Andy G. at the Chief:
“Today’s hike celebrated ten years since I first hiked the Chief, almost to the day. Eddie joined me on a day when even the weather conditions closely matched those of a decade ago, if cloudier with the summits of the Sky Pilot group and Garibaldi shrouded in cloud all day.
The trail is dry and snow- and ice-free and was an absolute pleasure to hike today. It was also delightfully quiet, as we met only a small number of hikers. As we reached Second Peak, a lone hiker was practicing yoga on First Peak and had the space to themselves. It wasn’t long before their peace and quiet was disturbed by a dozen or so hikers and dogs.
So what’s changed in a decade? The trail has been upgraded and re-routed in a few places; the Sea-to-Sky gondola has been realized (which had just been proposed in its original Chief-topping form in 2005); the Woodfibre Mill has closed, improving the view; and the number of people attempting this hike has gone way up.
What hasn’t changed is that the views are awesome, the trail is steep (!), the chains and ladders are fun, the grouse are sounding their booming calls and the descent between Second and Third peaks is a mess of roots and rocks.
Salmonberry is out in full bloom but not much else. Watch out for the chipmunks – their begging and scrounging skills are second to none.”
Chris M. at Upper Shannon Falls:
“A little rain didn’t stop the 5 of us from having an enjoyable walk to Upper Shannon Falls. It was much less busy than normal on the stairs up towards the Chief. Colleen proved to be an effective shepherd. The bridge across Olesen Creek needs some repairs. On the way back, Daniel fell through but managed to climb back out. Chris mentioned he liked the variety of terrain along this trail. After checking out waterfalls and taking in the viewpoint above, round-trip was around 4 hours. Ellie and the rest of us chatted most of the way making the time pass quickly.”
Brenda C. on the Chief:
“Saturday turned out to be a great day for a hike after a cool, rainy week in Vancouver. Doug, April, Sebastien, Hiromi, Sean, Janice and myself left the parking lot around 9:30 am. The trail was wet and muddy at times but there was no snow to slow us down. We reached the third peak in about 2 hours after taking several breaks for pictures and rests along the way. We then made our way down to the second peak, which was busier than the third, enjoyed the view of the mountains peaking through the clouds, ate lunch and rested. The route down was expectedly busy with a serious traffic jam at the ladder and chains section. We made it back to the parking lot after about 4.5 hours. It is definitely a good idea to start this hike earlier in the day to avoid a crowded parking lot and trail.”
Keith on the Chief:
“The weather was phenomenal and the company even better. With some shuffling went to the around we ended up with one full car. We found parking (luckily), and set off up the Chief. Forgot how quick it is! We just went to the first peak and it was crowded, but it was clear and warm. I learned from the other people feeding the chipmunks that they do not like dried papaya. You don’t feed bears, why chipmunks? Given the opportunity I think they would attack 🙂 When the crowds leave in October they don’t have that food to depend on. They’re cute, but you do them no favours.
After a great lunch we headed down to the car and proceeded to Cabin Lake. A bit of a grunt up we got to the lake. The water was phenomenal. Clear, “diveable”, warm, sunny, and great company. What else do you need? It was much easier with no crutches or blindfold this time around! As one hiker said, “Every hike should end with a swim!” I agree.”
Ahmad on the Chief:
“Almost no people when we started at 10 am. It was the first time I’ve seen the Chief that empty especially on a nice day like today. Not much of a difference than it was one month ago except things seemed wetter and colder. The scramble is easy with ropes and all of us managed without a problem. The last one is difficult but the rope makes it easy. We went up also on the second peak and descended via the main trail. Dogs cannot get over the chained-steep section. We saw few dogs got stuck there. This trail is not obvious. It branches off in several places. It took us 6 hours at a luxury pace.”
Heather at Upper Shannon Falls and the Chief:
“Nine of us outwitted the weather report and had a great day doing a double hike to upper Shannon Falls and then the 2nd and 3rd summit of the Stawamus Chief in Squamish. The group included a nice mix – from “first hike in Canada” to our local “Mountain Meister”, plus three other Wanderungers that we bumped into along the way. After all these years, I’d forgotten how steep the Chief is, but we all got a good workout and took extended lunch breaks on the bluffs overlooking Howe Sound and then on the second peak while watching the cute chipmunks running around. The chains and ladders between 1st and 2nd summit add excitement to the way up, and the loop trail between 2nd and 3rd summits is an easier, varied way of getting down. All of us enjoyed a good early season hike and great company.”