Friday, July 19, 2013

Disneyland Summer Vacation....


High above Squamish exists a virtual alpine playground I spend way too much time thinking about. It's a fantasy land where some could only dream trails would be possible there. It's a place where long steep granite slabs meet loamy and mossy single-track in a classic coastal forest and alpine setting. It's difficult to imagine a place where better views of Howe Sound and Squamish are possible. For years I've imagined spending the night up there allowing plenty of time to appreciate this golden gem right above my front door. The typical way to enter this trail network is by mechanical bird. It seemed obvious to me however the better way to get there would be mostly self propelled. With all the lengthy and complex alpine rides we've been doing lately this one seemed easy in my mind. It turned out to be a way bigger undertaking than I realized.

Featured on Norco Bicycles newletter: http://www.norco.com/news/11240/adventure-begins-here-with-my-bike/


The last couple of years huge "Hike-a-bikes" have become strangely normal to me. The more difficult things you do and push your pain and comfort levels aside the more normal non normal things become. I don't know if that makes sense but it sounds about right to me.


After four hours or so the grade eased off a little and some pedalling was possible.



We took a moment to observe the busy construction workers putting in the top of the anticipated Squamish Gondola station. 


   
Once we gained the ridge 270deg views opened up. The ride became a bit of a Mt. Garibaldi photo shoot....







After spending the better part of the day to explore all the small alpine tarns and reach the end of the ridge we set up a bivy. From this 2000 ft rocky ledge we could clearly see our house on the Squamish River. The GPS read 10.9 km to our front door. Goat Ridge is the flat granite shelf in the upper left hand corner of this shot from Brohm Ridge.    




Despite the heavy packs priorities were made for essential gear.


Killer view of Habrich....


And the Sky Pilot....


And Garibaldi standing guard over Squamish.



Almost full... not bad for handheld.


 
The lights of Squamish....





I woke at 5:00am to check a the fog filled Howe Sound....


A vortex opened up and tried to suck Mt. Tantalus in....


We packed up and set off on our 6000ft descent.




This one will be tough to top this summer. 

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