Instants 15

Marc aka @thegnarwall getting inverted on the black council #Squamish #bouldering #climbing

A photo posted by WestMountainMedia (@westmountainmedia) on

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V8 Sandbags and V10 Softies

Squamish V8s have always seemed to cover a wider range of difficulties than other grades. Ask most people and they will probably agree that problems like The Weasle, Sharma’s Arete, Vitamin D, and Corner Relief are all pretty damn hard compared to many other V8s.

People definitely want to climb “double digits” but throughout the forest you’ll hear endless claims that No Troblems should be downgraded. It’s not the only V10 that’s considered soft.

At the same time, it seems like there aren’t all that many V9 problems in Squamish.

Does Squamish really have a bunch of V8 sandbags and V10 softies that should be V9?

Creating the Squamish Bouldering 3rd Edition Graded Index gave me data that might expose a possibly mistaken use of grades in Squamish.


Less V9s than V10s?!

From V3 up, V9 is the only grade that has less problems than the next grade up. I cannot think of anything inherent about the shapes of Squamish granite that would make V9 not lie along a smooth decay curve as the grades increase.

Looking at this data, it appears we should not be shy about moving a few V8s up to V9 and some V10s down to V9.

Pale Rider

Sort of high. Sort of bad landing. Sort of burly. Sort of intimidating. Totally rad. Stu Worrall’s problem Pale Rider is one of Squamish’s finest medium-balls.

Here’s a picture of Stu climbing Pale Rider in the summer of 1998.


If you are new to Squamish (arrived in the last decade or so) you probably haven’t climbed Pale Rider as the top has been overgrown for years. Possibly neglected due to its famous neighbour Ride the Lighting just around the corner to the left, Pale Rider is a worthy destination in its own right.

Knowing it needed a bit of care, I packed up my cleaning gear and hiked up to give it a quick polish. When I arrived, I looked up to see a jaw dropping sight: a gillion ton log laying across the top out. Ill-equipped for such a mighty task, I turned around defeated.


After days of effort and several collaborators, Pale Rider is finally cleaner than ever and awaiting your attempts. After a good rain, it should really sparkle.


Instants 14

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Instants 13

Yesterday I successfully took down (pulled up) "Portable" which I tried for the first time at the "Superfly" Boulder back in 1999!! πŸ˜‚πŸ‘Œ β€’ For everyone wonderful what the heck this is, let me give you some background on this feat of strength: In Squamish BC, beside the Superfly boulder, there is an ordinary looking square rock. I think it is roughly 40 pounds. There are a couple ways of picking it up, but the testpiece is with only one hand and your thumb in a little notch. We also picked it up with another place but it's easier, call it the warm-up… Anyways, just picking it up with one hand requires phenomenal hand strength and it makes it easier if your hands are big (might as well roll out the excuses while I can 😏)… πŸ– β€’ Once you have mastered the "pick-up", there are a few rumoured lines that have been added. One is to throw it in the air and catch it in the same spot with the other hand… Another is to pick it up (as a pinch obv) and climb the adjacent slab of the Superfly boulder… Both of these are currently future projects for me, but for now I'm happy just picking it up πŸ€— β€’ I'm incredibly happy with my send and it wouldn't have been possible without the encouragement of the Squamish community, my friends and family for the 17 years of support and of course my sponsors whom without I couldn't have travelled the world in search of the wisdom and power to come home and send this life long project… Thank you! πŸ™πŸ»

A video posted by Sean β„³αΆœβ„‚ΓΆβ„“β„“ (@mccollsean) on

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Instants 12

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Instants 11

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