Notes from the Top
Squamish Rock Climbs
A new comprehensive guidebook arrived in Squamish this summer. Squamish Rock Climbs by Kevin McLane and Andrew Boyd covers some 2000 routes in Squamish and surrounding area. In addition to serving as a reference guidebook, the work aims to foster an appreciation for the bigger picture and history of Squamish climbing. It includes stories written by prominent Squamish climbers old and young about their experiences on these rocks and in this place.
McLane is motivated to give new climbers an opportunity to discover more of the history and essence of Squamish climbing. “Climbing culture has become obsessed with the physical dimension. But the mental side, challenging rock in its natural state, as it is, and learning how to be highly selfreliant, is in a general decline,” explains McLane. “There has never been a more necessary time to publish the stories and the guide provided a big platform. As I worked through it over several years I was quite taken aback at how little good climbers of today knew about the events of past times and the effect today. It’s lamentable but understandable in that there’s never been a published history to read other than selections in magazine articles and a webfull of disconnected stories. Now it’s out there as a single piece and let’s hope it does some good.”
In part, McLane’s motivation for the new book is to encourage climbers to embrace the whole experience of being out on the rocks, as opposed to looking at only checking the box of having sent a route and then moving onto the next.
“As a guidebook author, I like to try and upkeep a broad view of all that climbing encompasses and the underlying causes and effects of change. From a content point of view, it seemed important to address this now, given how many people are flooding into climbing with little appreciation of the big picture.”
McLane’s next project is a guide for sport climbs in Squamish. He’s co-writing it with Nic Vissers. It’s due out in spring 2019 and will cover almost all sport climbs between Lion’s Bay and Whistler. McLane is a very accomplished climber and mountaineer. He has also published many books on the subject serving the Canadian climbing community. Andrew Boyd is one of the most talented of modern times, with a panache for freeing difficult aid routes. Squamish Rock Climbs is available for purchase at Climb On and Valhalla Pure in Squamish.
Above: Vikki Weldon on Grand Daddy Overhang 5.12b at Murrin Park, a local classic