Chris Atkinson and Marc Piche are hard at work on the newest edition of the Bugaboos Guidebook! Since the 2003 edition has gone out of print, the pair have released a mini-guide through High Col to keep up the psych until the new book is released.
To download your copy, please go to the High Col Website. .
Nathan Kukathas started climbing in 1996 in Australia. Growing up unable to afford climbing gear, Nathan started designing and making his own gear including his harness, backpack, tents, sleeping bag, portaledge and haul bags. Soon his design flare brought him into the Outdoor Industry. Today he is a multi-award winning designer having worked for brands including: Arc’teryx, Sea To Summit and Black Diamond. Nathan is an experienced big wall climber and ACMG guide. Climbing routes up to A5, including first ascents and first repeats of routes from Baffin Island, Pakistan and his home town Squamish. We had a chance to sit down with Nathan and talk about his new prototype and how his recent trip to Yosemite opened his eyes to the possibilities. Here is what he had to say.
Nathan in Baffin Island (2013). Photo courtesy of Nathan Kukathas ©
Hi Nathan, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about this weekends Big Wall Event and the launch of your new company Grade 7 Equipment. Can you start off by first telling us about the event this Saturday?
The Petzl Hirundos is a high-end climbing harness designed primarily for the purpose of sport and alpine climbing. At the core of its construction is a lightweight design that provides a balance between comfort and a freedom of movement not found in your typical harness. Combined with a number of features that reduce the wear when taking multiple falls, the Hirundos has set a new standard for lightweight harness design. Squamish Climbing Magazine had a chance to field test the harness over the past six months and here is what we thought.
With the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival just around the corner, Squamish Climbing Magazine has gone full tilt with an interview of the festival’s first guest speaker, Kevin Jorgeson. Originally gaining fame with the first ascent of Ambrosia in Bishop, CA, Kevin’s name became synonymous with difficult highball bouldering. After completing Ambrosia, Kevin was ready for his next big project when he was inspired by Tommy Caldwell’s clip of The Dawn Wall in the film Progression. After an email introduction , Tommy and Kevin set off on a seven year journey to complete The Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, CA.
Kevin Jorgeson at home on El Cap. Photo courtesy of James Lucas ©
Kevin and Tommy’s ascent of The Dawn Wall was big for the climbing community but no one could have predicted how it would set fire to the media world earlier last year. With all the hype, big (and sometimes strange!) doors have opened for both Kevin and Tommy. Squamish Climbing Magazine had the chance to sit down with Kevin and talk about the hype, what it all meant, and what is on the horizon. Here is what he had to say.
The 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival is just around the corner and Squamish Climbing Magazine is more than excited to be a part of it. The film festival has long been an event that brings the climbing community together to celebrate the virtue of adventure and this year is no exception. With any event of this magnitude, it simply doesn’t put on itself. Behind the scenes there are cogs and gears moving long before any of the films hit the screen. From volunteers to directors, people are dedicating hours and hours to making the festival happen.
One of those people who has taken on a pretty big role over the past six years in bringing the festival together is Tom Wright. Tom Wright spent the first 20 years of his life living a typical middle class English life. A life changing year studying in Montreal introduced him to rock climbing, snowboarding and Canadians – all of which he loved immediately! A natural move out West followed and for the past 7 years Tom has immersed himself in the coast mountain culture. He now lives in Squamish with his girlfriend Vikki and their dog Tundra. His official title at VIMFF is the Director of Film and Programming but he is also the guy who is there every night trying to make sure that things run smoothly. We thought it would be a great idea to interview Tom and get his thoughts on the festival this year and some of the highlights he is looking forward to.
Tom Wright on the VIMFF stage. Photo courtesy of VIMFF ©
Last week, we ran an interview with Tiffany Melius as she prepared for the 2016 BC Open Bouldering Provincials. Going into the event, Tiffany was ready to defend her title as Provincial Champion in a strong group of female competitors. However, her goals for that event did not go as planned. Tiffany ended up placing in sixth during the competition putting her in second place overall in the BC Provincial rankings, with the 2016 BC Open Provincial Champion title going to Alannah Yip.
Often in our interviews with competitors, we focus on the preparation for these events and then the outcome, but rarely do we have a chance to stop and reflect on what happens when an athlete doesn’t meet a goal that they set for themselves. In the sport of climbing, our personal goals are often set just below failure and in doing so we need to be able to weather the storm, reflect on those moments, and get back up and try again. Tiffany was open enough to talk about some of her reflections after this weekend and here is what she had to say.
Tiffany Melius at 2016 Provincials. Photo by Ken Chow ©
Almost three weeks ago, The Squamish Chief newspaper ran an article that indicated a parcel of land near Brennan Park Recreation Centre passed its ‘second reading of a zoning bylaw amendment’ that would ‘clear the way’ for a new rustic campground. The idea of a rustic campground in this area (2023 Centennial Way) was first proposed by John Harvey and the Mamquam River Access Society (MRAS) in 2014. Since then, The Mamquam River Access Society (MRAS) has gone through the motions of applying to the Provincial Crown for a 30 Year Community-Institutional Lease on a parcel of land and that application will go to public hearing on Tuesday Feb. 2, 2016 at a Townhall meeting.
This weekend, The Edge Climbing Centre in North Vancouver will host the 2016 BC Open Bouldering Provincials. The top BC athletes from this event will then compete on a National level next month when the 2016 CEC National Bouldering Championships takes place at The Hive North Shore.
