Work Hard, Play Harder

In Sea to Sky Air Crew + Media by deast

Steve Townshend, climbing ‘Greed,’ rated 5.14c – Photo by Nathan Welton www.nathanweltonphoto.com
Steve Townshend, climbing ‘Greed,’ rated 5.14c – Photo by Nathan Welton www.nathanweltonphoto.com


In Squamish, our motto is “Work hard, play harder.” One of our pilots, Steve Townshend, plays harder than most. As a rock climber who’s been climbing for over 18 years, he’s currently working on some of the hardest climbs in the area, ticking off most of the 5.13 and 5.14 climbs in the Howe Sound region this summer. Steve is just one of the many climbers who flock to Squamish for the amazing climbs, beautiful views, and mountain culture.

Flashed Dyno Comp - Photo courtesy of Squamish Mountain Festival – Taken from: http://www.squamishmountainfestival.com/photos-new2.aspx#close
Flashed Dyno Comp – Photo courtesy of Squamish Mountain Festival – Taken from: http://www.squamishmountainfestival.com/photos-new2.aspx#close

The Squamish Mountain Festival was started nine years ago to celebrate this climbing community. Sponsored by Arc’teryx, the outdoor gear brand that is ‘couture’ around Squamish, this five-day festival celebrates the “magic of climbing, bouldering, and mountain culture.” Even if you aren’t a climber, with film showings, climbing clinics, free yoga and doge ball, and – of course – awesome after-parties, this festival will be great to check out between July 16th and 20th.

Steve competing in the Dyno Comp, on the attempt that won the competition. Photo courtesy of Steve Townshend.
Steve competing in the Dyno Comp, on the attempt that won the competition. Photo courtesy of Steve Townshend.

Steve will be competing in one of the most exciting spectator events, the Flashed Dyno Competition, that is happening at 12:00PM on July 20th at Squamish Junction Park. For those of us non-climbers, a ‘dyno’ is a “dynamic move to grab a hold that would have been otherwise out of reach.” Basically, it’s a leap or a jump to grab the next hold. A dyno competition tests climbers’ abilities to make a dynamic move to a hold farther and farther out of reach, at a 45-degree angle. The current world record sits at 2.85 meters (9 feet, 4 inches), set by Skylar Weekes in Sheffield, England. This competition is typically quick, but very intense, and promises to be a fun start to your afternoon.

Steve climbing ‘Battle of Evermore’ 5.14 near Furry Creek, just south of Squamish. Photo by Tim Emmett, www.timemmett.com
Steve climbing ‘Battle of Evermore’ 5.14 near Furry Creek, just south of Squamish. Photo by Tim Emmett, www.timemmett.com

Living and working in Squamish means the mountains, and the accompanying mountain culture, are a huge part of daily living. And whether we’re flying past the climbers on the Stawamus Chief, or climbing it ourselves, mountains are a way of life in the Sea to Sky Corridor.