Summer Breeze…

…makes me feel fine…

I am currently working on chartering this:

Although due to availability, I may have to charter this:
If all goes well Zak and I will study for our Day Skipper/Operator Certificate this spring and in August we’ll spend 4 days aboard learning the practical stuff. Hopefully then followed by a couple of days on the water by lonesome.

(note: the original picture of Naughty Doc —the second picture — was a link and disappeared so I have relinked it to the same boat now named Mazu V)

Road Trip 2007

Part I

On July 20 Zak and I embark on an adventure. The Naughty Doc is confirmed for Aug 5 thru 12. On the way we intend to climb Lake Louise, Squamish and maybe the Ghost.

I have set up a map for interest parties to observe possible destinations: The Map I will also be working on a calender to accompany after we confirm some dates. Other possible activities may include some rafting and likely a day or two with a guide learning trad.

As plans firm up I will post them and if y’all are lucky maybe a trip report or two.

A test entry of google system…

A test entry of the 2007 Summer of the Road Trip

Using Google docs to create a post and Picassa to host images it should be possible to make a fairly nice looking blog entry from a simple work station.

Command Central…

Things to remember:
1. Edit and paste all links in html mode.
Otherwise characters like “< " get converted to their ascii equivilants and thus make the link non-operable. 2. The doc name is the first line of the entry. 3. So far no post titles. You should probably bold the first line to compensate.
Note: Post titles work when using MetaWeblog API, but the post times don’t. It seems to set the post at a later time relative to Greenwich

Day One & Day 2

Day One July 20, 2007
Doug and I left after packing the truck and headed down to Canmore. Leslie and Zak were to follow in her car. We cruised into Canmore and found the ACC Hostel where we had a 4 bunk room booked. After hooking up with my parents via phone we decided that Doug would crash with them for a couple of days and L, Z and I would have the hostel to ourselves.

After a hour or so of aimless pacing, Leslie and Zak showed up and we stashed the gear in the rooms and headed into town to hook up with the parents. at their room and then we swung into town for a late dinner.

After dinner everyone went their own separate ways as we got ready for the big day.

Day Two July 21, 2007
Bright and early we were up and off to Yamnuska Mountain Adventures for the start of their Trad Rock Systems course. We met the other participants and the two guides/instructors, Tom Gruber and John?; did a quick gear check and piled into our cars to head off to Barrier Mountain.

After arriving we geared up for a fairly short approach and spent some time discussing placements and anchors and then built a few practice anchors in teams. The rest of the day was spent top-roping trad climbs to look at gear, practice jamming and experience an offwidth. It was a great intro and the off width was awesome. After the hike down while we were repacking the gear I saw a small black bear scoot across the highway. We agreed to meet at the Norquay turnoff outside of Banff at 8 am for the start of Day 2.

Day Three and Four

Day Three July 22, 2007
Up at a ridiculously early hour, Zak Leslie and I headed off to the overpass by Norquay to meet up with the rest of the Yamnuska group. Then all in a row, we traveled on to Lake Louise, arriving around 8:30 at the strip mall for a cup of coffee and some pastry. A quick drive up the hill to an unusually empty parking lot put us at the Chateau and the real beginning of the day.

We packed up out gear and walked past the Chateau and along the west side of the lake until we reached the Outhouse Wall. There we followed the trail along the base of the climbs and dropped out gear. Tom had us try and find the two climbs he was setting us up on as practice deciphering guide books without the aid of bolts, and then, while we practiced building anchors, they set up 2 topropes. One on Tomcat (5.3) and one on Rain Dog (5.5). Everyone practiced placing gear and getting expertly criticized by Tom and John and generally having a great learning experience.

Leslie tries out Tomcat while one of our classmates is working on Rain Dog

Zak placing gear near the anchors on Rain Dog.

