rock climbing in Squamish all but stops during the coldest days of the year, all except for keen boulderers willing to deal with numb fingertips. Next winter, make a plan to head to the West Coast, not for the shirts-off cragging, but for the chilly sessions. Cold winter bouldering isn’t for everyone, but it’s what many coastal boulderers dream of. Warm your climbing shoes up at home and don’t leave them in your car overnight. When you pull up to the parking lot, put them inside your down jacket. They will be toasty warm at the rock.
Put hand warmers in your chalk bag. Warm chalk can feel nice on cold hands.
Put your gloves on when spotting or in between burns.
Aggressive arm swings will push the blood back into your fingers and warm them up before your next burn on your project.
Using a cordless leaf blower can help clean off snow from boulders and any organic matter that has dropped down from the trees above from the fall.
Keep a towel nearby to dry off your climbing shoes if you happen to step in some snow or a wet patch. You don't want to make the boulder wet. Keeping wet shoes off of your crash pads is key.
A small propane heater can be useful to warm cold feet and hands.
When it snows, you will want to head into the forest and remove any snow from your project as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to have the snow melt and then freeze. Alternatively, people have been known to set up tarps over boulders to keep them dry.
Most importantly, as always, make sure the top-out and down-climb are properly cleaned and safe. Falling off boulders is not fun unless there is a lot of snow.
Left: Luke Zimmerman Shelter V13 on Bottom: Mike Foley on Serpent V10