September 12, 2012
Yesterday evening, we decided to extend our stay in Squamish by one night. We had planned to hike a few beautiful routes and felt that having to drive to the next town on the same day might be a little tight. It turned out to be the right decision. The photo above shows the sunrise as seen from our hotel window.
We started our day with a light breakfast at Tim Horton’s (our favorite fast-food chain) and then drove a few kilometers to the Shannon Falls Provincial Park, where water tumbles down the rock from more than 300m. Nice, but the 200m walk from the parking lot didn’t even allow us to take of our gloves. Next up was “The Chief” (Stawasmus Chief), a big hunk of rock with some steep climbing routes to its peaks. Here we had our first slight miscalculation in difficulty, and ended up taking three hours for the 2km hike up and down the first peak (see the photos and imagine 600m in height).
The first part of the route was already steep and demanding, with “steps” made from boulders, large rocks and wooden steps. Near the summit, the route was basically naked rock, and in a few places there were ladders and chains bolted right onto the rock to get past a particularly difficult spot. The view from the summit was all worth it though, as were the cute chipmunks which tried to solicit snacks from us by climbing up our legs.
When we got back to the parking lot it was already afternoon and our knees where burning, so we decided to finish the day with a hike around the Four Lakes Trail in Alice Lake Provincial Park, also close to where we were staying. The hike was nice enough, and each lake was unique. There were bears in the area, so we tried to whistle and clap at each sharp corner. The majority of hot-pants-wearing, iPod-listening people with dogs on the trail didn’t seem to share our concern.
We arrived at the hotel with some time left before dinner, so Katrin convinced me to try the Sauna. It was a big disappointment however, with temperatures below what you typically encounter in car that was parked in the late-September sun.
Tomorrow we’ll head to Whistler, to check out the Olympic sites as well as some hikes. After that we’ll probably have to take a bigger leap towards Jasper to make our rough schedule.