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2008 Squamish Mountain Festival

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Mountain Festival featuring films, competitions, clinics and climbing heroes set to Descend on Squamish, BC July 16-20, 2008

The 2008 Squamish Mountain Festival (SQUMF) is getting ready to thrill locals and visitors again this summer with an exciting mix of films, clinics, competitions and guest speakers. The festival takes place at various locations around Squamish, BC from July 16 to 20, 2008. The focus of the festival is climbing and there will be opportunities to take part no matter what your ability or interest. The guest speakers this year represent the past and present, the locals and the international, the dirtbags and the pros. Films will be feature adventurers from around the globe. Film submissions for the festival are still being accepted and the deadline has been extended until May 31, 2008. More information can be found at

The festival will feature guest speakers fresh of the cliffs telling their stories from life in tight squeezes, exposed edges and harrowing heights. Ed Cooper was one of the first climbers to scale the Grand Wall route of the Stawamus Chief in 1961, he also had numerous first ascents in the Cascades, the Bugaboos and Yosemite during the 1950’s and 60’s. Matt Maddaloni climbed the Grand Wall in 2007 but in the same day he climbed two other long Squamish routes totaling 37 pitches and then 4 days later climbed another 50 pitches on 5 different peaks in the Bugaboos. Sonnie Trotter set a new benchmark with the hardest traditional rock route in world, Cobra Crack, in Squamish in 2006, he’s been on the road ever since and has some wild stories to tell. Cedar Wright is known for his hard first free ascents in Yosemite, Micah Dash just got back from Kashmir, India, and Majka Burhardt has been climbing in the deserts of Ethiopia. The final night of the festival will feature a presentation from Scottish hard gritstone climber Dave MacLeod. Festival goers might remember Dave for his huge falls in the film E11.

Photo by Luke Laeser

Full Bios can be found below and at

The vision of the Squamish Mountain Festival is to provide a grass-roots gathering to celebrate the magic of Squamish climbing, bouldering and mountain culture through hands on experience and this year there will be clinics for all ability levels. The clinics will be taught by certified local guides and cover everything from easy top-rope climbing to multi-pitch, aid and rescue techniques. The Dyno competitors are hoping to set a new Squamish record again this year. The Squamish Mountain Festival is presented by Arc’teryx in a partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op, the proceeds from the festival benefit the Squamish Access Society, the Climbers Access Society of BC and the Aidan Oloman Fund. The festival is quickly becoming recognized as the biggest and best climbers festival in Canada.

More information about these beneficiaries can be found at,, and

Photo by John Evans

About the guest speakers:

Majka BurhardtTHE SHOW – Saturday, July 19 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm

What if the very country that claims the Cradle of Humanity is also the new Mecca for climbing? What does it take to find out? In March 2007 four women traveled to northern Ethiopia to climb virgin sandstone towers in a region of the world with an international reputation limited to drought, famine, and war. Majka Burhardt’s slideshow incorporates images and stories from this expedition in conjunction with the release of her book, Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa. Come enjoy an evening of splitter sandstone cracks, international kidnappings, the biggest untapped adventure playground in Africa, and an examination of what it takes to juggle fear, success, and global consciousness in the high desert of Ethiopia. Majka Burhardt is a writer, climber, and guide living in Boulder, Colorado.

An AMGA Certified Rock Guide since 1998, Burhardt has guided the entire range of climbing disciplines from high- altitude mountaineering expeditions to multi-pitch alpine rock. As a lifelong adventurer, she has traveled throughout the world by bike, canoe, and, more often than not, by foot. From the Arctic Ocean to southern Argentina, from the high peaks in the Himalayas to sea cliffs in France, she is drawn to the emotion and internal experience of exploration. Nowhere was this experience more dynamic than on her March 2007 trip to Northern Ethiopia, which despite its war-torn past, is known for having some of the richest natural areas on the continent.

Ed CooperTHE SHOW – Friday, July 18 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm)

Soul of the Heights is the story of a pioneering climber with a passion for, and lifetime dedication to, the majestic mountains of North America. First conquering the awesome faces and peaks—many of them previously unclimbed—then photographing them with an intimate eye, Ed Cooper has maintained this love affair with the mountains for more than fifty years.

