Star Chek is one of the most-climbed routes on the Sea to Sky Highway, but the often-used rappel-approach has been closed due to safety concerns. Climbers will now have to park up the highway and hike in.
The three-pitch 5.8/9 was established by Ron Goldstone back in 1994 and 1995. Fellow Squamish climbers Sig Isaac and Kevin McLane then made the first ascent in 1995. McLane just updated the approach information online: “The rappels to the left of Star Chek have been removed, and the fixed hand lines across the base have gone too. The trail down to the climb has been significantly improved and takes just an easy 10 minutes, beginning from the north end of the large billboard.
“Walking down takes considerably less time than the rappels, with no risk of being hit by the stonefall that plagued the area. A ‘rappels gone’ sign has been posted at the south end of the parking lot. There is now only one start to the climb, at the toe of the arete a couple metres above the river. The lefthand start had evolved only because it offered a stance at the end of the fixed handline. The climb has now reverted to the original and best start. Note that the best exit back the highway is not the steep tree groove. Start up that line but exit left across an obvious slab to reach a good path that leads to the top with no fuss.”
The new approach will help keep climbers below safe from rockfall. Thanks to the local access groups for their continued hard work to keep climbing areas safe and accessible.