After a bit the guides set up another toprope further down the hill on Pub Night (5.6) which we just toproped as ther ewasn’t gear to spare. Lots of fun with some jams and laybacks… Incidentally, Pub Night was just beside a route called Wicked Gravity (5.11a) which had a rope hung above it. A couple of weeks later I found out it was a project of Sonny Trotter’s and that he finally sent it a few weeks after, calling it a solid 5.14. See Monkey Off My Back

Since Leslie was headed home that night we quit early, made arrangements to meet Tom the next morning for our “plus day” and walked back around the lake to the car.

Right above Zak’s head is the band of rock called Outhouse Wall.

After we got back to the hostel, we packed Leslie up and waved goodbye. Doug was reading in the lounge, so we collected him and headed into town for a bite. The restaurant we decided on had homemade pop and Zak picked up a couple of bottles of wicked black cherry coke. That pretty much ended the day as we 3 (Doug, Zak and Bruce) headed back to the Hostel for a decent nights sleep.

Day Four July 23, 2007
Up early again, we snagged a quick breakfast and the 3 of us headed back to the Norquary turnoff to meet Tom. Then we convoyed back into Banff and around Tunnel Mountain to its base. Doug snapped a quick picture of us and then took the truck into town to spend the day hiking and exploring.

Tom, Zak and I at the base with Tunnel Mountain behind us.

After a pretty flat and short approach we found the base of Gooseberry (7 pitches, 5.9 trad). Tom showed us his pack, including first aid kit and radio. and briefed us on the system. He would lead the pitches and simul-belay Zak and I about 10-15 ft apart using an atc guide. So up he went, followed by Zak and then me.

Zak starts the first pitch of Gooseberry.

This went on for a few pitches of awesome climbing. We quickly noticed that the black rubber of our climbing shoes absorbed the heat quickly on these exposed belay ledges and we were soon standing around in bare feet halfway up the side of a mountain.

The view from pitch 4

One of the pitches (the 6th I believe) was a bolted 5.9. There were plenty of other interesting features and moves thoughout the climb, including climbing on some fossilized sea life which provided some great footholds. It was interesting to climb with a pack on as you are continually banging your head into it and the weight distribution is completely off. Zak and I got a good start on the sunburns we would continue to foster throughout the trip. At the top of the climb we noticed another party following us and Tom had a chat with a fellow guide from 30m above. Since there was only 2 of them they had been constantly gaining on us. There was a short scramble to the top of Tunnel Mountain and we sat, rested and enjoyed the view for a few moments.

I did most of the belaying, although Zak took a turn on one pitch

After we packed up we headed down the trail smiling at all the tourists who were hoofing it up, knowing we’d one it the hard way. We chatted on the way down about climbing and goals and generally had a nice visit. At the base of the trail on Tunnel Mtn Road, we handed the ropes over to Tom, said thanks and bid him adieu. He headed back to his car and we headed down through the Banff School to the townsite. We wandered around a bit, got a drink in the food court and then improbably ran into Doug an hour early as he was passing by.

After a bit of a visit, we packed up our stuff in the truck, stopped in at a gear shop to ogle cams, picked up some groceries and headed off to Lake Louise to set up camp. There was a long line up of cars and I was grateful I had made reservations for the first 4 or 5 days of the trip. Camp went together fairly quickly as we started to sort out systems and then after a nice fire, we retired for the night.

Night one of our camping adventure at Lake Louise.

Days Five and Six

Day 5
Hike… what hike…

Morning one of the camping portion started fine with some bad coffee and lots of sugar. As we all crawled out of our tents for the first time in about 14 years, I realized with good gear it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. Age is more in the brain than in the body at this point.

As you can see, Doug is the morning person…

Today’s agenda included a hike and after a brief discussion of just how old and unfit we might be the Plain of Six Glaciers was decided upon (by Doug mostly as he’s the delusional one). 5.3 km one way to the tea house with a 365m elevation gain. The first portion around the lake is totally flat and choked with tourists but a nice easy warm up. A couple of kilometer in we discovered a lovely waterfall where we paused to cool off and soak our kerchiefs.

