Well, as intimated in yesterday’s post, I did in fact take a trip up the Stawamus Chief today. Though supposedly attempting to tempt the rain gods into testing my newly acquired Arc’teryx waterproof, the weather was in fact perfect for hiking. It was clear, bright and sunny, but not too hot. The only downside was the weather brought out all the dog-walkers who think it perfectly acceptable to let their dogs crap all over the place and not clean up after them. Surprisingly, it’s also allowed for the dogs to not be leashed, leading to some awkward confrontations in the more narrow spots. There was even a dubiously large dose of the Lululemon Brigade who obviously weren’t aware that I had put in an order for a heavy rainfall. They were lucky my plans were thwarted as not one of them had any additional clothing, waterproofs or even water in one or two cases.
Despite the unexpected crowds, we had a pleasant hour or so’s ascent to the top of First Peak, it being our first ascent of The Chief in 2015. After the island of Gibraltar, this is the second largest granite outcrop on the planet, with First Peak reaching an elevation of 610m. The main car-park was busy so we had to start at the lower overflow car-park by the highway. It’s not that much over sea level, so you’re pretty much ascending the entire elevation.
The GPS track on the map doesn’t really do justice to the steepness. Unless you’re good at envisioning contours, it’s hard to imagine.
If you overlay the track on Google Earth you get a much better sense of the majesty of The Chief. I twisted North to be off to the left, just to help get a better perspective of the outcrop.