Monday, August 29, 2016

The Birth Canal - A Squamish Rite of Passage

Upon my arrival in Squamish, Tyler took us into the boulders for a night-time wander. It was fun checking out the area in the dark, but the purpose of the mission was to show us the Birth Canal, a tiny squeeze between two boulders that is apparently a Squamish rite of passage. One of Tylers friends showed us how it was done and slithered through with what seemed to be no effort at all. Angela went next. It took her a few more minutes but she wiggled her way through in no time.
Angela making it look easy
 Kyle had been contemplating trying it and after much enthusiasm from the peanut gallery, he gave it a shot. Apparently Kyle's frame is not designed for the Birth Canal in the same way as the other two and he was stuck in there for at least 20 minutes making little progress. At one point he wasn't able to move forward or backward and would have to breath out all the air in his lungs and wiggle his whole body just to move a few millimeters towards the exit. In the end, he made it through, but not without ripping his shirt to shreds and recruiting Tyler to push and me to pull in order to free him from his rocky prison.
Kyle very stuck in the Birth Canal
Almost through
 I was up next. I was slightly apprehensive but after seeing that Kyle was able to fit I wasn't too worried about getting stuck. The whole process felt like it took forever but it probably only took a few minutes to move through the tunnel. You really had to coordinate your breathing with pushing and couldn't tense up too much or you wouldn't make any progress. I squeezed my way out but my sternum was sore for days afterwards! I guess we have joined the ranks of many Squamish climbers and boulderers before us having conquered the Birth Canal!
That smile is hiding how concerned I am that I will be stuck in there forever!

No comments:

Post a Comment