His unique story evokes the now-legendary early days of mountaineering and includes exclusive first-hand accounts by climbers of that era about many of the first ascents of new routes that have since become top destinations for new generations of climbers. These historic ascents include routes in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State; the “Chief,” near Squamish, British Columbia; the Bugaboos, also in B.C.; and El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, California. These ascents were all achieved in the 1950s and early ’60s at a time when climbing standards were rising dramatically.

Fascinated by the challenge of the heights, Ed Cooper became the first “climbing bum” in the Pacific Northwest, where he rapidly acquired a reputation as one of the most important all-around climbers of his generation. This book provides rare insight into the world of mountaineering and rock climbing during that era, revealing the intensely competitive nature of the sport at a time when so many opportunities were available for carving a place in climbing history as the first to complete a new challenge.

The young climber’s evolving quest to photograph the essence of the mountains he held in such awe resulted in a series of spectacular portraits of many of the best-known peaks of North America. These images provide the visual drama in Ed Cooper’s story, which also contains many historically interesting photographs of early climbs, and of such noted mountain personalities as Norman Clyde, Warren Harding, and Galen Rowell.

Micah DashTHE SHOW – Saturday, July 19 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm)

Micah Dash will speak about his wild adventure in Indian Kashmir and the epic first ascent of the Shafat Fortress with Jonny Copp. The multimedia presentation also includes hard free-climbing in Indian Creek Utah, and big wall free-climbing in Yosemite Valley.

In 2,000, after becoming hopelessly obsessed with climbing, Micah moved to Yosemite California and spent three years as a member of the legendary Yosemite Search and Rescue Team. It was there that he learned the art of Big Wall climbing. He has followed up his impressive El Cap resume with all free ascents of the Regular Route on Half Dome, and El Capitan’s Freerider. During the summers of 2002 and 2003 Micah traveled to Greenland where he accomplished the first free ascent and the first one day ascent of Nalumasortoq. Much of his time has also been spent climbing in Indian Creek Utah. In 2005, he was featured in the film Return 2 Sender which won best climbing film at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Most recently, he has focused on climbing in Pakistan’s Karakourm range where he once again has become hopelessly obsessed. In 2005 Micah made the first one day ascent of the Eternal Flame on Nameless Tower in 10 hours and in 2006 returned to Pakistan and completed the second ascent of the 3,500 foot Cats Ear Spire with Eric DeCaria (elevation 17,585).

Matt MaddaloniTHE SHOW – Wednesday, July 16 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm)

Linking multiple routes in a single push (as climbers get better, the walls don’t grow bigger) has grown increasingly popular for marathon climbers on the biggest and best alpine ranges and multi-pitch crags. In August, Matt Maddaloni had two noteworthy marathon days in British Columbia: one in Squamish, another in the Bugaboos.

On August 11 with Paul Cordy following, Maddaloni led thirty-seven pitches to tag three summits of Squamish’s Stawamus Chief, besting Sig Isaac’s record-holding enchainment from 1996. They warmed up on Seasoned in the Sun (5.10), then climbed University Wall (5.12a) to the Roman Chimneys (5.11a) to the first summit (610m) of the Chief. They rode bikes to the base of Zodiac Wall and climbed up The Northern Lights (5.12a), then descended on foot and sped up Freeway (5.11c). They called their sixteen-and-a-half-hour day the Triple Crown.

Four days later on August 15, Maddaloni soloed fifty pitches in the Bugaboos, linking five distinct peaks with difficulties up to 5.10. Most of the terrain he encountered had been linked together in the past; his day may be the first time the short Pigeon Spire was included in the classic enchainment. But what may be most impressive about Maddaloni’s long day is that most of the climbing was done onsight and free solo.

Matt considers himself an all round climber but his climbing resume tends to point towards adventure rock climbing and deep water soloing. Now at the age of 29, he’s been living in Canada’s granite destination, Squamish B.C. for the past 14 years and 5 of those years with his wonderfull wife Annie. He works full time at working as their lead construction rigger, a company he has huge pride in as they have introduced sustainability to hundreds of thousands of guests from all over the world.

Some of his expedition successes have been a 25 day big wall route in Baffin Island, a solo big wall ascent in Pakistan, a 10 pitch 5.12 route in the Bugaboos and a new 4500 foot 5.13 free climb on Mt. Combatant in the Waddington Range. He’s also enjoyed putting up several first ascents in Squamish including three big wall free routes and two big wall aid routes. While cruising around as a climbing bum he’s also put up a big wall aid route in Powell River, a couple multi pitch routes in Thailand, many single pitch deep water solo routes in Vietnam, Thailand and Malta and finally several smaller rock objectives in the Waddington range and Squamish.

