The Constellations

“Why don’t we have a cool, summer alpine bouldering area?!” was all I could think as I sat early last summer stewing in the hot, humid air locked in the windless forest surrounding the Squamish boulders. Summer is the most predictably dry weather here but it’s not exactly sending conditions. Colorado has RMNP. Yosemite has Tuolumne. Why not us? We need an escape.

I searched Google Maps for a solution. A few potentially interesting rock piles appeared in the Squamish area. One pile looked particularly good but with especially arduous access. So I did the easy thing and I went to Tuolumne for the rest of the summer where the boulders are only a few minutes from the road. It was rad.

This spring, as we made our way through record-breaking 30°C weather in April, the same problem started creeping up. What am I going to do to make it through this summer? That pile of rocks was on my mind again.


Just look at that pile. It’s huge!

Continue reading “The Constellations”

Beat the Heat with the O2 Cool Fan

Summer and its high temps are coming. If escape to cooler high altitude or the wintery southern hemisphere is not possible, we’ll soon be sliding around together on warm granite with wet skin. While we moan about the conditions and await grippy September’s arrival, we’ll need to make it through the summer sessions without butchering a bloody mess at the end of our fingers.


I’ve already pulled out my little portable fan a few times during this year’s hot spring season. While I loaf around between attempts, the fan’s luxurious breeze keeps my tips cooler and drier. If I can find a cave or vent of cold air to blow on my tips, even better.

The fan doesn’t solve all my problems. Each attempt still ends with pink tips but spending most of the day with dry skin still makes a big difference. The softer and wetter skin gets, the easier it is for granite to shred it. The fan means less wear and less pain as the session progresses.

The O2 Cool is a 5 inch fan. Loaded up with 4 AA batteries, it weighs just under 300 grams. It is compact and easily slips into a bag with shoes and chalk bag.

The only complaint I’ve heard is that some folks have had trouble with the power switch being bumped to the on position while they are hiking. Since the fan is so quite, they don’t even notice and arrive to their project with drained batteries. Removing the batteries or placing a piece of tape over the switch helps.


I ordered my fan from Amazon a while ago but just the other day I saw them for sale in Squamish at Shoppers Drug Mart for only $14.99. Shoppers even has a 10 inch beast that runs on 6 D batteries for $29.99. The fans are in the seasonal section near the cash register.