Climbing in the Dark?

Last night I was invited to climb the Chief in Squamish. As I hadn’t done that before, I was immediately saying “yes, let’s do it”. Minutes later after scrambling to get my climbing gear together I was getting into Jesse’s rental and we sped off to the granite wall that overlooks Howe Sound in Squamish.


We were going to mini traction a route. What does that mean? It means that we needed only a mini traction device, our shoes, harness, chalk and a headlamp. Our friend Will had recently hung a few ropes on the whole multipitch route and we were up for some after work fun as the sun was beginning to hide behind the mountains.

I put on my new pair of climbing shoes after we ran up the trail to the base of the route. Jesse was already a pitch up his favorite route in Squamish and I jumped on the line behind him before he reached the first belay. A third joined us Taryn (I think that was his name (a local Squamish guide)). We cruised up the lower angle pitches quickly without a care in the world until we reached some more challenging terrain. Delicately and with encouragement I danced up the wall using mear foot smears and tiny crystals to advance in height. The crack was mainly finger sized with a random hand jam for good measure. The entire climb I couldn’t believe that my feet were staying on the rock on the invisible footholds.

It was at the crux of the route where we each climbed on the rope slowly and methodically. A mistake would mean a fall on the rope and that would mean ridicule from our joyful team. We hooted and hollered as we each climbed perfectly but not without effort up the crack in the darkness until rapping the wall drenched in sweat with wide smiles across our faces.

It has been a while since I felt that way and played with reckless abandon. Thanks Will for hanging that line and providing me with some great memories and thanks Jesse and Tayrn for inviting me to join in the fun!

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