Monday, August 30, 2010

Hiking the Black Tusk

I've been wanting to go for an overnight hiking trip for some while now... and Jenn heard of this beautiful place called Garibaldi Provincial Park.  Well we looked into it and decided very quickly that it was definitely worth a weekend.

The campsite down by Garibaldi Lake was full, so we camped at Taylor Meadows.  It's a 7.5km trail up to the campsite, and I'm pretty sure another 5km up the Tusk.  For a remote campsite it was certainly more lively than I expected.  Not in a bad way, really, I just wouldn't expect much wildlife to stroll through in the evenings, other than the regular scavengers.  Speaking of which, the whiskey-jacks are fun...


The hike up to the campsite was a typical trail walk.  Very well maintained and very man-made.  Hiking from the campsite up to the Tusk was great however.  Breathtaking views full of brilliant colors, Garibaldi Lake looked artificial it was so blue.  Looking up at the Tusk was a little intimidating knowing we were planning to hit the peak, pack up camp and head down to the car in one shot.  But, that just makes it more satisfying in the end anyway.  Here's a few more pictures taken along the way:

Getting to the top got bloody cold fast.  Turns out that wind blows a lot harder on the top of a bare mountain.  There was still plenty snow up there (in August) and I'm glad I was dressed for it.  The tusk itself is all volcanic rock and there is a crevice up the West side you can climb in order to get on top.  Probably not a very smart climb without at least a helmet to help protect you from any debris set loose from climbers above... buuuut we were "almost there" and Jenn is both brave and persuasive.  The view from the top was rewarding enough though.  I'll be looking forward to coming back in the winter with skins on.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hiking the Chief

Since moving out to Vancouver, I've heard a few people talking about "the Chief". As one of the local popular hikes, I figured that if I'm going to be a local then I'd better have this one under the belt. Jenn's brother Jeremy brought it up and we planned our trip!

From the highway, this beast looks pretty impressive. I say, now that's a steep hike if I ever saw one... Ok so the hike is up the back, alongside a fast downhill creek. The front is for the hardcore monolith climbers.

Rugged and steep, I liked it from the start, well the part that started after the wooden staircases anyway, but what can I say? It's close enough to Vancouver they cater to all kinds of "hikers"...

From the top, the Chief has an awesome view. The edge is one serious dropoff... definitely the kind of view you want to see at the end of a hike like this.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone in good enough shape to hike consistently for a couple hours and can keep their head on straight when climbing down some slippery rocks. All in all, a good day!

Location:Squamish, BC

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jasper Mountain Biking Trip

So I figured by July last year that it was about time for a quick mountain biking trip. I hadn't been up the Rockies' biking trails yet, so where else to start but the well mapped out Jasper, AB area?  Freewheel Cycle rented us the full-suspension bikes, and I couldn't have been happier with them.  They def. weren't new, but that's what you want when you're going to abuse a piece of rental machinery.  In total during the trip, we had to adjust a couple of derailers so they wouldn't shift on auto-pilot when you're pedaling uphill, and I broke my chain.  I'm still not complaining about rental mountain bikes if that's all the trouble is.  Things happen with rentals and it's to be expected.  And we had Greg, he fixes bike things.

Day 1: Saturday July 25, 2009
Moab Lake/Whirlpool Fire Road - 11.5 kms

Ok so I know all the hype about real mountain biking vs. fire roads... boring etc. etc. Not today. This was a wicked sweet time we had. Not too challenging but definitely sweating, it was a good first day.  It was mostly clear except for a few fallen trees we had to either hop or stop and climb over.  Even stopped for a quick dip in the river...

Quick as in it was a bad, cold idea.

On the way down, we were lucky enough to see a little black bear cub.  Sorry no pictures, it just ran off to mom.  And obviously then we gave them time to disappear before we picked up the pace again.  At the bottom of the trail, we stopped to head down to check out the river and what do you know, a moose.  All in all, good day.  Time for dinner and a BLL.

It rained quite a bit that night, but we devised a shelter for the picnic table with a tarp and bungees.  It might've be wet and a little cold but it smelled like the Rockies and that's far better than Saskatchewan as far as I'm concerned.  I loved it, and the campfire blackened chicken and cold beer did wonders.

Day 2: Sunday July 26, 2009
Saturday Night Lake Loop - 27.4 kms

Gruelling. This was hard-ass from the parking lot, I don't know how the hell we made it all the freakin way to the top. Well the scenery was fantastic, but I seriously needed to pack more than 2L of water and a few snacks. I think the group's feelings were mutual.  Stopping for breaks was a necessity, but what was sad was the fact that at one point Greg's wheel sensor recorded 13 kms of biking, and my compass said we were still travelling North-West in an overall straight route.  Coming down was a blessing.  After all the hard climbing, to just sit back and roll down was an exhilarating break.  Except for Shane's rocketing over the handlebars, the weekend was mostly rackout-free.

All in all, good trip.  I'd definitely do it again, just taking on different trails.  With a playground as big as Canada, there's always something new waiting.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alpine Rafting in Golden, BC

Friday, June 12th, 2009
Jenn and I packed up the jeep and left Regina late morning, then met up with Julie and Michelle in Swift Current.  Hauling all the way to Golden, BC, we arrived in time for an overturned semi to back up the highway a good 30 kms.  Of course the end of the line was 8 kms before our turnoff into our campsite...

Saturday, June 13th, 2009
Shane planned out this weekend of uber awesome rafting goodness, it really was a heart racing kickass time.  I'd recommend others to go for sure, and I would certainly go again.  Hosted by Alpine Rafting, they had a campsite in the area and provided all of the equipment and training.

Chris, Erin, Michelle, Julie, Jenn and I and a couple other strangers were in the raft with the guide with the yellow helmet (wooden, actually), the guide was pretty much the greatest ever.  He's been rafting with his friends down the grand canyon, and only guides during the peak season as an extra.  He normally runs a mountain firefighting company and does some heli-ski guiding in the winters.  Shane and co. were in the other pictures here, their guide with the black helmet.

One of the rafts behind us flipped right at the start of the class 4 rapids, so we pulled off to the side into a nook out of the current, then when they couldn't catch the rope-bags we were on the chase!  It's one hell of an adrenaline rush getting yourself through class 4 rapids on your first time rafting, but something completely different when you're chasing a flipped raft, knowing there was still people in the water!

Catching up to them, the few of them who were sitting on top of their upside down raft jumped into ours, then Chris Shewchuck and I pulled their guide over the front and into our boat.  Two from their boat swam to shore as soon as they flipped, so counting heads, everyone was ok.  Divvy'ing up what paddles we had, we rounded out the bottom leg of the river checking out the scenery and laughing off the adrenaline.

It's just one of those things, it was pretty mellow at the top while we learned to coordinate, then serious and purposeful through the rapids.  Maybe a bit easy at first, but something fun and handleable can get dangerous in a hurry when something goes wrong.  But that's why it's fun, if you just want to ride a dinghy at the beach then don't come rafting the Kicking Horse River!

Sunday, June 14th, 2009
Sunday morning, we packed and cleaned up the campsite, took a few last breaths of the awesome BC air and headed home.  Another solid weekend... if only it wasn't an 11 hr drive home for a weekend away!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

First Post!

Ok!  So here we are, the adventure page like no other.  Well, for the time being it'll be the same as any other random personal page... but it'll get better as time goes on.

I don't know how to fiddle with HTML, but I do know how to take pictures of the awesome places we find, so take it or leave it.  This is my blog.

Lace up!