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10 Must-Climb Smoke Bluffs Trad Routes

If you're visiting Squamish this summer, these routes are a great place to start

The many cliffs of the Smoke Bluffs are some of the busiest walls in Canada. Thousands of climbers visit the short granite crags near Squamish every year. They’re easy to access and have dozens of world-class cracks. There are well over 400 routes on more than 25 walls. They range from vertical 5.9 cracks to 5.13 slab test-pieces. There are finger and hand cracks, off-widths, corners and everything in between.

Before a fire in the 1950s gave the area its name, the bluffs were known as Bughouse Heights. The term “bughouse” was commonly used to describe an asylum and the Smoke Bluffs were popular for squatting lumberjacks. The granite is granular and can provide good friction in the right conditions. While there have been many newly bolted routes added over the past few years, the majority of climbing requires a rack of gear to about three inches. Many of the climbs have bolted anchors that make top-roping easy. The following are 10 classics at the Smoke Bluffs.

Neat and Cool is a must-climb 5.10a that tackles a steep face and crack. First climbed in 1979, it has been the scene of many accidents.

Neat and Cool. Photo by Brandon Pullan

Burgers and Fries is an ultra-classic 5.7 on a wall with a few fun routes. The big slab is one of the more popular areas at the bluffs.

Easter Island is a funky looking 5.8 crack close to the Loggers Lane parking area. After a steep move, climb good jams to a fun upper crack.

Penny Lane stands out from other routes at the Penny Lane wall as it is an obvious looking classic. There is a low crux and the upper crack is good to learn technique on.

Penny Lane. Photo Brandon Pullan

Pixie Corner is short and burly and one of the more popular 5.8s at the bluffs. It climbs two splitter cracks and has a small roof to climb past.

Quarryman is a classic 25-metre route at the Penny Lane Wall. It climbs a fun corner and offers good protection. There is a 5.10 direct finish.

Mosquito is the first pitch of the Smoke Bluff Connection and a good warm-up to the bluffs at 5.8. A few balancey moves with good jams.

Mosquito. Photo by Brandon Pullan

Octopus’ Garden in the Shade requires a bit of a walk, but offers some of the most splitter 5.8 climbing in the area. It has one short awkward section.

Wonderland is the final pitch of the Smoke Bluff Connection and can be accessed from the Pixie Corner area. The position can’t be beat and the traversing crack is one-of-a-kind for the bluffs.

Flying Circus is left of Neat and Cool and climbs a thin splitter up a blank-ish wall. On hot days, the polished holds make it feel harder than 5.10a.

Flying Circus. Photo by Brandon Pullan