I like lists. To-do lists. Book lists. Shopping Lists. Bucket Lists. Check lists. Wish lists. You could say that being list-less would make me listless. Recently, a friend asked me to recommend my favourite Squamish boulder problems from a variety of grades. Sounds to me like she wants a LIST! Now, I’m not normally one to get hung up on grades. Everyone knows they are completely subjective and what feels like a v2 to you might feel much harder to me and vice versa. In fact, I’ve recently been petitioning to change all the grades in Squamish to v4 - we could call it the Fourrest! This has yet to catch on, so if I must make a grade based list…well here goes!
V0 – 28th Place
Disclaimer: this one may have jumped the queue because I only recently discovered it. Everyone’s favourite problem is the one they just did. It’s got comfy holds and feet right where ya want ‘em. It also features a nice flat landing – a real rarity in Squamish.
V1 – Bob Barker Cut My Dog’s Nuts Off
As Squamish Local Andrea Smith once said to me “V1 in Squamish is a total bullshit grade”. I’ve travelled for climbing a lot and have thoroughly enjoyed the V0s and V1s I’ve encountered in places like Hueco, Joes Valley, and Stone Fort. V1 outside in those areas feels like V1 does in the gym. V1 = VFun! That’s not the case in Squamish. More often than not when I venture up a new V1 in Squamish I find myself cruxing out on an awkward mantle or frantically looking down into a death trap landing as I yell for anyone to please bring over a pad. Bob Barker is just like that, but at least it’s fun. This one comes with the added bonus of having jugs like a milkman and feet like a clown. It’s my favourite of many gems on the Black Dyke boulder.
V2 – Slingshot
Overhanging with actual holds and an easy top out? Not your typical Squamish boulder! This rock lies close to the main trail, so it’s easy to swing by for a quick lap.
V3 – Tyler’s Dihedral
This one is found in the North walls slightly off the beaten path, but is worth seeking out. I think it’s pretty rare to find a boulder problem that people of all heights will love, but Tyler’s is a total crowd pleaser. Added bonus for the 5’2” and under crowd: double clutch dyno for the win. What’s not to love about that?
V4 – Skin Graft
Techy, subtle, and smooth – it has everything I like in a boulder (also, everything I like in my peanut butter, but that’s for another list). It’s often said that there is nothing harder than Squamish V4. Skin Graft will show you why.
V5 – Space Monkey
Good holds, fun movement, and just the right amount of thuggy. This was the hardest one for me to choose – Squamish has a lot of really good fives! Ultimately, Space Monkey won out for the double heel hook. Ya gotta full body bear hug that boulder! (Just like a monkey would if it were on the outside of a spaceship without a suit.)
V6 – Minor Threat
Maybe the only v6 is Squamish that isn’t sand bagged? I think there isn’t a single move on this harder than v4, but also not a single one that’s easier. Sustained climbing and located right next to my favourite warm up circuit - It’s my go-to next level warm up.
V7 – Ramen Raw.
That pinch, tho! In the land of lip traverses Ramen Raw is a real stand out. What can I say? I like fat pinches and I cannot lie.
V8 – Tatonka
Pre break this was a great problem. Post break it’s fucking fantastic. You aren’t gonna thug your way through this one anymore – it’s got technique for days. Toe hooks, knee-bars, and drop knees, oh my!
V9 – Resurrection
Great movement, good landing , and just tall enough to be exciting. The victory jugs at the top are also a welcome change of scenery from the usual pant-pooping mantle Squamish is known for. This is my absolute favourite on the list.
V10 – No Troublems
I used to call this My Never Ending Troublems. Climbing like a gym problem it is my anti-style, but is sooooo much fun. Plus, I got to learn how to fist-jam.
That’s it for my list. If you are in Squamish this summer I’ll join you on any one of these. Now I wanna see your list!