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Squamish Night Climbing is a Thing

The coolest time of day to climb is at night, and it's also the least busy. On The Chief, many climbers are heading up multi-pitch routes after sunset

Photo by: ChiefCam.com

Squamish is busy. Over the past 20 years, the west coast town dubbed the “outdoor recreation capital of Canada” has boomed. Big condos have replaced quaint shacks and the beachfront has been developed into walking paths and shops.

All of this growth, plus the rise in popularity of rock climbing, has led to the once-quiet-Sea-to-Sky-pit-stop to become one of North America’s busiest warm-weather areas. Already this year, the campgrounds are nearly maxed and the climbing areas are heavily trafficked.

So, what does a climber do to avoid the 15-party-deep lineups on the classics, such as Calculus Crack and the Grand Wall? Well, climb at night. The other bonus to climbing at night is that you’ll miss the midday heat which is getting up to 35°C this week.

I’ve been climbing in Squamish for 23 years, and it’s only been over the past few that I’ve noticed an increase in the number of night climbers. They’re not hard to miss, as their headlamps can be seen along the best routes. If you plan to visit Squamish this summer, consider packing the headlamps, some extra batteries and a warm layer. Just make sure that if you’re going to climb at night that you’ve studied the route, know the way off and are competent at route finding.

Squamish Night Climbing
Climbers heading up Calculus Crack and Squamish Buttress at 3 a.m.
Lead photo: ChiefCam.com