SQUAMISH CLIMBERS BENEFIT FROM ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL
Vancouver (BC) - Under a glorious sky and the watchful eye of the world-renowned Stawamus Chief, The Squamish Mountain Festival, hosted by local outdoor clothing manufacturer, ARC'TERYX, wrapped up its eighth successful year this weekend. July 17-21, 2013
More than 700 participants from all over the lower mainland and as far away as Australia and Brazil took part in various clinics and film nights throughout the five day festival. The proceeds from the 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 trails and pathways around the world-class climbing area.
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 ageing 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 the weekend clinics and through inspirational films & guest speaker events during the evenings. This year, participants could try a variety of clinics to hone their climbing skills, from an introduction to rock climbing to rock rescue skills, multi-pitch climbing and even an adventure photography course, all run by certified ACMG guides.
Alongside the clinics were evenings for both avid climbers and armchair mountaineers alike, to be inspired by world renowned athletes young and old.
Highlights included Wayne Merry's presentation on the first Ascent of the Nose of El Cap in 1958 and disabled climber Craig deMartino's own ascents of El Cap, both individually and as part of the first all-disabled team to summit.
Both drew 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 Fest 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."
Thanks to the continued success of this event, the Mountain Festival will be back in Squamish 2014.
The event was sponsored by ARC'TERYX, MEC, Petzl, La Sportiva, Scarpa, Maxim Ropes, Valhalla Pure, FiveTen, Flashed, Howe Sound Inn & Brewing, Canada West Mountain School, Georgia Straight, Coast Mountain Culture, Mountain Life, Gripped, Sandman Hotels, Innate, Black Diamond.