Another amazing trip of 2017 for the books, although, it did not start out that way. I wouldn’t consider throwing up the whole way, from Calgary to Squamish to be. . . amazing! It started around Field, BC, where I had to get out, and take care of . . . my barfing. I was able to hold off until Revelstoke, where we gassed up and I tried to drink Gatorade and water, to only moments later – aggressively throw it all up. How embarrassing going from outside throwing up in front of a bunch of truckers, to holding up the VERY long line of everyone else waiting for the bathroom. Great start, and it didn’t end there. We hadn’t even completely left Revelstoke, and I had panicked and begged for my friend to pull over so I could roll out and again, throw up. After that, I think I passed out until Hope, BC and then was in and out of it till we hit Vancouver. I think, once we made it to Vancouver, I was more awake, and then I saw the Sea to Sky highway and couldn’t believe my eyes! The smoke from the forest fires had clouded the sky all the way from Calgary to Vancouver, I couldn’t believe that either! It was so bad and there were SO many fires. I remember waking up around Rogers pass and that – destroyed my head and didn’t help with nausea. It was so thick, you couldn’t even put a sweater up to your nose to hide the smell. What a summer for fires.
Eventually, in the evening, we arrived in Squamish. It was the coolest little town and I couldn’t wait to explore.
Day 2 plans were to hit up Shannon Falls area and Climb the Skywalker, because my friend is a dork and was all about Star wars. (Sorry Star wars fans). Our breakfast plans for each day were to Jetboil some oats and protein powder. We had a lot of snacks to tied us over through the day and keep us energized and saving money. After breakfast, we made our way to Shannon falls. It wasn’t very far to hike in, and when we got there, we saw a wide range of routes and loads of people! Skywalker was apparently very popular, so we stayed close but tried out some single pitch crack climbs first. I thought that was better so I could practice crack before getting stuck on a multi of crack.
The first crack I touched in Squamish was (haha) Klahanie Crack. This was great practice for me and just like the few other climbs I’ve done, there was someone there to provide great advice on technique. I know a lot of people think this crack is over rated, but – I’m a newbie and I really enjoyed it. I would really like to go back and practice on it some more. We gave that a few goes and I knew what my feet were in for on the multi pitch. uh oh!
Eventually, we got on to the Skywalker. It looked like we were going to be the last ones, as no one was behind us, but as I started to make my way up, another group came up behind us. I was SO nervous. There were SO many people out here and I was new to crack and not as good as everyone else. Pressure was on I felt, and it discouraged me big time. I didn’t understand how to get up this crack, and it was steeper, and in a corner! My partner was trying to yell down to me and I wasn’t understanding his Beta at all, I got frustrated fast. As the other group came up, we started chatting and the guy was incredibly friendly. He and his partner really tried to help me out an calm me down, and I finally got my stuff together and really concentrated. I made it up the first pitch, the second and
Once we got to the top, I was told that there was a short hike up to these falls where we could cool down and, they were of course a must see. I was blown away by the Squamish forest. Everything was so different here. The forest to me, seemed like a lot of red, green and grey. That’s what came to my mind instantly. The trees were different, the rock was different, the ground was different, it was so beautiful.
We walked off the route, down the mountain and headed to a pub for a much deserved beer and burger. Its not often I can actually finish a beer and a meal but, after a day in the mountains, I will devour it and that’s just what I did 🙂
Up and at-em, very early this morning! Lesson learned quickly after waiting HOURS yesterday for Sky Walker, we were not going through that again.
We drove out of Squamish and headed out to climb Star Chek. We pulled over, parked on the side of the road at a pullout area and made some breakfast. Jet boiled oats with cookies and cream protein powder. It was such a beautiful morning, the air wasn’t too hot yet and the breeze was refreshing. That was nice seeing as how we hadn’t showered for two days now, ha-ha! 😛 Even though it was still smoky out here, the air wasn’t harsh, at least I didn’t find it was. All I felt was nice ocean air, such a nice change from Alberta right now. After we ate breakfast, we hiked along the highway to find our spot to start hiking down to the rap stations. Thankfully, there were plenty of fixed ropes to assist with going down, or else clumsy me would’ve rolled an ankle or something, or just straight rolled down. We arrived at our first rap station and wow, I felt super high up, the river was loud, the air was fresh I was anxious to get going. My partner gets me to rap first for once, and of course, I totally miss the rap station. This is why I don’t like going first. It was fun trying to pull myself back up the one I missed and lining in. Eventually, we made it down and got our climb on. After torturing my body the day before on the crack, I was excited for a climb that felt like home. StarChek was a beauty.
I think after we did Starchek, we had some lunch and took our time to find our next climb. I am PRETTY sure, this same day we went and climbed Diedre on the Chief. I was ready and excited for this one. I felt like I was ready to push myself again and get in this crack game! It was a tough one and let me tell you, my body the next day, felt like it was hit by a bus right from my finger tips, through my entire hands, arms, right down to the tips of my toes. Worth it though!
I don’t quite recall what the rest of the days were like but I know, day 4 was a right off. I was hurting, I was tired and had no strength to climb. I think on this day we took our time with breakfast, checked out a few local shops and then headed out to Brohm lake to do a little hike around it and try to find a rope swing we heard about. Again, the forest out here in Squamish amazed me every time we got the chance to walk through it. I couldn’t get enough of the slugs either, they were HUGE!
Rest of the days. . .
We went to Smoke bluffs at one point and climbed a few cracks out there. I was still sore and definitely needed more days to recover and climb, recover and climb. One day! I was ok belaying for most of the day while my partner got more climbing in.
One evening, we headed out to . . I think it was called Horseshoe bay. We got there a little late and people who were already there were telling us we should hurry as the tide was coming in. My friend ignored them and we continued out to find our spot to climb beside the ocean. I couldn’t get what that person had said – out of my head. I was paying attention to certain rocks as they became covered and started to get nervous. I shared my concerns with my partner, thinking they knew about the tides, but they had no idea and kept laughing at me. I was not happy, lol as I was In the little lip of a belay station, and he was making his way up, all the rocks I was keeping an eye of were covered. I started getting splashed by the ocean waves and yelled “GET ME UP”! They then, apologized and we had to do a lesson on TIDES! how do I, the one who lives in Alberta, know about tides and the guy from South America, never learned about them? lol. Our way back to the car was now . . covered by the ocean. He wanted to bushwhack, no trail and I, at that point was done listening. haha. I hopped someone’s fence in the least graceful way ever. . and ran through their yard, even though they were right there. We were afraid we were going to get yelled at, but I panicked and needed out. If you have read previous posts – you know I am afraid of water. haha. I found a spot to put up my hammock and watch the boats go in and out of the bay as the sun set that night. I guess it wasn’t all a huge panic and didn’t turn out too bad after all.
On the last day, I got to work on my hand jamming in the “Slot Machine” (haha!) This climb had me pretty nervous at the start because there was no corner to work off of, and it was – straight up! At least it felt that way when I saw it! I was instantly much less confident in my abilities but – I made it up some how. I really fell in love with crack climbing and this last climb on the last day – tested me. My body was sore and I didn’t think I could trust of rely on my feet and hands anymore. I powered through though and made it to the top. I cant WAIT to get back on some crack.
Easy to say, I fell in love with this place and the kind of climbing it offered. I really cannot wait to return and experience it again and practice the technique. I can’t believe I was able to come to such an amazing place and do these amazing things.
Thank you Squamish! ❤