Son of Rock

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Son of Rock is a rock climbing instructional school normally held in late Spring (first or second week of May). There are usually many different stations set up in the vicinity of the Smoke Bluffs, Murrin Park, Area 44 and Check Recreation Site in Squamish, with 1-2 instructors at each station leading a skill. All ability levels are welcome and no climbing experience is necessary. The types of stations are determined by who is willing to instruct.
Examples of types of stations

  • Rock 1:
    • For people with little or no climbing experience, and who want to learn how to get off the ground safely. Topics covered include tying in, buddy checks, belaying, knots for climbing, and rappelling (optional).
  • Rock 2:
    • For people with Rock 1 experience (or equivalent) who want to learn how to build anchors and set up top ropes. Also covers basic rescue systems such as rope ascending and mechanical advantage systems.
  • Rock 3:
    • For people with extensive seconding/top-roping experience who want to learn how to lead climb on bolted protection. Topics covered include belaying a leader, clipping into bolts and rope management.
  • Rock 4:
    • For people with extensive experience leading on bolt-protected leads (sport climbing; Rock 3 equivalent) who wish to learn the art of traditionally-protected leads (leader placing removable protection).
  • Rock 5:
    • For people with extensive experience leading on either bolt-protected or trad-protected leads (Rock 3 or Rock 4 equivalent) who wish to learn the art of multipitch climbing which includes, multipitch anchor systems, switching leads, and maybe rope rescue.

For a detailed curriculum of each level, please refer to the following google sheet:

Lunch is brought by each member to the crag and is had within your rock group. Dinner is held at various restaurant locations around Squamish (Howe Sound Brewpub being a favorite) or at the Mamquam River Camground (venue - people must bring their own dinners if they choose this) in Squamish to recount epic stories of adventure and also to eat, drink and be merry. Everyone meets back up at the Mamquam River Campground after dinner, sets up their tents and stays the night.

Make sure that you have all the gear you will need for the day and camping afterwords. If you have any questions, ask them at the pre-trip meeting.

Sunday is a do what you want day, where you can put your newly acquired rock climbing skills to the test. Some VOCers will also choose to help out with volunteer activites such as trailwork with the Squamish Access Society (SAS) or helping out at the campground. It may be wise to gather a club rope before the trip and the instructors may also have some club ropes that they can lend out for Sunday.... remember, these are for top-roping only.

Volunteering and Workhikes

Patient, safe and competent climbers are needed to be instructors for the event. Other volunteers are needed for cleanup at the campground on the Sunday, and other volunteer activities at the campground or helping the Squamish Access Society (SAS) with some local climbing infrastructure related maintenance or improvement work. All volunteers get credit for a workhike. Please indicate on the sign up what you are capable of doing.


See Category: Son of Rock for both past events and the next trip. The new trip page for the year is usually posted in April.