Five Quick-Drying Crags in the Smoke Bluffs
It’s that time of year again when the odd stretch of sunny weather provides great opportunities for climbing outside in Squamish. While there are many boulders that dry very quickly, dry crack climbs can be tougher to find if you don’t know where to look. Here are five crags in the Smoke Bluffs that dry remarkably fast with a little bit of sun and wind.
Penny Lane is the Smoke Bluffs’ sunniest crag and a great spot to climb on cold days. Many popular crack lines dry quickly including Quarryman 5.8, Clandestine Affair 5.9, Yorkshire Gripper 5.11b, Crime of the Century 5.11c, and Kahoukers 5.12b. The ultra-classic Penny Lane 5.9 tends to stay damp for a while near the bottom, as does Partners in Crime 5.11a.
Neat and Cool
One of the busiest crags at the Smoke Bluffs is also one of the fastest drying. Most of the lines up on the Cat Crack ledge feature rapid drying times, as does Mousetrap 5.7, Corner Crack 5.8, Flying Circus 5.10a, and Cornflakes 5.7. The “Top 100” Neat and Cool 5.10a stays in the shade all day and takes longer to dry. Everyone’s first 5.11, Kangaroo Corner 5.11a, dries very quickly, as does Geritol 5.10c.
Burgers and Fries
Burgers and Fries is one of the Bluffs’ best crags for high quality climbs graded 5.4 to 5.7. Burgers and Fries Left dries particularly fast as it’s very exposed to the sun and wind. Popular climbs like Burger and Fries 5.7, Dusty Eyes 5.5, Wisecrack 5.7, and Catch Me Quicker 5.10b all dry quickly. Move It On Over 5.9 suffers from a stubborn seepage spot.
Burgers and Fries Right has more tree cover, preventing ultra-fast drying times. That being said, the majority of climbs at the sector as well as the nearby Truck Stop crag dry reasonably well after a couple days of sun and wind.
Parking Lot Wall
Featuring Squamish’s shortest approach, Parking Lot Wall is a very popular crag. It’s a good spot to go if you’re new to trad climbing or looking to climb many routes around 5.6 in difficulty. The wall gets sun nearly all day and doesn’t have any tree cover, facilitating quick drying times. Some of the wider cracks can stay damp at the back but climbing is usually still totally possible.
Both Upper and Lower Crag X have sections that dry quickly and offer excellent crack climbing. Centre Street 5.10c is one of the best 5.10s in the Bluffs and it’s often good to go after a day or two of continuous sun and wind. A similar but easier route, Baby Lizard 5.9, dries in a similar timeframe. Gord’s Block 5.10d, one of the burliest 5.10s you’ll find in the Bluffs, faces north but tends to dry after a few days of sun and wind.
The ever-popular Easter Island 5.8 is prone to seepage but the strenuous Out to Easter 5.9 and Out to Lunge 5.10- often dry up fast. Above at Upper Crag X, Virgin Soil 5.10c is a climb that deserves more popularity and dries reasonably quickly.
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