American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, Canada, British Columbia, Goose Rock, Squamish, B. C.

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1960

Goose Rock, Squamish, B. C. Destined to be the “Yosemite of the Northwest,” Goose Rock, at the head of Howe Sound, has been attracting rock climbers since the recent opening of the new road to Squamish. The west and north walls rise virtually from tidewater to 1900 feet in a sweep that is well over a half mile wide. The rock is granodiorite and despite moss and brush in some cracks, there are many sheer and clean walls. The rock is slabby in nature but holds are generally solid. There is an easy route for the descent on the south side via woods and a surveyor’s trail along the creek bordering the rock, but there is no easy face route up the rock. The great central gully has two difficult pitches (one is partially sixth) but is otherwise scree or scrambling. The first complete wall route climbs the entire rounded ridge and the upper wall to the right of this central gully. On one May weekend we climbed the first thousand feet which was class 5 with the exception of a short overhang. The party, Fred Beckey, Don Claunch, and Hank Mather, returned to complete the route on a succeeding weekend. Aside from the culminating pitch, a 100-foot 6th class vertical wall that gives one a superb panorama of the Sound, the tugboats, the trains, and Mount Garibaldi, the climax of this original climb was the accidental eruption of a lunch fire into a fir-grove blaze on a ledge of the upper cliffs. The party spent well over an hour extinguishing the blaze, though it took that night’s rain to stop the smoke. There are further route possibilities, some of which will take two or three days to complete.

Fred Beckey

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