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Canada’s First V16 and the Squamish Scene

Gabe Lawson, who established The Megg V16, recently sat down for a lengthy video interview with Squamish's Climb On Equipment

Photo by: Jacob Hoffman

On January 23, Squamish local Gabe Lawson sent his long-term project, naming it The Megg and assigning it a grade of V16. The problem is located on the backside of the Space Monkey boulder in the popular area The Farm in Squamish’s North Walls. At V16, The Megg is the first of the grade in Canada.

Lawson recently sat down for a nearly 40-minute video interview with Squamish’s Climb On. Lawson and interviewer Fil Jopek discuss a wide range of topics including Lawson’s trad climbing roots as a teenager, his knee injuries and recovery, The Megg, and his dream climbs. Lawson’s also gives his thoughts on Squamish’s hardest projects, young crushers Lucas Uchida and Ethan Salvo, the practice of closing projects, downgrading, and the intricacies of climbing hard on Squamish granite.

Until his send of The Megg, Lawson had been a quiet, low-key figure in the Squamish scene. Most of his previous big sends have gone unreported in the climbing media, and climbers outside of town were unlikely to be familiar with him. We interviewed Lawson shortly after he sent The Megg, which you can read here. Climb On’s video interview serves as an excellent follow-up to our initial reporting.

Lawson, 29, is originally from Victoria, BC. He lives in Squamish and works in web design. He’s not a pro climber and he doesn’t have any sponsors. Throughout his climbing career, he has sent many hard routes and boulders in Squamish.

As a teenager, he climbed Sugar Daddy 5.14a, a very spicy trad route in Murrin Park. In 2022, he made first ascents of Tim’s Sloper Problem 5.14b on the Big Show in Chek and Young King Dave 5.14c in Paradise Valley. He also made the likely second ascent of Working Man 5.14b on the Cacodemon. Before sending The Megg V16, his hardest Squamish boulder problem was The Singularity, which he climbed from first ascensionist Tim Clifford’s original start.

V16 and More

Lead photo: Jacob Hoffman