"...was climbing at the Gully area of Area 44 today and there is an active Ravens nest adjacent to Climb Warp and Sweet Transendite which I found while climbing Rocky Horror. The Ravens were actively defending their nest and were pretty agitated by climbers presence. A voluntary closure of the area between the Gully area from the "Marbles" climbs to Sideshow should be respected in this area for the foreseeable future."
This crag is popular with people who are new to/learning the sport. Please pass this information along to those who climb in the area but may not be aware of these types of access-related issues.
Regions - Squamish
A description is most likely not required; splitter cracks, long multi pitch routes, loads of bouldering and some decent sport climbing make Squamish world renowned for rock climbing. CASBC works with the Squamish Access Society to advocate for climbing in Squamish. www.squamishaccess.ca
The Stawamus Chief Climbers' Campground is normally open from May - September. Cost is $10/party/night. It is largely a walk-in campground, with no reservation system.
"BC Parks and a volunteer group of climbers have developed the below strategy to manage rock climbing in Stawamus Chief, Shannon Falls and Murrin Provincial Parks. The strategy will be used to direct management activities related to rock climbing in the three parks. It must be stressed that this strategy is site specific and will not be applicable to the situations found in many other provincial parks."
Effective today, the falcon closure has been lifted. All routes are open.
There will be an Adopt a Crag on Saturday, July 14th, in concert with the Squamish Mountain Festival. Meet at the Adventure Centre at 8am with gloves and a lunch. Lots of prizes will be had!
Falcons have been spotted nesting in the overhang corners above the Flats on the Grand Wall. The Grand Wall route is closed above the Sword to Bellygood Ledge. Please respect this closure. Falcon monitoring will continue and the closure will be lifted by July 31st.
A vehichle was broken into last week that was parked at the upper, middle parking lot. This is unusual as this parking area is close to the main climbing area.
Following the recent news of the proposed change to Stawamus Chief Park, the CASBC Board decided to review our neutral position on the gondola. CASBC was made aware of the proposal in June 2011. We studied the proposal and asked our membership for comment. Based on the comments we received, and since climbing access was not affected, we elected to remain neutral on the matter. We nonetheless lobbied the developers to include trails that would improve access to other climbing areas such as Mt. Habrich and Skypilot. We were accommodated but continued to remain neutral on the proposal.
We understood that the gondola would have to cross Stawamus Chief Provincial Park and BC Parks would have to address the issue. The proposed solution is to reclassify 2.36 hectares of the Park from Class A Provincial Park to a Protected Area to create a 20m wide right-of-way for the gondola. Obviously we would prefer the Park to remain as it is. However, the fact that climbing access is still not affected and negative feedback from our members has been limited, the Board decided to retain our neutral position on the proposal.
Finally the Chek access road is going to have some permanent repairs which should greatly improve the ability to drive the road. This coming Wednesday October 26 is the date the work on the Conroy FSR will commence, it is estimated to take 2 full days of work. The road will not be passable while the work is taking place, it would be best to not have any interruptions to the work (vehicles driving through) so it can be completed before the weekend.
Effective immediately the falcon closure has been lifted by BC Parks
As with Area 44, another party did some very hard work on improving the trails and belay areas on a very technically challenging piece of terrain.
In conjunction with the Squamish Access Society (SAS) and as part of the Squamish Mountain Festival, CASBC volunteers did an Adopt-a-Crag on the approach trail to Area 44. The work involved creating switchbacks and stairs through steep/slippery sections on the first half of the approach trail. Future work will be required for the second half of the trail and for the base of the climbs. Thanks to our sponsors, including MEC, Arcteryx, Metolius, and Cascade Designs.
A new proposal for a gondola in Squamish was announced yesterday. The proposed gondola would launch from the gravel pit nestled between the Chief and Shannon Provincial Parks, ascend through BC Parks, and top out at a forested shoulder west of Mt. Habrich. Information about the proposal is available at http://www.seatoskygondola.com/
Representatives from CASBC and Squamish Access Society (SAS) recently met with developer David Greenfield (GroundEffects Development Inc.; www.grndfx.ca) to learn more about the proposal. The developer is seeking support from the various interest groups (including CASBC) before deciding whether to move forward.
The gondola would have a number of implications for Squamish residents, the local economy, tourists, climbers, backcountry skiers and other interested groups. CASBC has yet to take a position on the proposal. The CASBC Board is interested in members' views. We are exploring the proposal thoroughly and will be meeting with the developer again in the coming weeks or months.
