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Archive for the ‘Walking’ Category

Trail work

Posted by robjwall on January 21, 2011

Time to put something back into this Squamish Trail Network we love so much.  Today we did some time on a secret project.  Its a critical link-up for walkers and bikers; best of all it may annoy some property developers, and maybe help save these woods!

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Alfie goes mountain climbing

Posted by robjwall on July 20, 2010

On Sunday we took a taxi to the Lake Garabaldi Trailhead (alt 580m), about 20km North of Squamish.  After a very long 3 hours of constant uphill on an excellent trail, it was suddenly different: a stunning section of small lakes, steep streams, bridges, big white snowy banks, and sunshine!  Alfie was well rewarded for his long uphill battle – I can only imagine what its like to climb 900m (over 6km) with 3yo legs!  He has a policy of running downhill which is useful, when he’d not tired and trippy.  After the long uphill it was only 3km through this varied terrain to the Lake Garabaldi Campsite (alt 1470m), where we pitched a tent on a wooden platform, and another on the snow.  The kids made a great game of using the provided shovel to flatten some snow.    Kate went for a walk to take some pictures and the rest of us swam and lazed by the lake.  After a freeze-dried dinner, a solid sleep, and the usual weetabix and powdered milk with melted snow I was ready for something…

The kids were asleep, so rather than taking them up Panorama Ridge (2130m) as discussed, I decided to hike up to have a look at the Black Tusk (2320m) alone.   I had met some climbers the day before who recommended Mt Price  – 2050m – but the route to it was indistinct and snowy.  The route to the ‘tusk’ was more south facing so I figured on less snow – plus it is a very attractive peak from a distance.  I was wrong on both counts, the walk up was snowy and I lost the trail several times, but following my nose seemed to find it again.   There were some great grassy patches higher up, with small pine trees, great bear country, but I didn’t see any.  I am really enjoying moving fast in this  lovely terrain.  The lack of a pole, or axe brought back memories of sliding down snow slopes before, but it really wasn’t steep or icy (I carried a pointy rock for peace of  mind) and the bushwalking boots were fine.  After about 2 hours I got to the base of the scree, and decided to scramble up it a little: one step up, 1/2 step sliding back (but it makes a great sound), this thing is a huge pile of small hard black rocks.  30 minutes later I am at a rockface – loose and clearly unclimbable. I walked around to the right for 50m or so and find a short steep chimney of better rock – surely this isn’t the ‘scramble’ so many people do?  I decide to climb this 5m to ‘have a look’, its steep but not hard (5.5?), pulling up onto what feels like the scree again.  The terrain is lots of flutes of terrible rock that are all about 45 degrees from vertical: the climbing looks easy, if a  little dangerous, and I am worried about finding the way back to the top of the chimney, so I build a small cairn.  Another 15 minutes and I am at the top, and take a photo of the ‘Olympic’ cairns.  You can see everything Whistler / Tantalus / Mt Price / The Garabalidi’s.   I don’t linger.  I realise down-climbing that you could not have more than one person on this thing, each step sends a cascade of rock down, the chimney would be a shower of rocks (my carin was destroyed).  I enjoy climbing down the little chimney, and then running down the scree (in about 5 minutes, I undo 30 minutes of up).  I kept two rocks.  I meet two hikers on the way down, with lots of tattoos.  The snow is perfect for glissading too (all though by now my inexplicabley sort right leg is really hurting) and I am back at Taylor Meadows pretty quick (in all 3 hours to the summit, and 90 minutes down).  A great outing, in an interesting location, on an eroded volcanic remnant.  I wouldn’t feel the need to do it again.

Alfie leads the way on the long run back to the carpark, chatting all the way (until he got ‘tired legs’ in the last couple of km!).

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Looped The Lizard at Last

Posted by robjwall on June 1, 2010

After quite a few distractions (like climbing in France again, and many family parties) Kira and I completed our “Loop the Lizard” walk last week. The final section was one of the best: Church Cove to Kynance, on the West of the Lizard, along the wonderful remote and rugged Predanack Cliff (past the site where Marconi is claimed to have made the first radio transmission across the Atlantic ). My other favourite part is Gillan to Porthallow on the East. See Map So Kira has walked from Gillan to Porthleven. If biking and paddling is allowed I have made it into a loop. The final paddle the Helford last week was especially memorable (with Kira, and my brother in law Jonney). I have never seen flatter or more pleasant paddling conditions as our return from the ‘Ferryboat’ to Merthen Quay.

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Loop the Lizard

Posted by robjwall on March 11, 2010

On the last few weekends we have been walking.  It continues to be sunny and cold. I am close to something we dubbed ‘loop the Lizard’.  A walk from Merthen to Merthen around the Lizard Peninsula, crossing the Helford on the ferry, and following the coastal path around the cliff-edges.  I guess Kira and I have done about half of it already.  Even Alf has done some.

Last weekend we did a two day stint staying overnight at the Paris Hotel in Coverack, which had surprisingly good food and views, and predictably small rooms.  My favourite stretch so far was from the Helford river at Gilllan to Porthellow.  Quiet riverside cottages, boats, rolling grass, and ‘Shakespearean’ rather than Cornish feeling countryside.

If you have Google earth you can see the route here  Loop the Lizard

BREAKING NEWS.  We had a rush of blood this week and have just booked to go skiing at Paradiski in the Alps for all of next week. (Gulp!)

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