Photos: Fraser Britton
Author: Vikki Weldon
"I first visited Squamish in my early teens, fresh off a national youth climbing competition in Vancouver. I remember the summer heat radiating through the forest, and the feel of the solid, rough crystals of the granite boulders beneath my hands. The puzzlement I experienced while trying to decipher the smears and heel hooks of the Squamish blocs was nothing like the plastic holds marked by neon tape of my sheltered gym rat upbringing. While my first experience in Squamish was short, it most definitely was sweet.
Over the years, I learned why Squamish is an oasis for rock climbers. While the world-class bouldering was my introduction, it wasn’t long before my eyes widened before the superb sport climbing, and my heart opened to the stunning splitter cracks. Upon moving to Vancouver to pursue an education in nursing, I was a short hour ride away from the granite wonderland. I set my sights on hard sport routes at Cheakamus Canyon, tough boulders in the forest and educating myself in the ways of the trad climber.
Despite a passion for pushing my limits and setting my sights on aesthetic, challenging climbs, that isn’t what rock climbing is all about. My love for climbing is deep rooted in the joy I feel when flowing over rock in the beauty of the outdoors. Since moving to Squamish last fall, I am now minutes from experiencing that joy. A crash pad, bag of chalk, and a pair of shoes is all I need. The Squamish Grand Wall boulders host an immense number of stellar boulders, but the Black Dyke and Viper boulders are a favourite. Just off the main trail, this cluster of boulders hosts the perfect amount of fun, moderate problems that always manage to refill my joy-o-meter.
A smile always comes over my face when I walk up to the looming Summer Vacation (V0). Moving over the stone, treading through the pine needles between the circuit of boulders; Squamish Days (V0), Fried Ant (V0), American Gigolo (V3), Cheese Grater (V1), to name a few of my favourites. Always topping it off with Viper (V5), one of my favourite problems in Squamish. A few tough moves, classic Squamish squeezes and a bit of a treacherous landing gets my heart pumping and never fails to bring joy to my heart when I reach the lip. The bliss of moving my hands over these stones will never get old."
Check Vikki's athlete profile - here