Best of the Best
Although the first recorded climbs in the Cheakamus Canyon
were during the late 60’s, it has only been recently that the area has
recieved much attention. Since 1992, the Cheakamus Canyon has been the
main focus of sport climbing in the Squamish corridor. It now boasts three
excellent crags and a plethora of routes, mainly one pitch face climbs
on some fantastic featured granite.
Just over 20 km north of Squamish, the highway becomes narrow and windy
as it enters the Cheakamus canyon. Despite all the rock visible from the
highway, most of the crags are a ways off the road throughout the next
| This is the
first crag encountered heading north from Squamish. 3 km past the
orange Culliton Creek bridge, turn right onto the Conroy Creek forest
service road as the highway turns left. A bit more than half a km
east the road swings north. A trail from here leads south to the climbs.
| The Gorge
| Just over
2 km past Conroy Creek f.s.r, pull into the pullout/scenic view stop
as the road heads down a hill to the river. The climbs are in the
gorge below the view stop.
| Rogues Gallery
| Slightly less
than 2 km past the pullout, and just after the road narrows to two
lanes while right along the river. Pull of to the east side of the
road just below the cliffs a few hundred metres before the salt sheds.
Being higher and further inland, Cheakamus is often a few degrees colder
than squamish, though during the summer it is usually quite comparable.
The climbing season is generally from April to October, depending on how
early the snow comes and goes. Like the rest of Squamish, the summer is
generally warm and dry, while the rest of the year is unpredictable. If
it does start to rain on you in Cheakamus, head to Chek and climb on The
Main Event, sheltered under the imposing overhang of The Big Show.
The Cheakamus Canyon offers some of the best sport climbing in the Squamish
corridor. With over 100 routes from 5.8 to 5.14, this area includes some
of the most prestigious sport routes in the country. The rock is a featured
granite, and bolted face climbs predominate at most of the crags.
| The climbs
at Chek are located on a series of east facing 20 to 50 metre cliffs,
in a small rocky valley about 1 km off the highway. This area was
discovered after the stunts to the movie Shoot to Kill were
filmed here. The valley creates a nice quiet atmosphere, and the eastern
exposure provides some welcome shade on hot summer days. While a few
climbs have been developed on the routes on the first few walls encountered
on the trail, the main cliff is about a ten minute walk from the road.
The vertical and overhanging rock sports a number of climbs from 5.10
to 5.14. The steeply overhanging wall of The Big Show has a number
of routes in the 13+/14- range, and provides some shelter for the
easier routes below during the rain showers common in the spring and
fall. In addition to the main cliffs, the large boulders at the base
of the cliffs have a number of routes, mainly 5.9 and 5.10. All the
routes at Chek are fully bolt protected.
| The Gorge
| A pleasant
change of pace from the sport crags just down the road, The Gorge
offers a number of one to three pitch gear and mixed routes on the
cliffs right above the Cheakamus river. The narrow canyon with the
sound of the fast flowing water at the base of the climbs gives The
Gorge an atmosphere unlike anywhere else in Squamish. A few of the
routes may only be reached by rappel at high water, creating an even
more adventurous atmosphere, as climbing is the only way out.
| Rogues Gallery
| A true roadside
crag, Rogues’ Gallery has a number of fine sport routes on featured
edgy granite similar to that at Chek. Rogues’ consists of about half
a dozen 20 to 30 metre cliffs within a ten minute walk of the highway.
Most of the routes are in the 5.10 to 5.12 range, and all are fully
bolt protected. The easy access and large number of high quality,
well protected face climbs has made Rogues’ a very popular and often