Evolving from its grassroots groove, the Squamish Mountain Fest celebrates a decade of rock, with a new move or two. Now y’all can get way on up, and get down, too.
In 2005, a grassroots rock-climbing tour rolled into Squamish featuring marquee climbing icons like Chris Sharma and Timmy O’Neill. Over the course of a weekend, legends mixed with amateurs on The Chief’s routes and fostered a sense of community in what was then a quiet-but-core corner of the climbing world. The small gathering would eventually evolve into the Squamish Mountain Festival. Ten years later, Squamish has become an international rock hot spot and the festival continues to evolve with the Howe Sound town.
The festival has had highlights on and off the Sea to Sky’s granite walls. In 2012, Elise Sethna of Banff, Alberta, Canada set a world record with a leap of 2.2 metres during the annual Flashed Dyno competition. Will Gadd, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell have been amongst many climbing celebrities to be a part of past years’ speaker series. In 2013, iconic climber and BASE jumper Dean Potter discreetly dropped in to host an audience Q&A for the film The Man Who Could Fly. Now called the Arcteryx Climbing Academy, Squamish’s annual collection of clinics, films, educational seminars and parties centred around all things climbing is set to rock out in a new way.
A new partnership with the Sea to Sky gondola, which will be free and open to the public, has been announced, as well as a new music element. Victoria B.C.’s folk rockers Jon and Roy and Vancouver based indie soul band the Boom Booms will be headlining a new, intimate side to the traditionally climbing-focused festival, bringing a little more party to the program. Rock on.
*Editor’s Note: this year’s festival runs July 10-12, 2015. To register and for details, visit: squamish.arcteryxacademy.com