Big Climbs / Big Jumps / Big Heat

AHHH.....Pauline, Phil and Sheldon

AHHH…..Pauline, Phil and Sheldon

After 3 days of inclement weather in Squamish ( while the UK was basking in a heat wave), we were chomping at the bit to tick off a couple of our target climbs in Squamish before we hit the road again. Bingo! The first was Exasperator which is a stunning 2 pitch crack line on The Grand  Wall section of The Chief. We had both seen Lyn Hill climb it in a video and then it became a target. Phil looked as good ( if not better dare I say) as Lyn on the first pitch as he flew up without squealing once as he forced his toes into the delicate crack line. However, the second pitch was more challenging and a few grunts were heard in the valley. Obviously I made it look easy ( oh I love a top rope) and that convinced Phil to do it again and make it look even easier….which he did.  Competition is healthy?

Phil on Exasperator making it look easy

Phil on Exasperator making it look easy

 

I should explain what The Chief is. It is the largest and most imposing cliff face in this area and is the back drop to Squamish and the surrounding area. You can cilmb up the face or walk up the forested train from the back. So, our other big tick was to do one of the longest routes on The Chief by combining 3 sections together to take us from the valley floor to the top in 20 pitches. The two main routes were called Diedre and Squamish Lite. Early start to avoid the heat and 8 hours later we were on the top enjoying the views and energy bars in the sunshine.

Getting the kit ready for a long climb in the van

Getting the kit ready for a long climb in the van

Phil leading up Diedre

Phil leading up Diedre

20 pitches later and he looks ready for a Cliff bar or two!

20 pitches later and he looks ready for a Cliff bar or two!

Our last tick for Squamish was to catch up with my old mate Erik who is living and working in Vancouver as an animation director.ie in a world as far removed from us as you can imagine which made it even more fabulous.   He made the effort to come to Squamish where we ate and drank like we normally do and he didn’t complain once. That is how nice he is! Erik is part of my old London days before he left to live and work in LA at about the same time as I left for Wales. We had a great night and Phil and Erik bonded over Tour de France chat to the point I had to stop them both to get a word in edge ways. All I can say is ‘VIVRE Richi Port!’ I can’t move on without mentioning we are VERY proud of Erik as he won an Oscar for hiw work in Life of Pye/Pie.  He talks it down etc etc but we are going to big it up if only for our own credibility! A more down to earth over achiever would be hard to find. Vivre Erik!

3 AMIGOS, Erik, Pauline and Phil

3 AMIGOS, Erik, Pauline and Phil

Sheldon posing with The Chief as the backdrop

Sheldon posing with The Chief as the backdrop

Next stop…..WHISTLER BUNJEE! Yes, we are not ones for the commercial quick fix adrenalin adventure gimmicks. Not because we are purist adventure people but because we are tight. However, when I saw a great bunjee jumping opportunity and a strong £ to the $, I decided it was time to tick off one of my bucket list things to do. Yes, a bunjee jump. I think the pictures say it all although Phil give s a great rendition of a middle aged over excitable women getting ready to jump off a bridge. I LOVED IT!

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Then it was time to be back on the road to our enxt destination of Pemberton on the Trans Canadian Highway (TCH) aka Highway99.

The first thing we saw just as we were out of Whistler was a huge bear run across the highway! We have only seen 2 bears and both have been crossing the road!

When we arrived at Pemberton the heatwave had kicked in with temperatures in the high 30’s. We found an awesome campiste by the river which was an obvious place for a water fight….he started it!

camping by the river

camping by the river

We did a couple of good bike rides and the best was on Meadow Road which was 56km return. The road had a backdrop of snow capped mountains as we cycled past agricultural land and ranches. We only saw about about 4 vehicles but were part of about 40 bike riders. We had only just started when a fit bloke past us and Phil took the opportunity to catch his tail and draft him. He stayed with him to the turning point when he was able to use me as an excuse to stop. He stayed with him the whole way which was not bad as he was in his final stages of training for an iron man. We know this because was able to find enough breath to ask him some questions, thankfully he seemed to give long answers. Good ride but when we stopped the heat hit us big time so we packed up and got back to the river asap.

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Currently driving, climbing and swimming our way to Revelstoke. We need to use our cheap air conditioning in the van in these temperatures. This means stopping every hour to jump in a lake or river to cool down and then drive in our wet clothes. It works quite well.

Our air conditioning system is fuelled by swimming in lakes and rivers where we can

Our air conditioning system is fuelled by swimming in lakes and rivers where we can

The scenery has been spectacular and wild but the heat has menat we didn’t hang around too long to enjoy the view points. We managed to get up early to climb at Marble Craggs and have a swim before 10am and then wim and drive the rest of the day. Can’t complain.

Until the next update……

 

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