Squamish Mountain Festival 2013 Recap
Under a glorious sky, and watchful eye of the world-renowned Stawamus Chief, The Squamish Mountain Festival wrapped up its eighth successful year. Participants from British Columbia and as far away as Australia and Brazil took part in various clinics and film nights throughout the five day festival.
Proceeds from this event go to benefit both the local climbing community and the increasing number of visitors who are drawn to the world’s second largest monolith to test their climbing skills and access the surrounding trails. Two of the main beneficiaries are the Climbers' Access Society of British Columbia (CASBC) and Squamish Access Society (SAS).
Jeremy Smith, President of SAS, explains how events like this not only help to raise awareness of the type of work they do to keep access open to all climbers, but this year, proceeds will go towards funding a major re-bolting program they have underway to keep the crags safe. “Monitoring and replacing aging bolts and anchors is a global issue. Many were placed here in the 80’s and we want to keep on top of the older infrastructure and replace them before they turn into a safety issue, which could threaten to close access to the crags.”
The festival’s aim is to celebrate climbing and climbing culture at all levels via hands-on experience in clinics, and through inspirational films and guest speaker events. This year, participants could try a variety of clinics to hone their skills: an introduction to rock climbing, rock rescue, multi-pitch climbing, and even an adventure photography course.
Alongside the clinics were presentations for both avid climbers and armchair mountaineers alike, to be inspired by world renowned athletes young and old. Highlights included Wayne Merry’s recounting of the first ascent of the Nose of El Cap in 1958; and disabled climber Craig DeMartino’s own ascents of El Cap, individually and as part of the first all-disabled team to summit. Both were drawing from very different perspectives and difficulties, but ultimately had the same end desire, to inspire others to never give up on a goal, no matter how daunting it might at first appear.
Film Organizer, Ivan Hughes, sums it up this way, “Climbing is about adventure, the outdoors, and community. Climbing allows you to live an adventure at whatever level you're comfortable with, it gets you outside in the fresh air in some of the most stunning situations that you would never find yourself in otherwise. The community is supportive and climbers really want to help others take up the sport.”
We would like to thank our generous partners and sponsors in helping us put together an amazing festival: Mountain Equipment Co-op, Petzl, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Maxim Ropes, Valhalla Pure Outfitters, Five Ten, Flashed, The Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company, Canada West Mountain School, Georgia Straight, Coast Mountain Culture, Mountain Life Magazine, Gripped Magazine, Sandman Hotels, Innate, and Black Diamond. Thanks to the continued success of this event, the Squamish Mountain Festival will be back again in 2014. We hope to see you there!