Tag Archives: hike

Hiking the Stawamus Chief

Oh hello!  That’s right, I am still alive, and I am still living in Canada.  After a three-month trip back home, I came back to British Columbia in March, and now live in Vancouver.

It’s very different living in the city, as opposed to Whistler where many outdoor activities are right there on your doorstep.  I’ve got very lazy and not done many hikes, I haven’t run in ages, and I don’t even have a bike anymore.  So when I was invited to a group hike of The Chief in Squamish, I jumped at the chance.  Well, not a literal jump, because I’m lazy, remember?

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I’ve wanted to hike The Chief since I first moved here (almost three years ago, what?!), but never really had the chance as I don’t have a car, and it’s pretty hard to get to on public transport.  I knew it was going to be challenging, especially as I am seriously unfit right now, but I did not anticipate just how gruelling it would be.  Brutal, that’s the word I have been using to describe it.

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This was the view about 3/4 of the way up.  We were about an hour and a half in at this point, and I was flagging big time.  Actually, to be fair, I had been flagging from ten minutes in.  I should have been drinking water right from the start, not waiting until we stopped for a break.

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Yeah, those are chains screwed into the rock face to pull yourself up with.

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That’s the view from the top.  Gorgeous, and totally worth it.

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After rehydrating and having some lunch, we began the trek back down, which was equally as difficult.  Let’s just say, going backwards down ravines is not the easiest thing for someone as uncoordinated as me.

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When we finally made it back to the car, four hours later, we headed to a lake to chill out and enjoy the sun… but when we got to the lake it suddenly became overcast

 

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Even though every single muscle in my body aches, and I can barely move today, I’m really glad I did it.  I’m also really glad that we went in the morning, before it got hot and before the trails got busy.

Maybe I’ll get back into the outdoors…

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Oh, the suspense(ion bridge)

That was a bad title.  Forgive me.
We went on another little adventure, this time to Whistler Interpretive Forest.


How many ways can you interpret a forest?

I heard that there was a suspension bridge somewhere in this forest, and knew I wanted to go, so we gathered the troops and set off in our new boots that pinch, and backpacks full of snacks.

The hike through the forest was exhilarating.  Yep, I just described a hike using a positive word.  Perhaps I am speaking prematurely, and as a total novice, but I’m kind of loving hiking.  We haven’t done anything very challenging; just forests, trails and off the official walking paths, but I love it.  Since we got here (almost a month ago, seriously, how is that possible?), we have done a lot more walking than usual, and after the first week of doing the valley trail twice a day, forty-five minutes each way to the village and back, I have noticed my fitness levels increasing.  At one point during our hike through the Interpretive Forest, I was powering up a steep hill and thought to myself “I’m not out of breath, I’m not struggling, I’m not even tempted to stop for a rest,” and it was the best feeling.  I was running on a total buzz.
The last stretch before the bridge was all uphill though, and I was glad to sit on a rock and catch my breath.  Still a novice, remember.

The bridge was smaller than I expected (perhaps because my only other experience of a suspension bridge is Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge), but as soon as I stepped on it and it started swaying and jumping under me, it felt long enough.

Cheakamus Canyon River was roaring below us.  As I crossed, holding on to the sides felt redundant, ’cause lets face it, if the whole thing snaps, holding on to the wire mesh isn’t going to make much difference.


This girl loves to frighten me by getting as close to the edge of any precipice she can find.  It may not look it in this shot, but there is quite a drop there.

We walked back on the other side of the river, which was an entirely different walk.


There I am, standing on a big rock, holding an apple core.  There were (obviously) no rubbish bins in the forest, and you can’t leave any food traces here because it attracts bears.  (Not that I’m a litterer anyway, but I’m used to leaving biodegradable products as gifts to small animals)


Yarn bombing on a bridge.  I’ve seen a few things yarn-bombed around here, like this bike rack at Function Junction:

I’m loving all our wee days out.  Next stop: the ghost town (if we can find it).

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Lost Lake.

We’ve spent pretty much every day over the past three weeks looking for a place to live and applying for jobs.  More on that soon, but yesterday we happened to find ourselves with an afternoon free, and I really needed to clear my head, plus it wasn’t raining, so we decided to walk to Lost Lake.
Note: I know the rain is needed if we want snow, but I don’t have suitable footwear yet, so it’s a bit of a pain to constantly have wet feetI was very happy that the rain held off yesterday; I needed the break.

The walk was beautiful.  From Whistler village, it took us about twenty minutes to get there.  Well, maybe thirty if you factor in our inevitable walking in the wrong direction at the start.

The walk to get there was as good as the actual lake.

I’m not sure why it is called Lost Lake, but I found out (thanks to the ever-reliable Wikipedia) that before the hotel developments sprung up, Lost Lake beach was once a popular nude sunbathing spot.

There was no flesh on show yesterday; it was pretty chilly.


“It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.”
I love quotes on benches, I always stop to look at every single one.  I always think “oh I’ll remember that one, it’s my favourite”, and then ten minutes later I can’t recall it at all.  I like this one, even though at first it seems somewhat cynical.  I like to think it means we should look for happiness within ourselves; only then can we begin to find happiness in anyone or anything else.I’ve had a rough couple of days, and my most natural instinct is to be disheartened and feel sorry for myself.  But really, I know that isn’t going to help me, or make me feel any better.  I’ve got to look at the bigger picture: I’m here, I’m in Canada after a year of planning and saving.  It was my choice to give up my job and move to a different continent.  I had the means to do that, I had the opportunity and I had the desire.  Why should I be miserable?
I’ve got to find happiness in what I’ve got, instead of dwelling upon what I haven’t got.
Because the truth is, I have so much.

So, so much.

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