The Malamute Climbing Access Issues
by Matthew Buckle
The Malamute is the large white granite cliff right at the waters edge below the Chief, and to the west of the highway. The climbing is in a fine position just beside the waters of Howe Sound, with a beautiful view down the inlet. There is often a cool breeze off the water, which can be refreshing on warm summer days, and helps dry the rock quickly in the spring and fall. Access
NOTE: The Lower malamute is currently closed due to access issues with BC Rail. Negotiations are ongoing, and hopefully the issue will be resolved soon. Check the Climbers Access Society of BC website for details.
Park in the lot in front of the Grand Wall, or in a small gravel pullout on the west side of the road 100 metres further north. From the pullout, a trail heads west through the forest and accross some slabs to the Upper Malamute, while a second trail heads from the north down through the forest to the base of the cliffs beside the BC Rail tracks. Some of the climbs at the lower malamute are as little as 2 metres from the train tracks, so please act accordingly to avoid future access problems. Do not leave gear or tie anything off to the tracks!
The climbing at the Malamute is divided into two main areas, the lower Malamute, which has been popular for over 30 years, and the Upper Malamute, which has been the site of much recent development.
The Lower Malamute is along the BC Rail tracks right beside the waters of Howe Sound, and is characterized by many fine cracks with the occasional (hard) face climb, up to 4 pitches in length. Almost all of the routes are in the 5.10 to 5.12 range, and include many of the best short climbs at Squamish, such as Clean Crack, Caboose, Crescent Crack and Overly Hanging Out.
The Upper Malumute has a few moderate cracks as well as a number of slab routes, all at a variety of grades and lengths. It reaching the base of some of the climbs can be somewhat tricky, but many of the climbs are well worth it.
Access Issues For Other Climbing Area