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Climbers’ Advisory Group Up & Running

The CRAG is a group of climbers who comprise a committee to represent the greater Squamish climbing public in assisting BC Parks and possibly other agencies in policy regarding management of climbs and climbing affairs.

It was established in late 2009 under coordination by the Squamish Access Society in partnership with BC Parks (BCP) and follows and builds upon recommendation #2 to BC Parks of the Squamish Climbing Strategy Report which we released in early 2009.

The SAS approached several members of the climbing community.  The following people volunteered their time and energy to be included in the start-up of the group:  Andre Ike, Andrew Boyd, Colin Moorhead, Craig McGee, Jasmin Caton, Charlie Harrison, John Howe, Jeremy Frimer, Jeremy Smith, Kevin McLane, Marc Bourdon and Peter Winter.

The group’s make-up is evolving, but what is critical is that it adequately reflects the needs of the climbing community in the broadest sense.

A rough indication of the work envisioned into 2010 and beyond includes:

  • Developing a vision of how Squamish climbing can be its best 10 years from now.
  • Working with BCP on issues of immediate concern, including a revision of the 1999 Rock Climbing Strategy
  • Developing principles by which climbers should try to conduct themselves regarding cleaning, new route development, retro-management and other related matters
  • Developing a database of climbs based on pitch attributes to provide a baseline of our climbing resources, showing how many of each type of climb and pitch we have
  • Developing a long term plan to address issues regarding climbing in the parks specifically, and potentially other venues, especially as regards balancing capacity (having enough available climbs to absorb growth) and values (the things that make Squamish climbing what it is)

Four meetings of the group have been held, initially just among the climbers, and the last two with BC Parks.  On pressing substantive matters the group has spent some time discussing route cleaning as this issue has become acute with several close calls over the last few months, as well as issues around the annual falcon closure.  Terms of reference are being developed and the group is tackling how best to move forward with regard to process and procedure.  A means by which to keep the public informed of the progress of the group and to receive community feedback is also being worked on.

It is exciting to have a group of dedicated, passionate climbers help forge the future of a sustainable climbing experience in Squamish.

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