Gripped - - NATIVE STONES - Jamie Fin­layson is one of Canada’s top all-round climbers. He is based in Squamish.

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

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