Peter Croft. Jonathan Siegrist. Yukon Blond. Paul McSorley. Ines Papert. These are just a few of the legends we were introduced to at last weekend’s Arcteryx Climbing Academy event in Squamish, BC.

Okay, maybe the band Yukon Blond haven’t hit legendary status yet but their tunes are sweet. As are the Boom Booms and Mountain Bear who belted out live music this past weekend, which marks the 12th year Arcteryx has hosted. Originally named the Squamish Mountain Festival, the event evolved last year and became the Climbing Academy, a sibling event to the Arcteryx Alpine Academy in Chamonix that happened three weeks ago. As a sponsor of the Academy, Mountain Culture Group was there to witness talks by legends Peter Croft, Ines Papert and others, as well as learn tips from the various clinics such as “How to Climb Offwidth” and “Big Wall Climbing.”

The event, which lasted from Thursday July 14 to Sunday July 17, was excellent and you can see our photo diary wrap up below. Also, here’s our interview we did right before the event with Justin Sweeny, the Sports Marketing Specialist at Arcteryx for North America.

Hey Justin, thanks for talking with us. First of all, what’s your background?

I’ve been with Arcteryx for eight years and I worked my way up through different roles. My background is in marketing education and I’m also bringing in my own athletic sponsorship knowledge. I was a sponsored snowboard athlete so I know the physical activity side of things.

Are you a climber?

Yeah, my main discipline is alpine climbing. I’m from Ontario and I grew up climbing in a gym and as soon as I moved out west and was introduced to the mountains, they were a huge draw for me from an alpine perspective. I climb all sorts of styles but if I’m going to plan an adventure it’ll be alpine climbing.

What are you most looking forward to at the event this weekend?

I’m super pumped on the new clinic offerings we’ve introduced. We’ve been offering the same clinics for the past 11 years we’ve been doing this like trad climbing, advanced trad climbing, sport climbing, rock rescue and whatnot. So this year we’ve responded to people’s requests for different things. The Offwidth Clinic for one. Big Wall Climbing. Overnight Bivy Clinic. We’ve also partnered with Prana, which is cool, so we’re going to elevate the yoga program to coincide with the topics in the educational seminars. The other really exciting part about this year is the music. We’ve signed on some of Canada’s raddest bands to play (Yukon Blond, Bear Mountain and the Boom Booms) all free of charge for attendees.

Click on the pics below to see Mountain Culture Group’s Photo Diary of the Arcteryx Climbing Academy.

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