“Climbing on rock is not simple, if someone wants to do it safely”- the wise words spoken of local mountain guide Guillaume Otis. Our Rock Guide students from this year completed their final course, level 3 Rock Guide Training.

With the necessary skill acquisition taking place in the Level 1 and 2 courses, the students were well equipped with the physical and mental tools to take on some of Squamish’s most challenging ascents. With the plan being detailed by instructor and local rock guru Guillaume, sport climbing, sport lead climbing, traditional multi-pitch and even Canyoneering were on the menu for the students- plenty of opportunity to meet goals and overcome personal challenges.

Whistler Adventure School’s Rock Guide course is a 6 month program geared towards those who have an interest in climbing and the outdoors but looking to take it to the next level and get their climbing skills outdoors up to scratch as well as introducing students to the world of Rock Guiding. The course covers a wide range of climbing skills, anchoring systems and rescue skills paramount to working in the rock environment.

Guillaume reported a successful problem solving first day spent on the Cheakamus Canyon sport lead climbing, a total of 105 bolts were clipped and the students finished leading 10a sport; a perfect lead up for the days to come.

The Stawamus Chief is a climbing mecca, towering high over the BC town of Squamish, the 700m granite dome poses some serious challenges for climbers who travel all over the world to conquer routes here. Namely, Ultimate Everything and Upper Echelon, a 10a route with 22 pitches; this was the final objective for our 2018 Rock Guides.

The summit was achieved at 8pm after a 13hr round trip involving crack systems, forested ledges and some challenging route finding but the group were elated to have achieved something climbers dream of.

To conclude the course, a change in direction (whilst still staying vertical) was in order; the students descended on the Box Canyon in Squamish for some Canyoneering. Learning the US and French ratings systems, different rappel uses and getting some very scenic views, it was a great way to round up an extremely successful course with some now very accomplished climbers- “Let’s go climb!”- Guillaume Otis.

Credits: Images and direct quotes with trip report from Guillaume Otis of Coast Mountain Guides, article written by Whistler Adventure School.