Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Travels III - Squamish Days

Toby in Squamish 
Squamish moments- when people and ideas collide to create spontaneous awesomeness! Squamish moments happen all the time. For example, you're walking down the street and seeing your friends driving by. They flag you over, and then you're headed to a friend's house for a random movie and dinner night, a quintessential Squamish moment!

Here are a few of my favorite experiences I've had while in Squamish over the past six weeks.

Booby-Trapping Banana Peel

A barefoot banana peel booby trap night ascent! Marc-Andre, a Squamish local, and I climbed a route called Banana Peel (5.7) up the Apron at night and barefoot (because I lost my climbing shoes earlier that day...typical). Not that exciting, right? Think again! We put banana peels all over the climb after baking a bunch of banana bread. How fun would it be to climb banana peel with banana peels all over the climb, in the cracks and on the ledges! A few friends climbed banana peel over the next few days and said that other random parties enjoyed the pleasant surprises on route. TOTAL SUCCESS.

Party Wall of 'The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers'

Drew came up with the idea of bringing as many people as we could to climb a long lost ultra classic on Mt. Haybrick just behind the Chief and escape into a semi-alpine environment for the day. Drew, Jim, Ryan, Gwen, Clinton and I headed out there to party wall this hidden gem! This day was filled with lots of laughter and Jim's rendition of 'The wonderful thing about tiggers' song.
Too many people on the rope bridge

Ryan following one of the awesome pitches!

Blackberry Pancake Night

Inspired by Cody and Celene's blackberry pancake breakfast one morning and with a rest day ahead of us, Jim, Clinton, and I decided to go blackberry picking to make pancakes for dinner! For those of you who haven't been to Squamish, one of the many perks of care-free Squamish living is the massive abundance of wild blackberries in August- along the streets, by the crags, skirting the train tracks. We were able to fill two big containers and a large sand pail full of blackberries. Next, we got enough ingredients from the store to make 60 pancakes so everyone at camp could enjoy a pancake or two. Finally, the crux of the situation was making all of these pancakes. Not only did we add too many blackberries making the batter super runny, but we also decided to make a proper (full) PAN cake (get it?). Its pretty hard to turn over giant pancakes, I must admit. We aborted the massive pancake mission after about an hour, added more ingredients to make batter instead of soup, and were finally in business. After a pancake or two, we noticed that things were moving in them.

"Are those worms?" someone asked.

We didn't care. The heat would kill them and we'd get added protein. All the batter was used after a few hours of flipping, and the campground was stoked on the awesome blackberry pancakes! Squamish awesomeness.

The Crew 

Me heading up the Split Pillar

Sam on Astrologger, the coolest flare chimney!

I have been in Squamish for nearly six weeks now and it seems as if I was driving up the coast of Canada with Drew yesterday. Where does the time go? Slowly, we are all migrating to different places- some of us back to work for a few months, others heading to school, and many, including myself, are headed to the alpine, the Bugaboos. Another great adventure to be had!

My time in Squamish has been nothing short of amazing. I've been able to get on most of the routes I've wanted to do this season. I've had some success, some days where I was in way over my head, and other days of being completely terrified on apron slab climbs, but overall, I've had a blast on every route I've gotten on. My goal this summer was to become a well-rounded climber so I've spent time slab and offwidth climbing to learn and improve my technique, and I have noticed these improvements. What I've cherished more than the climbing here is the community of Squamish. Most of my favorite memories on this leg of the trip have been derived from random adventures, lazy days, and rest days. I hope to spend many more summers in Squamish crushing the gnar (lol), laughing a lot, and eating good food. Cheers to another incredible summer!!

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