ON THE ROAD TO SQUAMISH CANADA: Driving, driving, and more driving... Seen lots of black bears, buffaloes, and spruce trees. Fire damage too. Getting passed by logging trucks is freaky at night, truckers here are loco. Ten plus hour driving shifts lead to bug eyes.
SQUAMISH: Ah, finally Squamish Canada "again". After driving for three or so days from Anchorage Alaska we have finally arrived. Things have changed, the new hostel is more of a hotel than a hostel, very professional indeed. No camping at the Smoke Bluffs parking lot. Seems like the city maybe trying to push climbers (Smoke Bluff campers) to the new hostel. Oh well, the hostel is still a great source for showers. We'll park and camp at the spit, nothings better than sea side fresh air.
The night before arrival we slept at a creekside spot just outside of Lioleet Canada, where we picked up our first resident, a three inch mouse. Let me give ya all a run down. Around 3-4 AM we heard movement within the hood/cab area of the truck, it was loud! We were in the camper section listening with a wonder - is it a skunk, a chipmunk, a raccoon, a mouse, or a BEAR? We decided it was a small critter. I myself was willing to let the noise go on through out the night. But GeorgeAnne, nooooooo she was loosing patience. So after ten or so minutes, with my subtle encouragement of course, she jumped out naked with flashlight and kung-fu staff in hand. Around the vehicle she went, while I tucked safely in the camper bed. George hitting the ground and sides of the tires looking to scurry away any critters, all along hoping none was a skunk - dear god please not a skunk! So five minutes go by and I had decided I had better take a look, since GeorgeAnne was still alive and all. I go ahead and exit the camper and walk around the truck looking for the sounds too. Keep in mind now, that we are parked in the woods next to a river in a little clearing of a camp-ground. Naked of course with kung-fu staffs and headlamps, banging the ground around a truck and hitting the tires. What was for sure a spectacle for some unforeseen soul! So I open the hood and take a peek here and there, and whatcha know a little mouse goes running from one corner of the engine block to the other. Our noisy beast was once again a mouse. And a funny sight the mouse must of had of us. Big naked Alaskan white, bright, and most of all staff bearing violent creatures running around his new residence thrashing about. Poor guy, must of scared him silly. It goes without saying, he relocated.
A DAY IN SQUAMISH: For the past year and half or so I've been plugged into a tweaked home brew computer network. Needless to say with my focused tendencies I have grown estranged from climbing anything but the geek ladder. After the first climb of my life it seems, a 5.10c Squamish crack, pfff nothing - yeah right! My feet, fingers, back, forearms, and nerves are wrecked. One climb consisting of two pitches did me in. The second day of climbing we got four climbs in. Toes are coming around but everything else is tweaked painfull.
A DAY IN SQUAMISH: Rain, rain, and more rain is the season here. We did manage to get a session of mountain biking in though, the trails here are awesome. The locals have set up all sorts of "obstacles" to ride over and on. From narrow 4 foot high long ramps with turns and such to large obstacles, like logs to bunnyhop over. Totally amusing and dangerous. Though climbing in the rain isn't to fun, moutainbiking on the other hand is mud happy fun.
SOMEDAY IN SQUAMISH: I love Canada, check out these cigarette boxes. If only I had these to stare at when I had smoked cigarettes years ago. I may have never started. There's also a decoy cop car to keep speeders at bay. Canadains like their signs.
HECK OF A DAY IN SQUAMISH: Well, had one hell of an adventure on the Chief. Climbed this here route, The Grand Wall. With a cat named Dustin. We barely made it down before dark. Here's my mug shot after climbing this here pitch, Split Pillar 10b. We got rained on at the upper pitches. Instead of walking off we were forced to rappel the wall, we finished our last rappel in the dark. Then, with no headlamps (oops!) we had to navigate the forest floor back to camp. The forest consisted of huge boulders, fallen trees, deathtrap blind drops, narrow scree gullies, poison ivy, cliffs, and any other hazard yeah can think of that makes up a thick Canadian coastal forest. It took over an hour to navigate a forest that takes us less than ten minutes to hike in the light. For an idea, go ahead and tie a blind fold over your eyes and go hiking in the coastal Chugach, nerve recking! One hell of an adventure!
Well, we're fed up with the rain. Our Chief agreement was that we would stay until the rain pushed us out, and well the rain has done just that. We managed to get some good climbing in, not alot though, but a decent amount considering the days spent here. Plus, I did get to climb the Grand Wall route on the Chief, granted not in the best style though. Another route Georgeanne and I got to climb was St. Vitus' Dance, this route caught me off guard. No falls though, clean style... What an adventure! Oh, when in Squamish and at the Chief camp ground go ahead and set up some obstacle courses for the chipmonks and squirrels, it's good entertainment on rainy days, plus they're really friendly.Smith Rock, here we come.