The path had nominally been following the river to this point but it began to branch off and follow the west side of the valley. After a bit more hiking I decided it was time for a sit and some water. It was at this point I cleverly announced to Zak that I had carried our mutual pack for the first bit (the flat bit remember…) and it was his time to play pack mule–it’s good to be a parent!

After a series of switchbacks and a neat spot where you walk a narrow path on the edge of a cliff we reached the Tea house with about a million other tourists. Its kind of a neat spot with a house that was built to house old CPR guides and their families as they guided the century’s first tourists up these mountains. Zak bought us some lemonade and we relaxed whilst watching the 3 striped squirrels and chipmunks.

Picturesque as it was it was still too crowded and didn’t feel like much of an accomplishment so we headed up a further 1.6 km to a lookout that promised some spectacular views.

This trail was much less crowded and offered some great scenery and we were soon above the tree line. After arriving Zak bailed and spent his time trying to rearrange the scree into a more organized system while Doug and I head up the moraine ridge to peer up the glacier and check out some remnants of snow.

Zak’s ephemeral art

I was amazed at all the flowers and found some most excellent Silene acaulis in bloom. Stuff does better up there than in my garden!

After about an hour give or take, we decide to head home and started to make our way down. Down was when I was really thankful for the walking sticks I had hauled all the way up. They spent most of the hike in strapped tot eh pack but the twisting descent was murder on my knee and the stick were a joy to use. I paused just as we hit the tree line to get an image of the wild Aquilegia (columbines) and managed to get this picture as Doug passed by.

A much quicker hike down, a glimpse of a weasel, a lot of tourists and no rest breaks found us back at the Chateau and then down the hill to the campsite. While I had really wanted to go climbing while in Louise, the timing hadn’t worked out and we hit the hay pretty damned content.

Day 6
Drive Dammit…Drive!

The next morning we awoke, packed up and hit the road running. Lake Louise is about the worst place to start from if you want to go to Waterton. You either go east or west a whole lot before you can head south. Doug had expressed a desire to see Buffalo Jump and that would also take us a long way off the most direct path. This early in the trip, I was still wound pretty tight and the driving held very little appeal for me.

We followed the Number 1 past Canmore and headed south to Kananaskis Country. I had been a while since I had made the trip and had forgotten how beautiful it was. A recommended drive especially on a weekday with no traffic. Since we needed to swing east we didn’t follow the trunk road south, but headed along the 541 to Longview, then south along the 22. Another recommended drive if you’ve never done it. Not so much about the scenery per se but about the contrast: the mountains, foothills and prairies are so compressed in this spart of Alberta that the effect is quite mind boggling.

At one point or another we picked a secondary road and swung east again. The great thing about the prairies is that (barring river ot two) the roads almost always go somewhere, so maps are less than necessary. When we met up with the Number 2, we swung south again until Nanton. As we cruised through town we spotted the The Nanton Lancaster Society Air Museum and decided to stop for lunch.

The museum was great with the Lanc, a old Snowbird and tons of displays about the old training bases in southern Alberta (where my father had trained). We didn’t have enough time and eventually hit the road again. Highway driving until it was time to turn off to the Buffalo Jump site. Leslie, Zak and I had visited years ago but it was new to Doug. Off in the distance we could see a few wind turbines and we were all “wow, look at that!”

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a world heritage site (apparently run by the native community) that is world class all the way, from its astonding architecture to its rich and informative exhibits. Another absolutely must-see. The views are amazing and it really gives you a sense of the landscape.

Travelling on from there along some back roads, we started to feel a bit foolish about our excitement over seeing the turbines because they started cropping up everywhere and were closer and closer to the roads. I hadn’t realized how prevalent they had become since I was last in the south. We stopped briefly at the Old Man river dam and then headed south through Pincher Creek. Another place you need to go in Alberta to get a sense of geography, is Waterton. After a few hundred kilometers on the bald-ass prairie you turn a corner and POW: right in the middle of the mountains. We stopped at a view point where you can spot this amazing transition from a distance.

Waterton found us camping right in town and after we set up, we had a quiet evening after a busy day.

