Top 5 Beginner Trad Climbs in Squamish

Get it going.

Are you just discovering traditional climbing? Is your idea of fun plugging in your own protection whilst ascending granite splitter perfection?  Do you dream of being able to do find classic trad climbs all within a short stroll from your car?  Well then we’ve put together this list with you in mind!  This list includes climbs that are well protected and varied, leaving a little something for everyone. 

Cat Crack 5.6

The super fun and perhaps the easiest trad climb in Squamish.  What makes this climb even more special is that it is still an incredibly fun and engaging climb. Did we mention the bountiful gear placements and perfect rock?

Guide’s Tip:  This climb is accessed via a ledge system approached via fixed lines.  Exercise extreme caution approaching this ledge as well as at the base of the climb - a quick anchor will suffice!

Klahanie Crack 5.7

  One of the best beginner cracks in the entire Sea to Sky corridor.  Think Indian Creek style splitter: enough said!

Guide’s Tip:  When jamming your feet, drop your heels to avoid the vomit inducing ankle pain!

Mosquito 5.8

The name implies discomfort, biting, and annoying buzzing in your ear… not the case!  This climb is a classic because of its fun, engaging and varied climbing.  Surmount the small roof and enjoy super fun easy climbing to the anchor.

Guide’s Tip:  Lower off to the left and place a directional to get a quick and fun TR burn on SM’s Delight 10.b. 

High Mountain Woody 5.9

This climb is a personal favourite!  Nearly 40m of perfect granite goodness over the majestic Howe Sound. Jams of all sizes are found on this classic and - better yet - it doesn’t get nearly the same amount of traffic as some of the other classic climbs. Another bonus is that this climb stays nice and cool during a hot day, as shade in the morning shifts to a nice breezy afternoon, keeping this climb cool.

Guide’s Tip:  Knot the ends of your ropes on the two rappels to access the base.  Not up to leading?  Lower a partner from the bolted anchor for some TR burns - again: knot or tie into the other end of the rope.

Penny Lane 5.9

An absolute classic first climbed in 1978!  Take your time to place good gear in the initial corner as you are still quite close to the ground  (this is the crux for most) - and then enjoy the glory!  Don’t forget to stop and take in the beautiful view of the Chief looming in the background. 

Guide’s Tip:  You will not find bolts at the top of this climb so plan accordingly and bring extra gear for an anchor.

About Ross Berg

Ross has guided, climbed and skied in the European Alps for the last several seasons. When he’s at home he can be found working as a heli ski guide in winters and climbing alpine rock routes in summer.

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