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Spring 2012 Hiking Round Up

July 16, 2012

Lookout

Spring this year had me stuck in the office doing the old 9-5 routine, so my hiking has been limited to day hiking. Luckily I live in Vancouver, so I’ve had plenty of amazing options.

Stawamus Chief

“The Chief” is approximately 45 minutes drive from Vancouver in the lovely little town of Squamish. The hike is pretty tough, 11km to all three peaks and back with a total ascent of ~800m (though I found different websites had different numbers). Parts of the trail are steep, and chains and ladders have been bolted in place. This means on a busy day sections of the trail will be very crowded and slow moving, as both ascenders and descenders. I found that the trail to the first and second peaks were quite well marked, but I would have had trouble finding the trail to the third if I weren’t following someone who knew where they were going. The trail is generally open March to November, basically good as long as there is no snow. I found the toughest part of the trail was the descent from the third peak, it was about 600m of pure descent on granite stairs and boulders and my legs were not very happy with me for this for a few days. All in all, with lots of snack and picture breaks, it took us about 4 hours and was definitely worth it.

The First Peak From The Second

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake is in the Whistler area. It’s approximately 18km out and back with approximately 800m of ascent, but the ascent is mainly on switchbacks, so it’s not so harsh. It can be done as a day hike, or combined with the Black Tusk and Chekamus hikes for multiday hiking. It is ideally hiked in July to October, but I hiked it in June when there was still a fair amount of snow on the trail (snowshoes would have come in handy). It was a very different hike with all the snow, but very beautiful and well worth it. Even with all the snow, plenty of people were camping out and I wish I had brought my tent too! I definitely want to go back and summer and do the whole deal.

Garibaldi Lake - Early June

Lynn Canyon

Lynn Canyon is a jewel of a park located in North Vancouver. It is accessible by bus from downtown, though it takes a while to get there. I’ve been trail running in the park over quite a few weekends in the last couple months and haven’t taken the same route twice. One of the main attractions to the park is a FREE suspension bridge, though my favourite run was up to Norvan Falls. It was a 17km run out and back from the End of the Line General Store and Cafe, it was pouring rain that day, but it was still amazing. I don’t have many good pictures as I don’t run with anything but a cellphone camera, but it’s well worth the visit.

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge Norvan Falls

THE Grouse Grind

Probably Vancouver’s most famous hike, and yet I lived in the city for almost 8 years before hiking it. It gets a bit of a mixed review, some people don’t like it because it’s very popular with tourists and mostly goes through forest. The BCMC seems to be more of a favourite with locals. However, it is a run club tradition to run from your house to Grouse Mountain on Canada, and I decided to join. Most people started in Mount Pleasant (myself included), as this is the only way it’s fair to those who live out in the suburbs. We ran along roads to the base of the Grind (16km, 50m ascent) then hiked the Grind (2.9km, 850m ascent). So after all that my Grind Time was rather slow at 1 hour 16 minutes. I thought it was a rather nice hike actually, and I was very glad there was beer at the top and a gondola to take me back down.

Well deserved beer

So that’s what I was up to this spring along with training for a half marathon and working through the logistics for hiking the Chilkoot Trail.

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