Day 7 and 8

Day 7
Walkin’ and riding…

Day 6 started with some friendly ground squirrels, coffee and a walk around town. I picked up a Guide book for Waterton and area The Rock Climbers Guide to Southern Alberta 3rd Edition by Chris Goble, a local. Afterwards, we split up and Doug spent the day by himself while Zak and I decided to walk a bit more and then take in a ride at the local stable.

We decided on a half day ride up to Lions Head peak. It meandered across the river, through some meadows and then steadily climbed up the ridge of Vimy Peak until we stashed the horses and hiked the rest of the way up to the view point.

Zak looking back at Waterton.

The ride was a berry-fest! Saskatoons galore until we hit the upper parts and then a total thimbleberry fest. We were snatching them off the bushes right from horseback. Of course Zak was mash’n em off the bush: ) so I had to share a few if he actually wanted a taste. Our guide was a young kid from nearby and we had the ride to ourselves. A totally enjoyabale experience.

Crossing the river on the way back

The view from the stables back at Lions Head ( the dark bump of rock just to the left of the sunlit bit in the middle)

That night we relaxed and tried to get a good nights sleep. An awesome Southern Alberta windstorm came up in the middle of the night. It actually bent the poles of Doug’s tent!

Day 8
On the road again…

July 27 found us heading out again with no real plan. This was the first tense bit of the break as we weren’t sure where we were going or where we were staying and really had not developed any mechanisms for deciding. It was also the the period where I stopped taking as many pictures because I wasn’t sure how long my mom’s camera’s batteries would last or when I would next see power to charge them up.

First stop Frank Slide. lots and lots and lots of rock. We toured the information centre and gazed out over the rocks and then moved on west.

Frank slide from the info centre

Down the road we stopped at Sparwood to make plans and visit the world’s largest truck. We decided to move on to Cranbrook to a camping site called Moyie Lake Provincial Park, Awesome. The sites were fairly spaced, there was a lovely clean lake for swimming and it had the world’s nicest outhouses. Seriously… the world’s nicest outhouses! And the young lady looking after the place was one of the nicer people we met.

I went down to the lake for a swim and we had a fire and a few beer and generally mellowed out. It was a very nice way to end the day and I’d go back there in a minute.

Days 9 and 10

Day 9
I have to say that Day 9 was probably the grumpiest of all the days on the trip. We were still settling into a “what should we do now” mode and the decompression feature of the holiday mode hadn’t quite hit. Besides that I really wanted to climb and it just wasn’t in the cards.

Anyway we woke up and packed up the camp. We were getting pretty good at it by now and the truck was quickly filled to capacity. Doug wanted to head into Fort Steele so off we went back through Cranbrook and up the highway. At his point I hadn’t much interest in walking around an old “fort” as I had spent many a weekend at Fort Edmonton and was really thinking “same old, same old”. But it was Doug’s turn to choose and that’s what he choosed. We wandered in and headed over to the old RCMP barracks and read about the history of the fort. As we left there, we came around the corner, and the view was quite spectacular; you started to get a feeling for what it must have been like to be in such a large valley but still be isolated almost completely by the mountains.

After a while the mood mellowed and we had a nice time visiting the various buildings and displays. One of the nice things about traveling with Doug and Zak was if it was worth a look but not a long look, you could visit but still clear out at a reasonable time. So we did.

After we left the Fort we headed back into Cranbrook to visit a rail museum we had seen on the way by. Doug and I both like trains (personally I think it’s because of our many visits to the National Science Museum on Ottawa when we were young) The Candian Museum of Rail Travel is off mainstreet and features tons of old railcars and maps and stuff. The bad thing was it was by guided tour only and consisted of a tour guide taking you to a car and playing a tape. Needless to say this did not appeal to Doug at all. I talked him into staying for at least the next short tour and we took a gander at the Soo-Spokane Train Deluxe (1907). The cars are still in pretty bad shape, but the luxury was apparent. Doug tried to enjoy himself but I think in the end it was more a disappointment than fun.

