Climbing Howe Sound’s Sea Cliffs

by Jimmy Martinello

Chris Weldon sending his new amazing arete Boner something Howe Sound
Chris Weldon sizes up a nice chunk of Howe Sound granite. Jimmy Martinello photo.

The Coast Mountains rise from the ocean like giants soaring into the sky and the granite walls that embrace the rugged coastline along the Sea to Sky Highway have long ignited our spirits as climbers. Lately though, the mysterious and very adventurous waters of Howe Sound have been pulling us from shore and to challenge ourselves, test our creativity and fire up new and inspiring good times on the sea cliffs of Howe Sound.

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Chris Wheldon and the The Sea Flea. Jimmy Martinello photo.

With the help of their rocking boat, the Sea Flea, Andrew Boyd and Chris Weldon have been putting up some of the best open-water climbing routes in the world and the warm and early spring this year saw Matt Maddaloni pioneer a new seven-pitch climb above the serene waters of Howe Sound. Other local characters out exploring and creating new lines include Tony Richardson, Paul McSorley, Tim Emmett, Trevor McDonald and myself. The creativity and camaraderie has been inspiring, and the ocean provides a new, beautiful perspective on our home zone.

Chris Weldon image Andrew Boyd free soloing an amazing crack on the Howe Sound
Andrew Boyd free soloing an amazing crack on the Howe Sound. Chris Weldon photo.

Many of these spots can be explored by boat, kayak or SUP – some just a short paddle from downtown Squamish – but it’s integral to always stay alert, pay your respect and be humble on the water. Pay attention to weather forecasts and tides, and be sure to have the right gear. Howe Sound winds can change in a heartbeat and shit can hit the fan fast. It’s always an adventure when you hit the water though, so dial in what you need and head out for the views and the quest — the ocean and the sea cliffs await.

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Trevor Mcdonald on our new route Let the Goodtimes Roll Anvil Island Howe Sound
Trevor McDonald on Let the Goodtimes Roll, Anvil Island Howe Sound. Jimmy Martinello photo.