Regarding the loose block on Birds of Prey, the route is all clear. On Sunday morning, a team of Squamish climbers safely trundled a 4m x 4m flake, which had been sitting precariously atop the 2nd pitch of Birds of Prey. The block seemed to have wiggled loose and was resting gingerly on a straining tree. With a look-out on the ground and danger signs and flagging tape blocking the trails, the climbers trundled the block with minimal effort. The falling block took with it the supporting tree. All debris on the pitches below was removed. And bolts on climbs below were inspected and replaced where damage had occurred. The event was captured on video, which will be released soon.
Currently there is a very large boulder/flake halfway up the route Birds of Prey. Obviously use caution on this route. Apparently there is a plan underway to remove the boulder so be on the lockout for flagging tape or people trying to keep you away from the route.
Located a 20 minute drive north of Squamish, Chek is one of the busiest climbing areas in BC. It is predominantly a sport climbing area and includes over 100 routes, some of which are the hardest in the province.
Within the last year, after lobbying by us and the Squamish Access Society, Chek was given Designated Recreation Site status by the Provincial Government. The next step was to take some “ownership” of the area by the people who use it the most-the climbers. Last week, we signed a Partnership Agreement with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources -Recreation Sites and Trails Branch to manage the Chek climbing area north of Squamish. With this partnership agreement, there will be funding from the ministry to provide new outhouses and other infrastructure that we believe is required. In return we and the Squamish Access Society will be expected to watch over the area and make sure it is kept in a reasonable state for it’s users. This is a win-win for all parties and we be looking at other areas in BC that could benefit from such an agreement. If you frequent the area and have suggestions for improvements please let us know.
Europa/Crap Crags above pitch 3
• Millennium Falcon pitches 4-10
• Lower Black Dyke above pitch 2
• The Gauntlet above pitch 3
• Negro Lesbian
• Zorroʼs Last Ride
Closed until July 31, 2011
or until posted otherwise.
Please report falcon sightings to
BC Parks at
VIMFF Best of the Fest in Squamish. CASBC members get tickets for $10 on-line sales only www.vimff.org. Email us at email@example.com for the promo code.
In collaboration with BC Parks (Katy Chambers, Senior Park Ranger), CASBC organized 8 volunteers for a trail-building day at the base of the North Walls of the Chief. Below the walls was a rough or non-existent trail. After 6 hours of hard work, the crew succeeded in making a pleasant trail from the North Gully all the way to New Life (passing Astrologger, Alaska Highway, other routes, and much potential for future development). Thanks to everyone who came out and to BC Parks for their leadership. Also, a big thanks to Bean Around the World (Brackendale) for supplying the crew with hot coffee, and to MEC and Blurr for supplying "door" prizes!
BC Parks and CASBC are looking for volunteers for an Adopt-a-Crag---to help improve a trail to and along the base of the North Walls of the Chief.
Date: Sunday, October 17th
Meeting Location: Apron Parking Lot
Materials: The CASBC/SAS tool cache has plenty of clippers, shovels, and mattocks to go around. Come clothed for the weather.
Questions/Comments: Jeremy Frimer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Description of the Project: The North Walls are home to some of the great climbs of Squamish, including Alaska Highway/The Calling, Astrologger, New Life, Gone Surfing, and many others. The trail, which begins near the base of Angel's Crest, is in need of some maintenance. The goal of this Adopt-a-Crag is to both improve access to existing climbs and to encourage route development in this vastly untapped but high-potential area.
B.C. ACQUIRES LAND NEAR RENOWNED ROCK CLIMBING SITE
SQUAMISH – The B.C. government has reached an agreement to acquire almost 10 hectares of land adjacent to Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, West Vancouver-Sea-to-Sky MLA Joan McIntyre announced today.
“This is an important piece of land to the community,” said McIntyre. “Thanks to the excellent work of BC Parks and our partners, we’re protecting important wildlife habitat and recreation features, as well as the extraordinary views of Howe Sound and the Squamish River estuary for residents and visitors.”
The land, valued at $1.66 million and located on the west side of Highway 99 across from Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, is an important access point for rock climbers and provides good falcon nesting habitat.
The parcel was acquired from Malamute Holdings Ltd., a private development company, through a land exchange involving provincial Crown lands valued at $1.25 million, a $333,000 gift from Malamute Holdings Ltd. through Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program, and $81,000 from the B.C. government.
“Malamute Holdings Ltd. was pleased to work with the provincial government to complete this transaction and protect the conservation and recreation values of this site,” said Steve Miles and Paul Turner, principals of Malamute Holdings.
Legislation will be introduced by Environment Minister Barry Penner in 2011 to add these lands to the provincial park following First Nation consultations. The Stawamus Chief holds significant spiritual, historical and cultural values for the people of the Squamish Nation and is a rock climbing area of international significance.
