As the popularity of bouldering continues to rise, fencing has been added to the Grand Wall boulder forest in an effort to prevent climbers from wandering off-trail.
“SAS is pleased to announce the construction of cedar fencing in the Grand Wall boulders,” reads a notice from the Squamish Access Society.
“With the growing popularity of bouldering, there has been an increase in the number of climbers frequenting this area. Many of these climbers are wandering off trail, causing unnecessary impact.”
The fences are made from split cedar and are approximately hip height.
Climbers voted in favour of putting the fences up before anything was built, according to the Squamish Access Society.
The results showed that 82 per cent of those who responded were in favour of constructing the barriers, while 90 per cent of respondents said some sort of action had to be done.
“The Grand Wall Boulders are within a provincial park, meaning we must take extra care to reduce the impact of climbers, and to ensure the sustainable enjoyment of this treasured resource for years to come,” the notice says.
”SAS is considering further trail improvements for the Grand Wall Boulders in the the coming year.”
While bouldering-specific numbers for Squamish are hard to pin down, the International Federation of Sport Climbing says that 25 million people are climbing regularly worldwide.
Based on liability waivers, the federation says, between 1,000 and 1,500 people — in the U.S. alone — are putting on a pair of rock shoes for the first time every day.
The number of International Federation of Sport Climbing member federations has increased by 25 per cent in the last decade, the society said.