Well then it was time to hit the road with Doug at the wheel.. off we went down the #3 towards Creston and beyond. I pretty much zoned out on this portion of the trip and did a bit of reading and resting. When next I started to pay attention we were just outside of Creston in a town called Erickson and I saw my first ever orchard. A cherry orchard to be precise…very Chekovian I thought, but there was no sign of Russian aristocrats slowly decaying. We decided to head north and take the ferry across Kootenay Lake from Kootenay Bay to Balfour. The 3a north is one of those twisty windy roads that a posted speed limit is really redundant because betwen the curves and the slow traffic you can’t really maintain any sort of headway. On that route north we did pass the house made out of glass bottles that you often read about in the “backroads of…” books.

Well we arrived in Kootenay Bay just in time to see a ferry pull in, but unfortunately there were enought people in front of us that we had to wait until the next one. It was a gorgeous day so we wandered a bit and then sat in the shade reading.

After a couple of hours we boarded the ferry and were crammed on there like sardines. I am totally amazed that there weren’t scraped sides down every vehicle on board.

Standing up top was interesting, listening to people talk nonsense about the lake or the one guy who was sure the markers on an electrical line that crossed the lake in the distance were float planes as he tried in vain to convince his kid that was what he was seeing. There was obviously a forest fire just over the mountains and the smoke streamed across the sky and it made a awesome sight as the slowly lowering sun hit it.

Well I took over driving in Balfour and we made out way toward Castlegar without stopping. There was some beautiful country and I would love to go back (especially with a boat) but eventually we pulled into the outskirts of our destination and started looking fora campsite. A sign directed us north of the city to a small privat-ish campground with showers called Pass Creek Regional Park Campground. So we pulled in, met the custodians, and set up camp.

The place had a bit of a wasp problem, but was nice enough. One of the custodians came by to collect some cash and we asked about climbing. She had never heard of any, but I showed here my map from and she pointed out the basic directions to me. I opted for a hot shower, but the rest decided to wait until morning. After a bit of high quality Zak-chopping, dinner and a fire ensued followed by the old folks retiring to bed for a rest.

Day 10
Day 10 started with breakfast and a shower for some and we hopped into the truck to head off and see what we could see. After a bit of loop-de-looping we found the visitor centre and picked up some maps of the area and then it was climbing time! I had found a reference to Waterline Wall online and was anxious to climb on something not limestone. We head up the hill bit and turned towards a school. A couple of hundred yards down the road it ended at the start of a walking path. The was a long ridge to the right that I’m pretty sure the was gneiss. We followed it down a ways looking for bolts and trying to match thngs up with the guide book sheets I had downloaded. We chatted with a few climbers and got the beta and eventually found the “Big Boulder” area I wanted to climb.

So we walked back to the truck to gear up and Doug decided to follow the path and see what was what. Zak and I set up on Deep Throat, a 5.9 sport climb the went up a big chimney to emerge around an arete and finish on a short low angle face.

It was a scorchng hot day but an awesome climb. I lead it first and then Zak lead it after. Unfortunately as I was pulling the rope, something went wrong and the end tangled or knotted itself. This meant we couldnt’t retrieve our rope. Zak refused to volunteer to head back to the truck, so I manfully headed out into the hot sun to get the 2nd rope.

Me up at the finish of the climb

When I got back we set up again and I lead the whole thing all over. Still, it was an awesome climb and well worth doing twice. Doug had showed up agin during the climbing and spent his time experimenting with shooting pictures through his binoculars and the results were pretty darn good.

Zak working the chimney as seen through Doug’s funky telephoto system

All the excitement and heat tired us out so we called it a day and headed into town. There is a suspension bridge that crosses the river to an old mennonite site so we stopped for a quick walk and a photo-op.

That pretty much ended the day as we headed back to camp for a quiet night with a reprise of the dinner-and-a-fire theme before calling it a day.