“This is a local success story about working together to sustain healthy and dynamic outdoor spaces,” said Penner. “The Land Conservancy of British Columbia got the ball rolling on this land acquisition. Since then, with the persistent encouragement of MLA Joan McIntyre, the provincial government, and the private firm have worked together to find a way to protect this important site for future addition to the park.”
With the addition, Stawamus Chief Provincial Park will span 526 hectares.
“The District of Squamish is pleased we were able to help deliver a significant recreational amenity and natural gateway to our community into the public trust,” said Mayor Greg Gardner. “The addition of the Malamute lands to the provincial park will help foster a legacy of Squamish as a climbing destination and the outdoor recreation capital of Canada for generations to come.”
The B.C. government has invested more than $107 million over the past five years to improve park infrastructure and acquire additional parkland. Today, 14.27 per cent – 13.5 million hectares – of British Columbia is protected, more than any other province in Canada.
Since 2001, the B.C. government has established 65 new parks, 144 conservancies, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas, and expanded more than 60 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.9 million hectares of additional land.
On Saturday over 30 volunteers sacrificied their climbing day with some hard work at the base of the Chief. Work was done on the Apron decent trail, Apron-GrandWall connector trail, GrandWall-Bulletheads connector trail as well as trail/boulder maintenance in the bouldering areas. Special thanks to the Squamish Access Society, and ArcTeryx. There were great prizes from: Valhalla Pure, Petzl, Black Diamond, MEC, Metolius, Cascade Designs, and great coffee from Bean Around the World. Some footage is available at:
Trail Day During Squamish Mountain Festival
The Squamish Access Society and The Climber Access Society of BC are organizing a trail day during the Squamish Mountain Festival. The event is held in partnership with Arcteryx, Mountain Equipment Coop and BC parks.
What: a half-day of trail and boulder maintenance and garbage collection
Where: Apron Parking Lot, Stawamus Provincial Park
When: meet 9am Saturday July 17th 2010 for coffee, muffins and a briefing
There will be a post event prize raffle for all volunteers including the chance to win one of two crash pads!
Don’t forget to bring:
Sturdy footwear and gloves
Cell phones, sunscreen, etc….
The falcon closure will be lifted on July 9th, this date is subject to change.
June 11, 2010
Ministry of Environment
INFORMATION LACKING FOR GARIBALDI AT SQUAMISH PROJECT VICTORIA – Garibaldi at Squamish Inc. will have to provide more information on its proposed project before it will be eligible to be considered for an environmental assessment certificate. Environment Minister Barry Penner and Tourism, Culture and the Arts Minister Kevin Krueger made the decision to require additional information from the proponent after considering the review led by B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and other matters they considered relevant to the public interest. The proponent proposes to construct and operate an all-seasons resort consisting of up to 21,922 residential and commercial bed units, two golf courses, 25 ski lifts and 123 runs, a water supply system with five large dammed reservoirs, solid and liquid waste management systems, highway access and roadway development and power supply infrastructure. The proposed project would be located on the slopes of Brohm Ridge within the coast range of southern British Columbia, located near the southwest corner of Garibaldi Provincial Park, which is approximately 15 kilometres north of Squamish. Based on its review of the proposed project, the EAO was unable to adequately assess the potential for adverse environmental effects of the proposed project due to insufficient information provided by the proponent with respect to five major areas: water supply and hydrology, fish and fish habitat, wildlife and wildlife habitat, vegetation and water reservoirs and dams. The ministers concluded the information provided by the proponent was inadequate with respect to potential significant adverse impacts. The ministers did not accept the proponent’s proposal to provide additional information at the permitting stage, rather than addressing these matters during the environmental assessment as it would undermine the purpose and intent of the B.C. Environmental Assessment Act. The project did not trigger an environmental assessment under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. The ministers ordered that the proposed project undergo a further assessment led by the Environmental Assessment Office in accordance with the scope, procedures and methods specified in the order.
B.C. Parks has closed the following routes, effective immediately:
Europa above pitch 2
Millenium Falcon above pitch 2
Men Holding Hands above the first 5.12 pitch
Brothers in Arms above the first 5.12 pitch
Freeway above the 10c pitch traverse
Stone Free above the first 5.12 pitch
The Gauntlet above pitch 2
Supernaut above pitch 2
Planet Caravan above pitch 2
Cannabis Wall above pitch 2
Warriors of the Wasteland above pitch 2
The following routes are still open:
Men Holding Hands- the first 5.12 pitch
Brothers in Arms- the first 5.12 pitch
Great White North
Milk Run into Tantalus Wall
Last year, the rules at the Chief Campground led to tension and confusion. Recently, CASBC and SAS discussed the matter with BC Parks and the Campground operator to create a simpler, friendlier system.
