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Grand Wall Rockfall Affects Popular Routes, Stay Away

The Squamish Access Society is advising climbers to stay away from the Grand Wall for now

On June 27, we reported about a big rockfall event took place left of the Grand Wall on The Chief in Squamish. Luckily, nobody was in the area of the Grand Wall Base climbs, likely because of the record-setting temps that possibly caused the rockfall.

Squamish climber and historian Anders Ourom, said, “Sure hope this doesn’t result in a domino effect – there’s a lot more flakes up there, and the hot weather is probably a factor. Probably best to avoid the entire area – wall and on the ground – for the time being.”

The rock that collapsed was part of an A3 expando pitch on Ten Years After. It struck Genus Loci around pitches three and four. The granite block(s) then slammed into Merci Me and the base of the Grand Wall. Below the climb, around Apron Strings, tall trees were smashed, and large debris was scattered. More rockfall was heard around 10 p.m.

Big rocks have been falling off The Chief for hundreds of years, that’s why there’s world-class bouldering at the base. It’s unknown why rockfall events happened in the past, but this one is surely due to the extremely hot days the west coast is experiencing. You can read about how heat can cause rockfall here.

Earlier this year, a classic 5.8 pitch fell off The Shoe in Banff National Park, read about it here. In 2015, there was a huge rockfall on the North Walls of The Cheif, read more about that event here. Stay safe!