Day 11 and 12

Day 11
On the road again

Well Doug had to catch a train in Vancouver so we decided to hit the road again. I’m not the greatest traveler so I don’t stop as much as I should… gotta keep going…

We cruised out of Castlegar and headed down the#3 towards Grand Forks. If you’ve never made this drive you should. The climbs and passes are awesome and the views quite phenomenal. We passed the much talked about Christina Lake, which was not at all what I expected and headed on down the twisty roads. As we pulled into Grand Forks the country side changed again and it started to look like th dry hill prairie from the north part of the Okanogan. I had intended to stop and visit Shane on the way through and probably would have if I had seen Bron and Sons from the road (or even a sign) but as it was, my tendency to keep going pushed us through and onwards. The road swings north at Grand Forks and you get that feeling that you are going the wrong way until it swings back.

Zak’s method of travel involves, books, Gameboy and lots of zzzzzz.

The road went on and on and on and and eventually we came to edge of the valley that houses Oosyoos. Another must see if you’ve never been.

Downtown Oosyoos is basically this thin strip of land separating two parts of the lake

We pulled over and enjoyed the lake for a bit and even toyed with the idea of renting a boat but time and money dictated otherwise. We did walk around and there was this awesome desert-like public garden.

We pulled out of Oosyoos using the #3 and got our first taste of wine country as we worked out way up the the broad Similkameen valley towards Keremeos. As we followed the river the valley gets narrow and narrower and signs of population get a bit sparser. We had intended to tour the gold mine in Hedley but when we arrived we found out it was a twice a day thing and would have taken until around 6 to complete. The Mascot mine was built way up on the side of a mountain and sure seems like it would be worth the time. But we toured the gift shop checked out the displays and moved on.

The road took us to Princeton where stopped and got some info on Manning Park where we wanted to stay and then headed south again into the mountains. Unfortunately all the campsites with showers in Manning park were full and as Doug wanted toe presentable for his train ride home we decided to push onto Hope.

The elevation changes from Castlegar to Hope are phenomenal. We climbed and climbed into before Grand Forks (1746m) and down to 277m in Oosoyoos. Then it’s up to 650m at Princeton and higher through Manning and then basically descend down to 42m (the elevation of Hope).

On the way down to Hope we passed the Hope Slide and stopped to take a gander

We pulled into Hope and visited the Information booth for a list of campsites with showers, chose Othello Tunnels and headed up the hill. The campsite was privately run small but nice enough. We set up camp, had a good meal and decided to head out for a walk to look at the Othello tunnels, having absolutely no idea what they were.

Camping underneath two huge cedars.

After you follow this road from the campsite for a bout 5 minutes you come to the parking lot . Thew path then leads off past a river to the first of the signs.

Standing by the river which formed the canyon through which the railway had to run.

The Othello tunnels were one of a series of tunnels that were blasted out when they were making a railway from Vancouver to the interior of B.C. Apparently the engineer was a Shakespeare fan so they were all named after characters from his plays. They, combined with eh bridge spas between the tunnels create a straight, shallow grade for the trains to climb upwards from sea level.

Doug heading int the first of the tunnels.

After walking the length of the path and visiting all the tunnels, we headed back as the sun was setting. On the way back we encountered the first of the famous west coast slugs. Cute little devils.

Then it was off to bed and a nice nights sleep…that is until late arriver’s showed up and loudly argued about how to set up their tent in the dark.

Day 12
In the City
We awoke to find not only had the noisy people shown up but a hiker had also crashed next door with nothing more than a sleeping bag and a ground sheet. Not my way of camping. We packed up and headed down the Number 1 Highway to Vancouver. The drive was ok for the first part, but just outside of Abbotsford the traffic backed up for about 2 hours for no apparent reason.Driving at a crawl n a standard is always a pain cause inevitably none of the gears is just right and you end up shifting and clutching for constantly.

Eventually we found Vancouver and missed the turn off for downtown. After a nice side journey through North Van we headed back across the Lion’s Gate bridge , through downtown and back around to the train station. On the way we stopped briefly in Granville Island to see if we could spot the Naughty Doc. We found a likely suspect and found out later we had been correct. We parked at the train station and had a little walk to the bay with Doug pausing at the Telus Science Center and eventually saw him off at the station.

