Got back from Leavenworth & Squamish a few days ago. Bouldered 3 days at each. Tons o’ fun was had. I’m not one for super wordy posts so I’ll try to summarize.
First off, yes, Leavenworth bouldering is better than Squamish. Squamish is good, but I enjoyed the style at Leavenworth much more. On the other hand, the setting at the Grand Wall boulders is insanely cool. Super dense rain forest right beneath the Grand Wall. I’d put the Grand Wall boulders right next to the Buttermilks for bouldering areas that I’d be happy going to and not even climbing.
Back to Leavenworth… It reminded me a lot of a granite version of Joe’s Valley. It’s basically two massive canyons with granite everywhere. There’s pulloffs every few hundred yards for different areas. One area may have 4 problems and the next may have 40. Generally, I’d call Leavenworth crimpy technical, while Squamish is a weird slopey technical. The Leavenworth style fit me well, while I had to work a little harder on most problems in Squamish.
I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted, but here’s a few:
The Grand Wall:
Howe Sound from on top of the Chief:
Rock Art on the Grand Wall trail:
I’ve got to bring this up too, because it was very interesting:
I’m not one for ranting and I’m pretty sure I’ve held off from ranting in this blog until now…
No visit to the Grand Wall boulders would be complete without a visit to the hotel-sized Cacodemon boulder to gawk at Dreamcatcher. It’s not too often you get to see a 14d (especially in MT). Anyway, while walking to it I came across this beautiful blank slightly overhaning wall and I saw a line of amazing chicken heads right up the middle. I went to investigate and it turns out the chicken heads were gym holds bolted to the wall, supplemented by drilled pockets. I couldn’t believe it. The most obvious and largest boulder, holding one of North Americas hardest and most well known sport climbs, in one of North Americas most popular climbing destinations… and it’s got two lines of drilled pockets, one with plastic gym holds bolted to the rock. Unbelievable. I’ve heard of this happening in the past (Smith, Castle Rock, etc…) and I’ve seen it on a smaller scale with just drilled pockets (Cody), but to have a 60ft route on a perfect wall in the heart of Squamish was crazy. It’s hard to tell from the photos, but the in the first photo the line basically follows the tree up on the right side of the photo. The second is a close up and you can just barely see the drilled pockets. C’mon Canada, you’re better than that.
Here’s a little vid that I put together as well: