Editor’s note, this letter was sent to council and copied to The Chief.
As you are aware, climbing organizations have urged climbers to refrain from climbing during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The recommendation to avoid climbing has been made for critical reasons including: 1) the increased risk of spreading COVID-19 by climbers, who often touch the same holds, share equipment, and, in the case of spotting for bouldering, make social distancing impossible; 2) the lack of medical resources, including equipment and staff, to treat any climbers injured during climbing or bouldering.
As a Squamish climber, as well as a resident of Hospital Hill, I am troubled to see climbers continuing to climb at Smoke Bluffs. Numerous signs have been posted urging climbers not to climb, yet each day, I have witnessed climbers there. There has been much discussion on the Squamish Rock Climbing Facebook page about the voluntary climbing closures. But clearly, some climbers believe their freedom to climb overrides health concerns.
As the spring and summer months bring perfect climbing weather to Squamish, I would like nothing more than to climb. And so would many others in our community. However, I, along with the vast majority of climbers, will continue to abide by current health guidelines and refrain from climbing. My concern is that a minority of climbers are ignoring those guidelines, putting members of our community at risk. Perhaps it is time for the District to issue a mandatory closure of the Smoke Bluffs.