Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bowen Island and Diedre

This past week has gone by in a flurry of summer activities, including a five-day gymnastics camp for Elise, a trip to Bowen Island, a family climb on the Chief and a few evening barbecues with friends. We are off to the Rockies for a few weeks and wanted to pack in as many Squamish outings as possible before leaving for the interior.

The trip to Bowen Island was fun. We had perfect weather and walked on to the ferry for a hiking adventure on the small island. We were joined by our friend Anne Clifford and her two girls, Josie and Sophia (the baby).

We did a hike around Kilarney Lake, a nine-kilometre loop on forested trails. The terrain was lush and the path was well groomed, perfect for a family walk.

Of course "Eagle Eye Elise" spotted the only fauna on the trip, a small frog and a snake slithering through the water. Pam and I would have walked past both of these without a second glance. She really does take in her surroundings.

The trail around the lake had many boardwalks across muddy sections. I told Elise to strike her "explorer pose" for this picture, and this is what she came up with.

Once around the lake, the girls played in the water by the shore. The lake was very swampy, despite its size, and we were slightly horrified to discover many leeches near the shore. Needless to say, we didn't swim, and this wading session was short lived as Josie got two small leeches on her foot in less than 30-seconds!

We finished the day with some time on the beach by the village (no leeches!) and then had dinner at a pub by the harbour before heading home on the late ferry. It was a nice time, but we were all tired, I think.

Capitalizing on the nice weather, we took Elise up the Apron on the Chief the next day. She's been up the cliff twice, but this was her first time on the climb "Diedre", likely Squamish's most popular multi-pitch route. This was Elise's hardest multi-pitch climb so far, and she did very well, climbing much of the route on her own. I provided a tight rope on the fourth pitch as the rock was quite slippery and she had a hard time keeping her footing.

Elise took this picture of Pam and I at the second belay stance.

Pam and Elise near the top of the fourth pitch, likely the hardest part of the route for Elise.

Fooling around on the fifth pitch. Elise said she learned this move in gymnastics! Go figure...

We promised her gelato for a successful ascent and she didn't let us forget! Her flavour of choice? Pink bubble gum of course...

We will likely be in the Rockies from July 29th to August 20th. Enjoy the summer weather!

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