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9 Mistakes Every local Makes
The newbie's guide to Squamish

Over the past couple of years Squamish has seen some downright fundamental changes and one of those changes is you.

That’s right newbie I’m talking to you.

If you’re not from around here, it’s my pleasure to say ‘welcome’.

Now, in coming to any town there are things you can only learn by mistake. Either that or you need someone to show you a rope or two. That’s where I come in.

I’m Bryan Raiser (hi).

At this time you are right to ask “Who the hell are you to tell me what’s what?”
Good question and I admire your moxie.

As I said, I’m Bryan Raiser, and for many years I’ve been livin’, lovin’, writin' and ridin’ all over this wonderful town. Organizing events, volunteering, writing professionally and for fun (this site) as well as staying very active in the community.

So there you go. Don’t consider me a stranger, I’m a new friend with information. Information I’m willing to share, like...

  • When NOT to hike the chief
  • Best video store in town - It’s not where you think.
  • Where’s the best suds in town
  • What’s with the billion babies?
  • Appropriate name calling
    And much more...

So without further adieu...

Best way to break the ice.

Sometimes it takes years to acclimatize to a community. But once you do, life gets much easier.

In Squamish it’s actually quite easy to meet people once you realize we’re a town of
Volunteers. Whatever you’re into, indoors or outdoors, there’s a club or association with your name on it. Not to mention countless events, including of course the soup kitchen, and Community Christmas care.

If you’re into cycling, SORCA (Squamish Off Road Cycling Association) is the local mountain bike club and a fantastic way to meet a large number of people. Weekly casual rides and races, with a couple big events thrown in.

The Hot Spot downtown is also a good place to get hooked in to who could use some help.


LIBRARY aka: Best Video Store in Town.

If you do only one thing from this guide (besides a delightful visit to this site)
Get yourself a library card!

It’s free and gives you great access to books, the internet, and most importantly, it’s the best video store in town. Tones of TV series (including the fantastic Deadwood, Seinfeld, Father Ted, and The Young Ones) plus major movies as well as the indi and documentary fare you’d expect from a library. Just remember to return them on time and it won’t cost a cent. Even if you have some late fees they go to a great cause.

Name Calling

Squamish has many an alias. Squish, Squampton, and spell check insists we’re Squeamish. We used to be known as the McDonalds on the way to Whistler but now we’re the big box. For 2010 VANOC hasn’t official bestowed us the title of Olympic toilet between towns… yet.  Some also can actually say we’re the outdoor recreation capital of Canada. But if you’re really lucky you get to call it home.

Avoid the Tourists

Simply? To avoid them, know their habits. First off, driving patterns. Highway traffic is a guaranteed bitch going North on Friday and going South on Sunday and doubly on any American long weekend. Try to avoid the highway at all costs since 1 out of 5 drivers are exhausted, drunk or both.

Weekends are also a bad time to hit any lakes or camp grounds, especially hiking the Squamish Chief.

That said, hiking the Chief is easily on the "must do at least once in your life" list.

If you find yourself only available to hike the Chief on a weekend, go very early or plan to hike to the second or third peak. Otherwise, be prepared to walk in a line with many others.

Another northern gem is the Brackendale art gallery. When Brackendale succeeds from Canada this will be the parliamentary headquarters. An absolutely remarkable facility that must be explored to do it justice. Open to the public, come by and check out this cool little creation.

In Brackendale you also may notice someone put a public fence across our public dike. This is due to a horrific municipal planning mistake and will take years to rectify. Don’t get upset at the people who put up the fence. Encourage today's politicians to correct this horrible mistake.



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