Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hiking the Chief

The Chief.
This huge rock stands boldly into the sky over looking the town of Squamish, casting it's shadow over all. For four years I have eyed it and put off any attempt to climb it. At first I waited for Noni to come to Canada so we can do it together. After spending time with Noni on easier trails I think this is too hard for her. I have been told since I first moved to Squamish from certain people that it is too difficult for me because of my injuries from the car accident. There are huge wooden steps – rocks to step on – steep ladders to climb and chains to assist you going up and down the Rock. I am determined that I want to climb this rock – you can not live in Squamish and ignore the main attraction.
So on 9 June 012 at 10:45 local time Noni and I are taking our first steps on the flat part of the trail leading to the Peak trails. Approximately around 1 we are reaching the South Peak Summit. (Peak # 1) There are three Peaks to climb. I am so wet with perspiration so while sitting on the top I become quite chilled and uncomfortable. We try to sit out of the wind in the sun but still the discomfort remains. We eat our muffins and drink ice tea, but all I am thinking is I want to head back down – I'm cold.
Climbing up on huge rocks designed as steps – steep wooden stairs always on the upward direction with this nagging thought in the back of my mind – I must go down the same way I came up. Going down is always more difficult for me since the accident. This is a fact of life for me now. Before I began this hike I took one of my extra strength naproxen prescribe meds. (Took another when I arrived home.) But I was determined that I would at least hike the Chief at least once and so it is accomplished.
I am so proud of Noni – I see her tackle the ladders and the chains with such confidence. Dalhouise was left in the condo – he could had came too as several people had brought their dogs including a St. Barnard. I do not know how it got up the ladder sections or chain parts. I met one lady at the ladder with her little dog in her arms as she climbed up. Dalhouise is 10 years old today 10 June so he is getting a little old to be acting like a young dog and besides I was concern about my own ability to reach the first peak.
Was it worth it? Definitely. Would I do it again? Yes but not this week.
To climb the second largest Rock in the world – the first being The Rock of Gibraltar. The scenery was amazing as the day was sunny. Next time think I would attempt to reach Peak 2.
Region:Howe Sound
Difficulty: Intermediate
Time: 6 hours
Distance: 11km
Elevation Gain: 600 meters 

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