The rock climbing season in Squamish extends from early spring to late fall. It can often start very suddenly in February or March with great sunny cragging conditions, but frequent rainfall is not uncommon, making multi-pitch climbing “dodgy” at best.
June through August: This is the driest season on the coast with daytime temperatures often in the upper twenties. Long spells of clear, warm weather are very common at this time of year, providing the best conditions for ascents of the longer walls on the Chief. September is much less crowded, often bringing perfect fall conditions, but the chance of rainfall starts to increase as the fall season builds.
The cold winter rains usually arrive in late October or November, signaling the end of the consistent climbing season. Surprisingly, the winter months do offer climbable weather but the unpredictable nature of the season makes it a very poor choice for a trip. Environment Canada provides detailed, 5-day local forecasts.
Squamish is located about 60km north of Vancouver, British Columbia, along Highway 99. Travel time is about one hour from North Vancouver, but if you are coming from Vancouver International Airport (YVR), factor in at least another 30 minutes depending on rush hour traffic. Maps of the city are available at the airport and are necessary for negotiating the complex network of roads and highways. If your destination is Whistler, count on driving for another 45 minutes north of Squamish. Check our maps page for more details.
If traveling without a vehicle, Greyhound provides bus transportation for the entire corridor which originates at the Pacific Central Station in Vancouver. For the website, check the links page under Traveling Information.
The “Sea-to-Sky” highway is one of the most spectacular stretches of roadway in British Columbia and many travelers make the journey for the drive alone. With the success of the 2010 Olympic bid, inevitable highway upgrades began from Vancouver north to Squamish and Whistler. The contractors have been doing an excellent job of keeping the highway clear, but it still might be wise to check the Improvement Project website for possible delays or late night closures.
There is an excellent selection of accommodation options in the area ranging from very basic campgrounds to luxurious bed and breakfasts. Many websites are available on our links page to help you plan your trip, but if you require more options, the local Adventure Centre is the most valuable source of information.
If you need to purchase climbing gear while in Squamish there are two stores that are fully stocked.
- Climb On: This specialty climbing shop is located downtown. They carry a good stock of climbing gear including crashpads.
- Valhalla Pure Outfitters: This outdoor store is located in the same mall as Starbucks and Nester’s Market. Valhalla has a good stock of climbing gear, lots of clothing, camping equipment and a free computer to check your e-mail.
Dubbed the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada”, Squamish has much more than climbing to offer visitors to the area. Whether you’re into burning some calories or simply relaxing there’s plenty to do.
- Brennan Park Leisure Centre: The recreation centre is a great place to clean up and relax. It has a large pool and hot tub.
- Downhill Skiing: Explore the world famous resort of Whistler.
Golfing: Squamish has a number of beautiful golf courses to challenge the avid golfer.
- Hiking: A hike up the backside of the Chief is a local ritual and the views are amazing.
- Kayaking: Squamish has a thriving paddling community. Many local rivers offer great rest day opportunities for climbers who like to kayak.
- Mountain Biking: There is a huge network of world class trails in the Squamish area.
- River Rafting: A number of businesses provide day and half-day river runs.
Windsurfing / Kite Sailing: The head of Howe Sound provides awesome wind on many clear days during the summer. A very popular spot for both activities. Rentals are available.