Dave MacLeodTHE SHOW – Sunday, July 20 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm)

‘Safe is risky’. I’ll be talking about preparation for bold climbing and motivation for doing it in the first place. I’ll explain through my experiences on climbs like Don’t Die of Ignorance XI and soloing Darwin Dixit 8c, why I feel I am taking the safest possible path for me.

Dave started climbing in 1993 at Dumbarton Rock and spent three years working his way through most of the boulder problems there. By age 18 he was climbing Font 7c and E7 new routes and started to get more and more interested in new routing. Around this time he was also repeating most of Scotland’s hardest climbs and hard grit routes in the Peak District. Dave started studying Sport Science and getting an understanding of how to improve more quickly.

By 2002 he had graduated from this and began to get established as an all-round climber, with Scotland’s first E9’s, Font 8a+s, Scottish IX onsight in winter and E7 onsight in summer. Since finishing his sport science MSc Dave has been climbing much more and working as a writer, coach and lecturer, trying to push his all round climbing as far as it can go. Today, he lives in Lochaber with his wife Claire and his cat “pusspuss”.

Sonnie TrotterTHE SHOW – Wednesday, July 16 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm)

Sonnie Trotter, one of Canada’s most renowned rock climbing figures, will be sharing tales from his recent travels around the world, including a summer spent in India on the rocks. Come out and listen to his motivating words on travelling, climbing and philosophies while being awed by some phenomenal photographs. He’ll also be showing a couple of films about the hair-raising climbs that have captured his attention lately.

Canadian Sonnie Trotter started climbing in 1997, when he was 16. In that short time he’s racked up an impressive list of climbing accomplishments including being the first Canadian to climb 5.14c and the third person in North America to establish 5.14d. In 2004 Sonnie completed the first redpoint of the East Face of Monkey Face (5.13d R) at Smith Rock. He’s also been working on climbs on the massive 1,200-foot block of granite at Cap Trinité in Quebec. In the summer of 2005, Sonnie explored deep-water soloing in Malta. He and his friends climbed dozens of first ascents – all ground up, all natural, and all hanging over the Mediterranean Ocean. He hopes to work more with this style of climbing during an upcoming trip to Thailand. Sonnie loves challenging boulder problems and has climbed The Proposal and The Phoenix, both V12.

When Sonnie was 18, he made a trip to Rifle, Colorado where he tested himself physically and psychologically. During this time it was becoming clear that climbing was taking on a more important role in his life. He decided that he was going to pursue climbing instead of going back to school.

Sonnie says, “Rifle opened my eyes up to everything. The people, the passion, and the places we travel. Rifle was like opening the door to the candy store, as soon as I tasted that life I knew it was what I wanted to do forever. Climb rocks and travel the world.”

Sonnie is currently focused on climbing, with traditional gear, routes that are in jeopardy of being bolted to demonstrate that they can be done with a cleaner style of climbing.

Cedar WrightTHE SHOW – Friday, July 18 – Eagle Eye Theatre (Doors 7:00pm, Show 7:30pm)

Cedar Wright learned climbing at the age of 21 on Northern California’s majestic sea cliffs. While he worked toward his B.A. in English from Humboldt State, he quickly progressed as a climber and was soon establishing numerous first-ascent free climbs throughout the area. After earning his degree he started wintering in Joshua Tree and spending the rest of the year in Yosemite, where he became an accomplished free soloist, speed climber, aid climber and free climber. For five years, Cedar worked for Yosemite Search and Rescue while pursuing a career in writing.

Cedar holds numerous speed records throughout Yosemite and is one of the few people to take these techniques to the alpine realm. Cedar is a prolific “first ascensionist” whose passion and positive energy are inspiring and contagious. His zeal for climbing, however, is balanced by his Zen approach to his downtime, with meditation, yoga, guitar, painting, and writing poetry among the ways in which he relaxes. In the future, Cedar hopes to take his speed-climbing techniques around the world, climbing the biggest faces in the fastest times. He’d also like to explore the potential of big-wall free climbing and try his hand at high-altitude mountaineering. When he is not exploring the far-off reaches of the globe he can be found in Yosemite, California, “living the dream.”