Wednesday, June 27, 2018

June 27 - Stawamus Chief

We made it to the top but I am not sure how. Many times on the way up we said , “Why are we doing this?”.

Yesterday, the forecast for today had called for cloudy and overcast skies. Today it changed to partly sunny. It was not as nice as yesterday but was still much better than expected. It was also relatively cool which helped during the hike.

The climb to the Stawamus Chief First (and lowest) Peak is 1.7 km one way and you gain about 550 meters or 1800 feet in elevation.


I had told my friend Eddie from Vancouver that we were going to try this today. He and his daughter drove up to join us. Actually, join us is probably not the correct term. We are so slow on these steep trails that we urged them to go ahead. We saw his daughter at the bottom and then at the top. Eddie insisted on staying with us until we were about 2/3 of the way up. He did a lot of waiting. At the top we visited for a while and enjoyed the view. Since they had not planned on taking so long they had not brought lunch. They eventually headed down together while we had our lunch and then slowly made our way back down.

It is actually a good thing they were “with” us or we might have turned around. I am glad we didn’t.

The guides I have read said that it normal people about 1 1/2 hours to reach the First Peak. It took us 2 1/2 hours. They waited a long time for us. Going down we cut it to only 1 hour 45 minutes.

Knowing how hard it would be I emptied the knapsack as much as possible but we still needed lunch and a lot of water so it only got a bit lighter. I also didn’t bring my heavy SLR camera. It swings around a lot on its strap and would be a real pain on the steps. So all the pictures are with my phone camera.

I am going to intersperse the pictures from going up and down so the direction we seem to be going will change.

The only easy section was the walk through the campground.


From then on it was basically the route that took you the fastest way up no matter how steep it was. Just to get our hearts going, first up was a LONG flight of stairs.

Eddie’s daughter is already well ahead of us.


It was much sunnier on the way down.


Then the stone steps began. They were a challenge for Jennie because they were so tall.


This place looks flat but no…


This huge slab of rock had peeled off the cliff.


I think this was one of the few spots that was almost flat.


In the next one, I am just a few steps above Jennie and they go straight down and past the man below.


About 2/3 of the way up there was a rocky outcrop for a rest.


Onwards and upwards.



There were two short ladders.


Near the top it got much more open and rocky.

There was a short section where a chain helped. The slope was steep but not as steep as the picture suggests. It almost looks like she is going straight up.


A notch to work your way up, or down in this case.


The second ladder.



A short pause before we continue


Eddie was waiting for us at the top of this section.


His picture back down.



The top is a very open rocky expanse with sheer cliffs all around you. It was not a great place for Jennie’s vertigo. She found a nice resting spot while I explored with Eddie for a while.


The very top.


Looking on to some people working their way up the chains to Second Peak.


Behind and above us was the Panorama Trail lookout at the Sea to Sky Gondola from yesterday.



Squamish behind me.


And Howe Sound.


I did 3 photospheres.

One near the cliff looking toward Second Peak.

One near the cliff looking down at Squamish.

And one just down from the top on the Howe Sound side.

Eddie and his daughter headed down to get some lunch.


Jennie came up farther and we had lunch. She had made a orzo pasta salad but we discovered that we had forgotten the utensils so we had to improvise. It got a bit messy.


And eventually we started our way down.


We had started up at 9 am. The trail was not vey busy so there were not a huge number of people that had to pass us. On the way down it was busier but still not too bad. We got back to the car around 2 pm.

This is the rock climber’s face of the The Chief taken form the parking lot.


1 comment:

  1. WOW! The Stawamus Chief trail is awesome! Wooden staircase, steep rock stairs and ladders with an amazing view at the summit! Way to go you guys!!!!