Rovers outdoor rock climbing experience at Murrin Provincial Park

By: David Yuan

On Friday August 22nd 2014, two members of the 180th Rover Crew, David Yuan and Dylan Book attended the 2nd outdoor rock climbing event at Murrin Provincial Park near Squamish, BC. The event was led by John Wong, one of the Integrated Outdoor Program (IOP) Advisors and Vince Poulin, our resource person and an Outdoor Survival specialist who has years of rock climbing experience within British Columbia and internationally.

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Murrin Provincial Park was handpicked by John as it presented a perfect environment for beginners who were new to rock climbing in the outdoors. After driving from our West Vancouver meet-up place for about 40 minutes, the group pulled into the parking lot which is conveniently right off the Sea to Sky highway towards Whistler, BC. The rock face is less than a five minutes hike away from the parking lot, making it easy to access and to carry in the equipment for the climb. According to Vince, the Squamish area is world famous as a climbing mecca with great rock climbing locations where private citizens have privately funded and built their own climbing paths. However, all routes are free to the public when in public land.

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Luckily it was not the weekend and there was only three other groups of climbers. Once the equipment was brought out and prepared, Vince bravely and skillfully began the lead climb up to the top of the rock face. With years of experience Vince made the climb look simple and smooth. Once at the top Vince quickly prepared the top rope, an essential component of making the climb safe for the others to begin climbing. Rock climbing can be a lot fun when the safety equipment and proper belaying techniques are used, otherwise it can be a very scary and dangerous climb.

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It is highly recommended to attend a local indoor rock climbing session to learn all the basics before trying rock climbing outdoors. Belaying techniques are a must for safety reasons. The climber has to trust the belayer and communicate well together as an integral team. Rock climbing outdoors is a very different experience but you don’t have to become an expert before venturing outdoors, as a crag (rock face) has several climbing paths with varying levels of difficulty to keep climbers on their toes, literally. There are no painted edges and foot holds conveniently marked for the climber’s leisure. The climber has to look for their own spot to grip and notch to step on in order to advance further up the wall.

While climbing toward the top one can stop 20 feet from the bottom to take a look around and scan the area. In exchange for a glass ceiling the view above is an open sky, and instead of cement walls the trees grew all around to enclose the rock face. With the sun and wind on one’s face, this is what outdoor climbing is all about…. The freedom of the hills.

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Along with enjoying a fun and thrilling rock climb, the benefits of an outdoor climb is the possibility of meeting other climbers and hearing their stories. Like a bag of trail mix, climbers can be of both genders, all shapes and sizes and can come from anywhere. While the climbing wall at Murrin Provincial Park was not particularly busy, it did draw a group of German tourists, a couple from Seattle, and a pair of young local climbers. By the weekend the wall would be filled with a smorgasbord of different people from all walks of life.

For anyone looking to try something new and enjoy the great outdoors, please attend a future indoor or outdoor rock climbing session hosted by the 180th Rover Crew.  It opens up a whole new world of activities and healthy living and you will enjoy it as I did.

If interested, take a look at the rest of the photos here >>

 

Mostafa Nejati

2 Responses to “Rovers outdoor rock climbing experience at Murrin Provincial Park

  • Shirley Hu
    2 years ago

    Would you please let me if a person who never tried rock climbing could try this sport at Murrin Provincial Park?

    • If you hook up with a group absolutely! You might want to try an indoor gym first to get the hang of some technique before heading outside, as anchors do take some training to setup safely 🙂

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