Here are some Squamish climbing tips for the weekend

Squamish Access Society tips on camping, ticks and more.

Summer has finally arrived in full force and climbers are making the most of it. It has been exciting to witness the return of international visitors in far greater numbers than we have seen in the past two years at the height of the pandemic.

With the long weekend ahead, here are some tips for visitors and new climbers on local issues and things to watch out for.

• Camping is often a challenge for visitors. If you haven’t been to Squamish in the last two years, you might notice things have changed. The district has cracked down on RVing within municipal limits and it is no longer possible to stay overnight on the once popular Mamquam Forest Service Road.

There are paid camping options at Mamquam River Campgroundthe Chief Stawamus, Lake Aliceand the Campsite Klahanie. There’s also the great option of Chek Canyon’s free rock climbing site. It is 20 minutes north of town and has no running water, but is right at the first rock for Squamish sport climbing.

The Squamish Access Society advocated for an extremely basic free or inexpensive campground outside of town that tour and local vehicle dwellers could use, similar in style to the Pleasant Valley Pit Campground in Bishop.

• There are a few creatures to watch out for on the local cliffs at this time as well. This year has been difficult for black bears, with berries only beginning to appear. As a result, they searched for alternative food sources and actively searched around homes and campsites. It’s common to see bears in the Smoke Bluffs at this time of year, and they’ve been known to steal backpacks in search of food. Keep the bags as close to you as possible, especially if they contain food, and make noise when walking to and from the rock. Vegetation is dense this year. It is easy to get very close to bears without being able to see them.

•Ticks are the other danger. There are plenty of them right now, and the dense vegetation also means more opportunities for them to cling to you as you pass by. Make a habit of doing a quick check for ticks at the rock and car, so you can brush them off before they have a chance to bite, and doing a more thorough check at home. The BC Center of Disease Control points out that Squamish is a high-risk area for Lyme disease, and you can check out their full advice on the BC CDC website.

•Finally, we are now entering prolonged dry spells with the potential for wildfires. Keep up to date with campfire regulations on the BCWildfire website. Note that smoking is prohibited in many climbing areas, including all BC parks.

Enjoy and remember you can ask any questions you have about your trip or climbing in the area by emailing SAS at [email protected], or you can contact us on our social media channels.

Alex Ryan Tucker is a resident of Squamish and a member of the Squamish Access Society Board of Directors. Go to squamishaccess.ca for more information about SAS.

Virginia F. Goins