There have been no reported injuries following Sunday’s massive rockslide at Squamish’s Stawamus Chief.
The slide occurred at 11:50 a.m. on the north granite cliffs of the 702-metre tall mountain, a popular area for rocking climbing and hiking.
According to local RCMP, about 1,000 cubic metres of granite fell off the mountain and into the area below. The volume of rock is approximately equivalent to filling one-third of an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Videos and photographs posted onto social media show a large cloud of dust rising in the moments immediately after the slide. A large brown scar can also be seen on the mountainside, where the slab slipped and fell.
Ten climbers were just metres away from the rockslide. At this time, police are not aware of anyone who may be trapped or injured from the slide.
“What we are looking for now is anyone who has any knowledge of anyone that was hiking there, bouldering there or climbing there, to please contact the Squamish RCMP,” said RCMP Inspector Davis Wendell.
A preliminary geotechnical assessment has been made overnight and has deemed the area to be far too unstable for any rescuers to enter and begin a thorough search. It could be weeks before anyone is allowed to enter the area.
The area is now closed to climbers until further notice. Mamquam Forest Service Road is also closed near Highway 99 as a precaution.
Further geotechnical assessments will be made to determine the long-term stability of the granite face.
This is the second emergency Squamish has faced in recent days. On Thursday, a large fire broke out at the town’s waterfront ship terminal. The fire continued to burn for days and an air quality advisory was not lifted until Sunday.
Perspective. #RCMP heli in front of the massive slab that broke free of the #stawamuschief today. 1000 sq/cubic meters #squamish #squamishsar #helicopter #hwy99 A photo posted by Run-DMC (@run_dmc) on
The aftermath. See the red coloured square way up top? That’s what came down. #squamish #thechief #rockslide A photo posted by Lindsay McGhee (@lemcghee) on
— WhyWeClimb (@WhyWeClimb) April 19, 2015
A photo posted by Jennifer Thuncher (@thuncher) on
A photo posted by Bram Whillock (@bramskis) on
A photo posted by Savannah (@savannahlolabakermarlow) on