For now, campground fees will be $5 per person per night and a self-registration system will be in effect. If this system works (ie doesn't lead to people not paying), the system may become a permanent fixture.
From the SAS Website, May 1, 2010:
New Chief Campground Rules
The SAS is aware of changes which occurred last year in the running of the campground at the Chief. In particular the payment regime, definition of “parties”, and mode of collection were altered to bring the park more in line with provincial policy. This was met with less than universal approval. The vast majority of users are climbers who arrive by various modes of transport (foot, car, bus, bike) and tying the definition of a “party” to vehicles has not been easy to understand or implement. The absence of a self-payment (replaced by early morning collection calls) has also been challenging.
In a meeting in July 2009, the SAS voiced its concerns about the changes, in particular what it meant to what until then had been heralded as a unique and welcoming environment for climbers around the world. Parks committed to a re-assessment after the “test” season was complete. The SAS appreciates that the park needs to be run in accordance with provincial government mandates, however would like to explore avenues to maintain a climber friendly and accessible environment.
The SAS is meeting, in conjunction with the Access Society (of BC), with BC parks and the new park contractor prior to the 2010 campground opening to explore ways that Parks can meet its requirements as set out by the province, and ways in which the payment regime can be modified to best accommodate the realities of the majority of users.
As of May 8th, 2010 there are no closures currently in effect.
The following from the Squamish Access Society www.squamishaccess.ca:
The SAS has continued to liaise with Parks on the 2010 Falcon Closure issue.
Parks has been monitoring a falcon presence on the Grand Wall to the right of belly good ledge but to date has not confirmed nesting behaviour. As a result, there are currently (as of May 8th 2010) no closures in effect. It is the evidence of nesting behaviour which triggers any closures. Climbers are asked to call 604-898-3678 ext 2221 with any information
Notice to Rock Climbers:
•Since the mid-1980’s Peregrine Falcons have been returning to nest in the Dihedrals Area. Climbers have observed a voluntary closure to protect the nesting falcons from disturbance. Following up on this effort by climbers, BC Parks places restrictions on certain routes from March 15 - July 31. Route closures may change pending peregrine falcon behaviour.
•Please report any observations to: 604-898-3678 ext 2221.
The annual closure program was recently discussed with BC parks at the Climbers Advisory Group established under the Climbing Stewardship Strategy. The discussions follow on the heels of concerns initially voiced to BC Parks by the SAS in a meeting held in June 2009, following the unprecedented closure of part of the Grand Wall route.
For the upcoming season, BC Parks is committed to work under an enhanced draft-monitoring program based on scientific data that comprises the following:
•starting March 2010, working with a wildlife biologist specializing in falcons, look for key indicators of nesting behaviour
•focus on traditional closure area since early indications don’t suggest a broader cast is necessary
•if nesting location is confirmed, communicate closure of affected area to climbing community
•determine approximate time of fledging, pull back monitoring but keep closure in effect
•monitor calculated fledging time and re-open any closures after fledging is confirmed.
Falcons have been observed by climbers this year, and that information has been passed on to BC parks.
The SAS would like to thank BC Parks for their continued engagement with climbers on this front.
Route Cleaning Dangers Stawamus Chief
Over the past few months, there have been a few extremely close calls where people walking at the base of the Chief were almost hit by debris from above. Climbers, developing new routes, had intentionally dropped the debris, but had not flagged the trails leading up the base with caution tape and signs. At of yet, BC Parks has no official policy regarding route cleaning. At this time, CASBC strongly suggests that route developers think carefully through the process prior to cleaning, regardless of the time of year or weather. Assume that people will be walking below unless they are specifically cautioned not to. To increase safety in the Park, CASBC suggests posting unambiguous signage and flagging tape on all the trails that lead to the fall zone.
These near misses are of great concern to CASBC and to BC Parks. Human life and the future of route development in Stawamus Chief Park are at stake; your cooperation is appreciated.
Genesis Wall is located just 50m from the parking lot, located below MilkMan Wall. Jeremy Frimer cleaned and added routes to Genesis Wall in 2009. The wall now has a mix of trad and sport routes: Genesis (10a), Geneside (10b), Keen & Able (5.8), Pseudo Buddhists (10b/c), and Original Thin (10c).
More info is available at http://www.squamishclimbing.com/squamish_climbing_bb/viewtopic.php?t=2409
Photos: Mandy on 'Geneside' and Nick on 'Original Thin'.
