It’s 4 am, on Christmas morning and I have just woken up. I’m not very hungry but I try to eat a little bit of breakfast and put on a coffee to help wake us up. My housemates Arno and Sam come out of their rooms dressed in their thermal layers. They sling their bags from over their shoulders and place them by the back door and join me in my strategic breakfast. In an hour we will be driving to a trail head just past Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, British Columbia (30k north west of Pemberton).
On Saturday (26th Nov) Sam and I dropped our Swiss housemate Arno (of the Toblerone dynasty) in town before heading up to do the Hollyburn Mountain hike. This was a bit of a last minute decision for us.
Today we decided to head out a little further from Vancouver. We had been on the 3 main mountains of North Shore (Cypress, Seymour and Grouse) over the the last 3 weeks so we thought we should mix it up a little. So we challenged ourselves to take on the 3 peaks of the Squamish Chief Hike.
The usual morning routine. Breakfast and packing away camp. It was a beautiful morning as the fog still hadn’t lifted off the river. I was in better mood today but I think this was mainly because I know that today was the last full day. And tomorrow’s hike will be a short 10k. Perfect. I had also accepted that this was a heads down and destination based trip rather than focusing on enjoying the journey. This made it easier to enjoy.
In the morning I filtered my water and had my standard breakfast of oats, trail mix and water. Yum. After we were packed we were back on the trail again at around 8am.
Waking up pretty bleary eyed, we grab a taxi into town for some early morning breakfast. The rain hadn’t stopped all night. We managed to find one place that opened at 6 am which was a blessing as we didn’t have any food with us at the house. We scoffed our breakfast but we were cutting it a bit fine. The shuttle was scheduled to leave at 06:45. It was 06:43 by the time we left the breakfast place. Still chewing on our last mouthfuls we made a dash for it.
So the day has come for us to leave.
We are packed and ready. We needed to get from Kits, Vancouver to Victoria, where the Shuttle Bus will be picking us up the next morning (6am) to take us to the trail head.
“We should do the West Coast Trail [WCT] before the end of the season” said Flo
“OK”, said Scott. And that was all it took. Would I regret this?
“I can’t wait for some tea! It’s going to be awesome. Scones, crumpets, jam”
I forgot we weren’t in England and so the teahouse may be different to what we would get at home.
It probably comes to no surprise that Grouse Grind, on Vancouver’s North Shore, was the first hike I did in Vancouver. It was my first exposure to the Great Outdoors of North America and gave me a taste of what living here could be like.