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Squamish Rockfall: No Sign of Major Instability One Month Later

On April 19, Squamish experienced its biggest rockfall event in over 60 years and one month later, experts say the area is not in for any surprises.

The rockfall occurred on the north walls of The Chief around mid-day on April 19. Luckily, no one was hurt from the event, but it rattled the residents with its thunderous crash onto lower rock walls and into the forest. Dust rose from the coastal rain forest as granite crumbled and leveled hundreds of mature trees.

The aftermath of the Squamish rockfall and the downed trees.
The aftermath of the Squamish rockfall and the downed trees.

After the rockfall, the area was closed until a geotechnical analysis and report was completed by a Vancouver consultant company GeoPacific.

The rock that fell was about 20 metres wide by 15 metres high and it fell over 300 metres. It hit a lower wall and broke into smaller pieces.

Full Report Here

The report concluded that there is no major rockfall threat in the near future, but due to some leftover loose rock on the wall a company has been hired to do some moderate scaling.

Local climber, Paul McSorley, reported that days before the April 19 rockfall there’d been small rocks falling from the wall while he was in the area climbing.

According to the Squamish Chief, the scaling company said they are using crow-bars and picks to pry off loose rock while hanging on ropes anchored above. Many of the workers who are doing the scaling are local climbers.

Scaling took place on May 20 and will resume on May 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and trails in the area will be closed.

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