This past Saturday Hubby & I decided to go for a hike. We finalized our plans on driving up to the Sea to Sky Summit Trail and hiking up to where the gondola was, having a bite to eat and then taking the gondola down to where we parked our car. It looked like fun and doable, not too demanding and wouldn’t take the whole Saturday. We planned to leave by 7 am, but of course we ended up sleeping in and woke up at 7:30 am. We had some oatmeal and coffee. I packed some PB and jelly sandwiches, bananas, fig bars and water bottles.
Eventually, by 9 am we were out the door.
It was a beautiful sunny day, not too hot and it took us a little over an hour to drive from Surrey to the Sea to Sky gondola parking. We parked our car just across from where people took the gondola up as it was free parking, the only restriction we read online was that parking was only for three hours. (we parked for over three hours and thankfully we didn’t get a ticket!)
Off we started on our climb….
Start: Sea to Summit Basecamp
Our first sign. This looks like fun!
I could tell this was not a joke. The steps and rocks were steep. I was not physically fit enough to continue on without having to take a breath every one minute or so. Thankfully Hubby was patient and waited alongside me until I caught my breath and then we pushed onwards…
We stopped at a lookout point. It was very beautiful!
….and then on we went to find that gondola! Where oh where….? Wait…then we came across this map! We were actually on the wrong path! This whole time we had been on the Stawamus Chief Trail!
Well, there was no turning back now! Just as we were deciding whether to go to First or Second Peak, one of the hikers who was returning from her climb suggested the Second as it had more beautiful views….so off we went!
As we went higher and higher, there were fewer and fewer stairs and more rocks to climb. At this point, I believe we had been climbing for over 2.5 hours. I was getting really tired and felt like quitting. Hubby would keep reminding me ‘it’s all in the mind, we can do this, we are almost there!’
It got more challenging. We used metal chains to keep us from slipping off the rocks/tree roots. The interesting part was that everyone had a different way to maneuver through these depending on their flexibility, their height and foot size!
As we kept going and going, thoughts of….how the HECK are we going to make it back… popped up in my head. Ok climb…climb..
We were ALMOST there but then I developed a thigh cramp. We were pooped out! We rested a bit and I massage my legs. Enjoyed the view and kept climbing, carefully as to not slip on these rocks…
Finally, after over 4 hours of uphill climbing we reached the Second Peak! I wanted to cry!
We rested our feet, sat down and ate our lunch enjoying the scenery. A chipmunk came out of nowhere near our feet, but before I could grab my camera the little cutie disappeared.
After resting for about twenty minutes I realized I did not have a personal helicopter to call to pick us up and we had to head down. We needed enough sunlight to help us back to our car….so off we went…
The ladder was a tricky one…
Exhausted….the climb down was definitely difficult with low energy. My legs were shaking and my knees were sore. I ate a banana and drank water… almost there…almost there…
Then….we finally saw the bloody gondola….. hehehe
We wobbled over to the car and there was no ticket (happy!!). Went to the bathroom, washed our faces and decided to drive back to Surrey, grab some Thai food and head home….what an adventure this was!
- It took us 4 hours to climb up, a little over 2 hours to climb down.
- I have been on many beginner hikes, this was definitely an intermediate hike!
- It is doable, it is NOT a race but a journey! Take your time, pace yourself, and don’t compare yourself to other hikers. There were so many people I saw pass by me initially and as I was still climbing my way up, they were on their way back down! Did I feel bad? Yes, slightly…but I let the thought go…this is MY journey. I take longer than others but I WILL eventually meet my goal.
- MANY a time it really is mental strength > physical strength!
- Stretch before, stretch during and stretch after!
- Take snacks, food, fruit, and water, you will be thankful!
- Wear proper shoes and clothing
- I had knee pain so I wore a knee sleeve and took Tylenol. This tremendously helped me and the knee pain was not so noticeable.
- If you are hiking with someone/group, be there to motivate each other. I think this really strengthens your relationship 🙂
I was extremely sore the morning after, my Hubby not so much! Respect your body. Take a day to recuperate especially if a beginner/intermediate hike was a first time experience.
Hope this was enjoyable! I can see myself going on challenging hikes like these in the near future. It challenges me and keeps me working towards living a healthy and fit life!
Happy Monday everyone!