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What is in a Squamish climbing route name?

They run the gamut from ridiculous — Boogie Till You Puke — to inspiring — the Calling.

If you’ve spent any time climbing, you’re bound to have heard some memorable route names. 

They run the gamut from ridiculous — Boogie Till You Puke — to inspiring — the Calling. 

Many of them incorporate puns, like the classic Climb and Punishment. 

Some pay tribute to favourite songs or films, while others reference local culture. 

These names are determined by the first climber to ascend the route, and choosing them is a unique opportunity to contribute to the local culture. Here is a selection of some Squamish route names and their origins.

Diedre —Jim Baldwin, Jim Sinclair

Commonly mispronounced as “Deidre,” this route is not, in fact named for someone’s favourite aunt. 

Diedre (Dee - ay - druh) is Italian for dihedral, which is what climbers call an open book corner. This simple name refers to the prominent corner feature up the middle of the Apron, the broad slab of granite above the junction of Highway 99 and the Mamquam Forest Service Road. 

Many early route names simply describe distinctive features, which are often the easiest means of ascent.

Squamish Days — Unknown

While climbers have sometimes seemed to separate themselves from the town’s history and culture, there are a number of route names that pay tribute to local traditions. One of the Grand Wall boulders is named for the iconic logging festival. Visiting climbers have often enjoyed the festivities while taking a rest day or avoiding weekend crowds.

Ha7lh Skwalwen — FA Aaron Kristiansen

“Good Heart” in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim (Squamish language), this route was named to honour Alex Williams, one of the last fluent speakers of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. It is perhaps the only route in the Sea to Sky named in the language of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people.

University Wall — Tim Auger, Hamish Mutch, Dan Tate and Glenn Woodsworth

There is a long history of climbers focusing on their vertical endeavours to the detriment of work or study. University Wall was first climbed between college exams, with the first ascent party seizing any brief opportunity to climb they could get.

Teetering on the Brink of Madness — Carl Austrom, Bruce MacDonald, Jean McRae

This brilliantly named route takes a precarious line following the edge of a steep ramp up the Apron. The climber must battle with the continual feeling that they could pitch off the arête at any point and take a nasty fall onto the slab below.

Jump to Lightspeed — Kris Wild, Jen Reilly

Splitting the wall right of the classic Skywalker, this route features a sizable gap, or runout, between the last piece of protection and the anchor. Those who have fallen from the last hard moves find themselves suddenly rushing through the air, and can personally attest to the name's suitability.


Alex Ryan Tucker is a Squamish resident and Squamish Access Society board member. Go to for more information on SAS.