I was looking forward to this trip since the last time I was in Squamish. That was the summer of 09' when I was there for the Squamish Climbers Festival. Flashed organizes a Dyno Wall competition so I was there mainly for work and a little bit of play. It mostly rained my week there, so my time (5 hours) under the chief was a tease.
This year, however, I had 9 days full of bouldering in the forest and Paradise Valley. With my girlfriend and friends that were there for the summer or visiting on trips of their own, our aim was to get on as many boulders as possible and top out. There were no grade chasing but just finding asthetic lines to climb.
I tried some of the classics to varying degrees of success; Easy Chair, Titanic, It's About Time, Sloppy Poppy, Boba Hari Dass, etc. It took a while for my skin and hands to get used to the Squamish granite, bouldering in Alberta Rockies is a challenge for sharp crimps and pockets so it was a change going to slopers, pinches, and mantel top outs.
While I tried to boulder all day every day, I did get the chance for other fun and unexpected adventures. My friend Ben took me on my first trip up the Chief on Calculus Crack Direct, a 3 pitch trad line. It was an epic climb; we got caught in a huge downpour on the 2nd pitch and while this was happening I was trying to get our rope untangled from a flake below my belay station. After 15 minutes of rain and rope wrangling Ben was able to reach the next station and I was able to slog my way up a mini waterfall crack system. Needless to say, I was very happy to finish the climb but would do it again in a snap.
A boating trip with some water skiing was in the cards as my friend Michelle's parents live in North Van and we were fortunate to have dinner with them and have her brother take us on the water. The coolest part (aside from the frigid water) was swimming with hundreds of jellyfish. Skiing outside the wake on glass water, you could see tons of them speckled everywhere.
It was difficult to leave but I was looking forward to getting back to work. I believe that is the sign of a good vacation. But I think it was more about meeting people that are completely psyched on bouldering and climbing that left me inspired and motivated to keep developing and innovating Flashed gear.
If you haven't been to Squamish, make it a priority.