington wet side has lots also within easy reach of Vancouver, mostly minor, but notably Index (4 hours southeast) is amazing, but very limited below HVS, and its Granite. Falcon Guide - 'Washington'.
Smith from Vancouver is about 7-8 hours I think. Smith is great, better for Sport than Trad, on the dry side but hotter than Skaha or Leavenworth in Summer (its in a kind of sheltered bowl). Falcon guide 'Smith Rock State Park'.
May be worth hiring a vehicle to get around the various crags,or to escape to other venues if the rain sets in.Awesome routes.Be sure to wear a helmet,as pebbles can fall 400 metres...
Good climbing shop in town and the library has net access.
Wise up on bear awareness.
People that ignore their own threads... Kind of gets on my tits a bit.
If you're interested in the Canadian Rockies you should look in to flights into Calgary. Its under 2 hours to Canmore, the prefered base for most of the limestone peaks. Look up Yamnuska, Rundle, Mt. Louis, Castle Mtn, etc to see of you're interested in doing longish limestone. Some is very good. Nearby Lake Louise has a quartzite crag with trad and sport that is exceptional. There is also a lot of limestone sport around Canmore, e.g. the Ghost River. Lots of limestone in general.
The Bugaboos would be within easy enough range from Canmore, though you're relocating a couple/three more hours away to the west. August can be wet though, and if so I would rather be in Canmore than in the Bugs.
Alternately, you can reasonably drive from Vancouver across BC to the Bugs if you're only into granite.
I wasnt ignoring your post btw i just havent been on here since, cheers for the advice anyway!
As someone said, bear awareness and look out for the cougars, not the older female version!
My mate lives up in Grassi ridge, not far from Canmore town centre, and they have a big pylon clearing/wildlife walkway running out the back of his house and last time I was there in summer, there was a resident bear for 3 months, kept coming in his garden!
> I wasnt ignoring your post btw i just havent been on here since, cheers for the advice anyway!
Cool. See you at the Chief campground then, where I'll be part of the furniture in August.
You could get lucky, but the odds are against you, especially on the chief. Smoke bluffs or sport at area 44 both dry quick with a breeze though.
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