Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We've been in Squamish now for just over a week, and it certainly hasn't been without incident. To begin with, our ill willed relationship with local rodents is alive and kicking. There are mice all over the campground, which in and of itself is fine, they are actually pretty cute. Unfortunately they have figured out how to get in and out of our car, and freely do so, eating whatever we may have forgotten to properly put away. We were so annoyed we went to Canadian Tire and bought some mouse traps. We caught one of them, and relocated it far far away, but I feel it is a losing battle. They are everywhere.

More seriously, we were ancillarly players in pretty scary incident on The Chief.

We had met Alex and Rachel, both here on their own, the previous day. Rachel was camped beside us, so when we saw someone rummaging through her tent we were a little concerned. Turned out it was Alex. They had gotten together and been on the 5th pitch of Rock On, a route up the Apron, when Rachel fell. One of her pieces pulled and she ended up landing hard on a ledge, was knocked unconscious and was left dangling on the rope. Alex feared the worst, but she eventually came to, completely disoriented and not knowing who Alex was, or even where she was. Alex handled it extremely well and managed to get her to the ground and the hospital, abandoning much of his gear on the wall. With light fading and rain in the forecast, we offered to help him get his gear back. We had already climbed to the top of the Apron, so we knew the trail up. It wasn't quite as simple as that though, as none of us knew exactly where the anchors for the last pitch of Rock On were. Alex ended up having to lead a runout pitch of slippery slab to get up to the right set of ledges. We found a set of anchors that we thought were the right ones and left him to rap down and get his gear. Kristal and I then walked off in the fading light.

Thankfully, it all worked out in the end. The anchors were the right ones and Alex only had to rap down the last two pitches of the route in the dark. We were so releived to see him back at the campground. We were even more relieved when we picked Rachel up at the hospital the next day and, despite 3 stitches on her head and some nasty bruising and stiffness, she was in good shape.

On a lighter note, we have met a tonne of friends from Ottawa here. Our friend Travis just moved out to Squamish and we hooked up with him a couple of times to go climbing and bouldering. We also crashed at his place for a couple of nights when we arrived. Thanks Travis! There is also a crew of boulderers visiting from Ottawa that we seem to keep running into. It's pretty surreal to see so many familiar faces so far away from home. Out of the blue another friend, Matt, just happened to be in the area and climbing at the same crag as us. Small world!

On one of our rest days we hiked up to the top of The Chief. The views from the top were pretty awesome.

Oh, yeah, the climbing and bouldering here is pretty awesome too. At least when it's not raining. Here's Kristal on the 4th pitch of Diedre.

Unfortunately the forecast currently has pretty solid rain for the next five days. We were planning to spend a good 2 or 3 weeks here, but we can't handle the rain. We were too spoiled by the desert during the summer. Tomorrow we are driving to central Washington, to the other side of the coastal mountain range, where we will embrace the awesomeness that is the rain shadow.

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