One of the great things about having friends and family visit – aside from the hugs – is the chance to be a tourist in your own town. As excuse to do those things that I normally think, “geez, that’s a bit expensive!” Recently, my sister came to visit from the east of Canada where the temperatures have been far far below zero for far far too long. “Square tire weather” my sister calls it because the normally round tires go “thunk thunk thunk” for a bit when you first start driving until they warm up. I will skip the rather obvious point that this this is why I live in Vancouver (oops, too late!). Anyway, a visit from my sister and a warm, sunny February day in Vancouver was all the excuse we needed to head up the coast a bit and try out the new Sea to Sky Gondola. Located just south of Squamish, BC, the gondola rises up to 885m above sea level. The route goes up behind the Stawamus Chief, the second-largest granite monolith in the world. The hike up the Chief is a bit beyond my trekking capabilities and so I was pleased when they built the gondola, although I know there were some objections raised at the time about the impact on the environment. The Chief is also a popular rock-climbing spot. And, trust me, if I’m not sure if could hike up the back of the Chief, I am damn sure that I am never going to rock climb up the front of it!! This guy was heading up the rock face, where the red circle is. Ahem. The gondola ride was great. Once at the top at the Summit Lodge, there were many trails leading off with a range of hiking skill levels. We traversed our way across the suspension bridge which, for those of who who have followed my saga with heights, vertigo and paralyzing fear, I am proud to say I crossed with a minimum of panic. We also did a 1.6km trail out to a viewing platform which cantilevered out past the edge of the cliff. Amazing views of the local peaks – Sky Pilot, Co-Pilot, Ledge Mountain, Mount Habrich and Mount Garibaldi. And, a gorgeous view looking down over the Chief, the town of Squamish and Howe Sound.
And, we had some fun playing with our cameras and trying out different shots and settings. My tip for a successful selfie – always take the shot on an angle!! Then, back to the Lodge for some snacks and a rest in the sunshine. And of course, a selfie to commemorate the day!