Zak and I, now on out own headed back to North V and onwards to Squamish. The drive to Squamish is great, especially if the traffic is light. There is lots of construction going on for the Olympics but is hasn’t done too much to ruin the majesty of the place.

As you pull into Squamish you see the huge granite dome that is the Chief. Zak and I stopped for a gander and then headed into town to find out Hostel.

To call the Inn on the Water a hostel does it a disservice. Other than communal washrooms and kitchen space it is as good as any hotel. Two double beds with real sheets and out own sink.

We had a quite night after driving around and exploring and eventually hit the sack in a comfy bed.

Day 13 and 14

Day 13
Day 13 started with a nice breakfast. I can’t really express how nice this place is; high speed internet for cheap, a movie room with free rentals, laundry and more.

Soon we were ready for adventure and a drive around town. We found the SeaDoo place and decided to stop in and see what the deal was. Turns out we could take a tour of Howe Sound for the low low price of around $225. The Grand Howe Sound Adventure was on!

We cruised by the gear shop and the fellow their sold us a copy of Squamish Select, which had most of the local sport climbing in it… unlike the bigger book (The Climber’s Guide to Squamish) I had picked up earlier at the info centre

We returned to the hostel to change and then met back at the dock. Mike, the owner, outfitted us in wetsuits and pfd and led us down to the water. After a short “no throttle” trip down the mouth of the river we opened up to the sound and learned to SeaDoo!
The farmer’s tans were especially attractive!

Mike’s spiel is great and he takes you back and forth across the sound pointing out interesting bits. Along the way you get to play and it is a real hoot. Zak was disappointed as he was a few weeks shy of his 16 birthday which meant he was relegated to passenger only status. At one point we took a dip in the sound…cold but not overly so. By some weird quirk of fate I was the first one to fall off. Zak managed to hang on while I tossed into the water after burying the nose into a wake. Eventually, however, I managed to dump him in.

As we came around one of the islnds we came upon a rocky island filled with sea birds and seals… awesome.

On the way back the water got quite choppy near the mouth of the river and I had to push the limits. Unfortunately Zak’s hands were cold and tired and I dumped him a few too many times. On the last fall he hit the water funny and hurt his ankle. This was a bad end to the trip but didn’t put too much of a damper on the overall excitement we felt.

We said our goodbyes to Mike and Amy and headed out. I decided to run up to Cheakamus Canyon to see where most of the sport climbing was. We drove down teh highway for about 30 minutes till we spootted the turn off and drove up a poor gravel road for another 5 minute. The road opened up to a parking lot and we had arrived.

(Excerpted from climbing log)
We hit Cheakamus Canyon late afternoon and are astonished at the signage, porta-potti and easy access. I bully Zak into setting up at Conroys Castle: Charlotte’s Web a two pitch 5.9 sport. Zak’s ankle is hurting so I lead. The crux beats me and I swing on the draw to make the move. Upon completion of the 1st pitch I rap down and we call it a day.

Later we headed back to the hostel to ice Zak’s ankle and relax for the evening.

Day 14
Well Day 14 stated with a sore Zak and a quick trip to the hospital. His ankle really hurt and I decided better safe than sorry. The hospital was small but nice and we got into the emergency with only a short wait. The Doc said he saw lots of us tourists coming in during our holidays, what with Squamish being a climbing/mountain biking/hiking center. Anyway, Zak’s ankle was pronounced mildly sprained: so that was that. The doctor recommended a brace so we could do some climbing later so we wandered down to the drug store and picked one up.

The rest of the day was basically reading and relaxing. Towards the evening Zak and I decided on a movies so we picked out Death Race 2000. David Carradine and Sly Stallone and their less-than-finest! A classic and it was fun to share it with Zak.
The only other thing of note was a hotly contested crib game in which I double skunked Zak…he never had a chance!