Tiffany Melius was born and grew up in the sub-tropical climate of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast. She spent her early 20s traveling around the world, visiting over 35 countries, with working stops in Japan and the UK. Canada was the next scheduled working stop – she arrived on January 1, 2010, and she simply hasn’t left! Tiffany’s first competition in Canada was a Tour de Bloc at Beyond the Crux in Kelowna, on Jan 23, 2010. She placed second in that competition, and won the Western Canada Regionals in April of that same year.
With two wins this season and currently ranked first overall going into this weekend, Tiffany Melius will be a force this weekend at the 2016 BC Open Bouldering Provincials. Coming off a trip to Hueco Tanks and taking second place in Squamish two weeks ago, Tiffany is looking forward to defending her provincial title this weekend. Here we talk to Tiffany about her competition style, how she prepares for competition, and other things, including her new career and life path.
Tiffany Melius at the NW Boulderfest. Photo by Truc Allen Media ©
The Five Ten Team 5.10 is a very aggressive downturned climbing shoe that performs exceptionally well on steep rock. The shape of these shoes is their most defining feature, placing the foot in an ideal position for pulling in on footholds. Additionally, their mid range stiffness makes them very versatile, capable of both edging and smearing well. In fact, since trying them, the Team 5.10 has become my number one choice for performance on most sport climbs and boulder problems.
To guide our review, we have broken the shoe down into its specific components to give you a full summary of its features.
With the 2016 Alberta Youth and Open Bouldering Provincials taking place this weekend at the Calgary Climbing Centre, we thought it best to check in with a rising entity in the the Alberta climbing scene, Samuel Tucker. Sam Tucker is 23 years old and lives in Calgary, AB. He started climbing when he was nine years old and hasn’t looked back since. Now a regular part of the Western Canada competition scene, Sam has decided that this year he is willing to give all his focus to training and becoming a better all around climber. In this interview, we sit down with Sam and talk about his early influences in the Calgary climbing scene and where he sees himself going as a climbing, a coach, and as a person. Here is what he had to say.
Sam Tucker competing at the Calgary Climbing Centre. Photo by Ben Haley ©
Josie Hetyei is an incredibly inspiring climber. She has redpointed multiple 5.14s including one 5.14b. Even more impressive is how she continues to improve and even have breakthroughs at the age of 38 and after 20 years of climbing. She approaches her climbing with an incredible amount of persistence and diligence and she works really hard to accomplish her goals. For our final interview of 2105, Squamish Climbing Magazine caught up with Josie and she had this to say:
Josie Hetyei. Photo Dan Beland©
For all those looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for your fellow climber, well look no further. Flashed Climbing has come up with some innovative products over the past few years that simply make life easier. Here is our review of a few of those products, including the Holster Chalk Bag, Sumi Brush, Bamboo, Brush, and Flashed Climbing Tape that can help anyone with their sending woes.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that Kelowna will be getting a brand new climbing facility under the ownership of Chris and Nancy de Vries. Gneiss Climbing is slated to open sometime in March 2016 and the new facility will be focused on bouldering with the goal of creating a community focal point for the Okanagan. We thought it would be best to go right to the source and talk to co-owner Chris de Vries, as he dives into some of his early memories at Vic’s Vertical Walls in Saskatoon and how that experience brought him to his next endeavour. Here is what he had to say.
As a typical North American climber, I had never seen Scarpa as a strong climbing shoe contender when buying shoes. Blinded by my own ignorance it, was only until travelling to Europe this summer did I open my eyes and realize that Scarpa has been aggressively re-designing their brand with a number of technical innovations that have landed them on top of the European market and sure to make them a contender in the North American Climbing scene.
Over the past five years, Scarpa has put a lot of emphasis on redesigning their climbing shoe line, a change that first started with the hire of Heinz Mariacher, one of the foremost climbing shoe designers in the world. Behind the scenes, Scarpa has been pioneering a number of technical innovations with Heinz, including a concept they call Active-tensioned Rands. Combine these innovations with high-quality manufacturing and the result is Scarpa’s Booster S climbing shoe. Whether it is the peak of their shoe design or just the beginning, Scarpa, you have my attention!
This weekend, The Hive North Shore will host their first competition in the new facility. The competition this weekend is part of the Climbing Escalade Canada (CEC) National Series as well as sanctioned by Sport Climbing BC. This means that the competition will host a number of athletes travelling from out of town that will go head to head with our local athletes (who, in our opinion, have been putting on a great show!).
Eric Sethna at The Edge last year. Photo courtesy of Pam Eveleigh ©
One of the athletes coming to town this weekend to compete is Eric Sethna. Eric has started his Canadian competition season in grand style by placing first in the last four Tour De Bloc competitions. No stranger to competition, Eric won his first national championship at the age of ten and took part in four World Cup events this year. Here is what he had to say about this weekend and beyond.
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to drop by the Ground Up Climbing Centre in Squamish, BC. I found our friend Tyson Braun hard at work, putting the final touches on the walls and getting ready for pad installation. Tyson was kind enough to give me a full walk through of the facility and I must say that the first impression left me in awe. Leaving the facility, I was truly excited for Squamish and very proud of Lauren Watson and Tyson Braun, as well as Adrian Biachut, Jessica Keithlin, and Jeff Lightburn, for their vision and dedication to such a beautiful place.
Here is a sneak peak of the progress at Ground Up Climbing Centre.When taking the photos, we didn’t plan on sharing them, but after seeing the facility, we just couldn’t keep them to ourselves (sorry for the quality)!
With the last IFSC World Cup on the horizon, we thought it might be cool to check in with Sean McColl as he ends his indoor season and begins his outdoor season. Here is what he had to say.
Training for Kranj. Photo courtesy of Sean McColl ©