Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hiking the Stawamus Chief, Squamish BC

On Sunday afternoon, the normal cloudy with a chance of drizzle cleared and we were graced with blue skies and warm sun. It was the oportune moment to hike up the trail that runs behind the Stawamus Chief, a large granite dome located in Squamish, BC.

The Chief has 3 peaks, the tallest of which is 702m. Rockclimbers usually descend up the granite face, but for those with no ropes and a respect for heights, the national park has built a rugged trail that literally goes UP one way, and DOWN another. No compromise in between! There is also a secondary trail that runs to the third peak directly, and on to the Stawamus Squaw, a second, smaller granite dome standing next to the Chief. This trail is even less developed, but has the advantage of being less of a tourist highway.

Our first challenge was crossing the Stawamus River:

I was not so successful:

Nature 1: Gretel 0

Our second crossing (at least no wet feet this time):

Here, on the second trail to the third peak. It is a series of half-developed steps formed out of roots and large rocks:

The view waiting for us on the third peak. Here, facing North-East:

The town of Squamish below:

The moment I realised I had a long, long way to go before being able to rockclimb with no fear of heights:

Looking South, the Howe Sound in the background:

I may look slightly stunned by the beautiful view, but aren't my Canada-socks fabulous! (Designed by Czech sock company called ELEVEN. Their socks are awesome for cycling and running, and they also do excellent triathlon and cycling gear):

The Howe Sound:

Descending via the first trail to the Second peak:

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