The Squamish Access Society (SAS) has posted on their website about a proposed via ferrata on Mount Habrich above Squamish, read the full news release here.
Habrich is an alpine granite peak that is accessible using the Sea to Sky Gondola near Shannon Falls. There are a handful of classic rock climbs, such as Life on Earth 5.10c and Escape Velocity 5.9.
The SAS notes they are against any via ferrata on Habrich and cited a letter by Squamish guidebook author and climber Kevin McLane saying, “Habrich is a unique mountain in southwest BC. A granite tower that cannot be climbed without ropes and some skill, an iconic peak on the horizons, but easy enough for modest climbers to get up.
“To open it up to the general public for entertainment will erase the core values that give Habrich its unique place in BC. That would be an irreparable loss, whereas a via ferrata could be put up in countless places where little harm would be done.”
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The SAS concluded with, “Our understanding is that a fixed equipment installation of this magnitude would require Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations approval. We recommend that this approval is not given.”
There are currently a number of via ferratas in Canada’s mountains, including one near the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, one in Whistler on Whistler Peak, one on Mount Nimbus in B.C., one in the Bugaboos on Trundle Ridge, one near Banff on Mount Norquay and one near Nordegg in Alberta.
The majority of the established via ferratas in Canada, such as the one on Norquay, are only accessible with a guide. More to come once information is available.