Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Squamish days with my bro

Getting to grips with granite at the bouldering heaven of Squamish. Photo: Craig McCallum

I finally got the chance to get my ass over to north America for the first time ever last week. The opportunity came up because of the Banff mountain film festival - I went out to meet the Hot Aches guys and present E11. But the other opportunity was to visit my older brother who has lived in Vancouver for a decade and a half, but I've never had the chance to visit. It's kind of cool that Al's wife's dad lives very near Squamish. So I could also have a very brief encounter with the awesome Squamish boulders.

I found it pretty hard to be in a heaven like the Squamish forest for only two days. despite determined pleas with myself not to, I descended into headless chicken mode within seconds of spotting the first lump of granite and ran around with heart pounding more or less until it was time to go. I was just starting to make some headway on things but the onward itinerary demanded we leave. I did manage a nice V10 called Zero Zero. I think its in the Rampage film?? Its a crimpy problem and I found it pretty easy, but the slopers felt just impossible for me to deal with. I need to spend more time on Granite. Of course I left with much inspiration, unfinished business and resolve to return asap.

Alan MacLeod taking his first climbing steps on Squamish Days (V0)

Of course Al was pretty keen to try rock climbing for the first time. It was cool to see someone I knew experience moving on rock for the very firt time. In some ways it reminded me how amazingly far we can progress with the activity - it's a hard thing to do! The skills we teach ourselves are so specific. With a set of bagpipes in his hands Alan moves his fingers with the same mastery as Marc le Menestrel does on rock.

Climbing is a small world as ever and the first climber I ran into on the American continent was Craig MacCallum from Glasgow. Craig is unlike many Scots in that he simply can't be arsed with bad climbing - life is too short. So he sold his flat and moved to Squamish. Sorted!

Al's first time tied into a rope, on the Smoke Bluffs, Squamish

All too soon it was time to hop on the Calgary greyhound bus and set sail for Banff. It's a long journey to sit and ponder ways and means of returning to Squamish.


  1. Watched E11 for the first time last night. It was brilliant!!! Nice one Dave!

  2. Hi Dave, Just arrivd back in the UK from spain for a few weeks in Glasgow before jetting off again. Was about to give you a call and see if you were around tomorrow (as will prob head toward Dumbi) only to find your jet set lifestyle has taken you off to North America.... Give us a shout when you are back and you whirelwind publicity tour gives you the chance to meet up for a drink and a climb ;-)