Our Annual General Meeting will take place on Sunday, December 6th at 7pm in the Howe Sound Inn and Brewing Company. Please attend if you can. Lots of great prizes and slideshows from Sonnie Trotter and Jason Kruk + more!
The Trail Day on August 15th was a huge success with some great work done by those who made the effort to come out. The base of Hoods In The Woods and Grand Larceny have been much improved as well as the approach trail from the parking lot. It was very hard work but everyone put in a full days effort to get the job finished. At the end of the day, the volunteers were rewarded with prizes from MEC,Black Diamond, Cascade Designs (MSR/Thermarest), Petzl and ArcTeryx. Also special thanx to Fraserwood Industries in Squamish for donating all the wood required.
Along with the Squamish Access Society, CASBC will be performing some trail/crag work at Rogue's Gallery. The belay stances and trails have fallen into disrepair and need some TLC. We are looking for volunteers! The plan is to meet at the Squamish Adventure Center at 800AM to carpool up to the crags. There will be some great prizes and good fun, so come on out and give a little back. Please email us if you are planning on attending so we can have an idea on numbers. Look forward to seeing you!
Saturday, August 15 - meet at the Squamish Adventure Centre
What: Squamish Mountain Festival Trail Day, Sponsored by MEC
When: 8am to 4pm Saturday August 15th 2009
Where: Meet at the Squamish Adventure Center; car pool up to rogues gallery climbing area for base building and trail delineation; (additional venues possible depending on turnout)
This is a great way to contribute some time to maintain access to the Squamish area crags, please come out and help.
*Bring appropriate clothing, footwear and gloves for trail work; bring your own lunch & drink (snacks and drink refills available on-sight courtesy MEC)
*Tools and supplies provided by SAS. If you bring your own tools, please mark them.
*Volly loot give-away at the end of the work
The Peregrine falcon closure has been lifted for all routes on the Chief.
A cougar or cougars have had aggressive confrontations with people in and around the Fern Hill area. Be aware and don't go in the area alone.
Let the fun begin!! The Squamish Mountian Festival will occur from August 12-16. Once again, you can expect great flims, great speakers and lots of fun. Go to : http://www.squamishmountainfestival.com.
CASBC and the SAS will be holding an Adopt-a-Crag type event on Saturday, August 15th. Many volunteers will be needed and there will be great prizes, so we hope you can make it!
Acesso Pan América / Accès PanAmériques
Access Pan America is the first ever campaign to keep climbing areas open and protect the climbing environment in all the Western Hemisphere. Just forming in 2009, it is a grassroots effort of individual climbers, climbing organizations and federations, outdoor clubs, and corporate supporters. The network will meet for the first time during the Squamish Mountain Festival, presented by ARC'TERYX , August 12-16, 2009.
Protecting mountains environments and maintaining climbing access is a growing problem throughout the Americas. In response climbers have organized in some countries, but in the majority of the Americas there simply is no organized effort to protect access or the areas.
Access to and conservation of the climbing environment for current and future generations is fundamental, whether to rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, or bouldering. Climbers from the North America and Europe have long explored all the Americas. Now, their numbers are strengthened by local climbers in almost all countries with mountains and stone. The surge of climbing in the North is spreading to all the Americas.
However, governments, private land owners, development, even war and banditry restrict access and threaten environments crucial to the future of climbing in the Americas. For example,
•Valle Cochamó, in Chile's northern Patagonia, is a alpine wilderness, and it may have some of the longest ice-free granite routes on earth. Cochamó is legally unprotected, and local utility companies have applied to dam the Valley.
•Northern Mexico is emerging as one of the best winter rock climbing destination in the world, a paradise of untapped stone. However, it is almost all threatened with development, claimed by various levels of government and usually at least one private owner.
•Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, with perhaps the most climbing rock, has more closed climbing areas than all the U.S. and Canada combined.
Where climbers have organized, they have learned that to secure the freedom to climb and protect sensitive environments require all the tools of advocacy, stewardship and conservation projects, grassroots activism, climber education, and, at times, land acquisition.
Moving right now is timely. The Western Hemisphere runs the organizational gamut from local climbing clubs to the the recently launched nationwide access organizations in Brazil and Canada, to the almost 20-year old Access Fund in the US and the well established British Columbia Access Society. A critical mass of organizations and interest exist to create local, regional, and national climbers access networks in most of Latin America.
Preserving or creating access to climb must be done by locally organized climbers and their supporters. Access Pan America hopes to be a network of resources, organizers, and communications to foster the process of local climbers organizations.
- Peter Winter
- Jeremy Frimer
- Eric Goodwin
- Paul Cordy
- Jamie Finlayson