In Squamish, we continually come across climbers I’ve met at distant climbing areas, many of whom live on other continents. When I started climbing, the climbing community was much smaller and everyone knew most local climbers. Today, I don’t come close to knowing many climbers in Boulder, Colorado, despite living there since 1984.
But I continually encounter the same climbers at different areas around the world. Yesterday at the Smoke Bluffs, Squamish ( it’s still raining and everything else is wet), I was struggling at Penny Lane. A voice yelled up,
“Is that Sibylle?”
I looked down, to see Enga, who Tristan and I had run into in Finale Ligure (Italy) in 2001, and whom I’d last climbed with in Yosemite in 2003.
After that climb, we went to try Penny Lane (my lead) and Crime of the Century (Tristan’s lead). At the base here, I met Ian and Erin, two climbers I encounter in Portrero Chico and last saw at Indian Creek, Utah. Since we’ve been in Squamish, we’ve come across David Goldstein, with whom I went to Portero Chico and numerous climbers that I met in Yosemite or Indian Creek. It’s still a small world!
There’s a circuit many climbers travel: Portero Chico in winter, Indian Creek in early spring, Yosemite or City of Rocks in late spring or early summer, Squamish in summer, back to the Creek, and repeat. More affluent climbers add a mix of Europe, Thailand, and Australia.
At Penny Lane, we met Gerhard Schaar, a world-traveler specializing in climbing writing and photography. His card reads:
“Climb Around the World”. We invited him to our campsite, so “Climb Around the World” now shares a site with “Fun Climbs Around the World”!