Living in British Columbia, I am very fortunate to be surrounded by a beautiful view of mountains. On June 9th 2012 I went up to Squamish (for those of you who haven’t heard of Squamish it’s the town right before Whistler) to climb The Chief. Now when you arrive for the first time all you see is a giant boulder of a mountain. I remember the first time I went in greade 6, all I was thinking was there is no way I was going to scale the side of a mountain! Thankfully as you enter it, it gradually looks more like a forest trail then a giant rock.When I was in grade 6 I wasn’t in good shape. I was just beginning to start cheer but had never done any hard endurance training before. Saying I had a rough time with The Chief would be an understatement. My cousin had done it many times before, her being 13 years older than me and a fitness phenatic didn’t make me feel much better either. While there were many tears on my part she waited for me, encouraged me, and when we made it to the top. The view was so breathtaking it made all my suffering worth it.
Now having read this, you might be thinking “wow she died doing a hiking trail?” But let me tell you, it isn’t a leisurely hike by any means! It’s more like walking up stairs a foot high each at almost a 90 degree angle for 2hours. So after my first experience it’s safe to say i’ve been avoiding ever going back. However i’ve grown up, i’m in much better shape and when my cousin told me they were headed up and I should come I couldn’t think of an excuse not to go. So we drove up in a big group of my cousins friends and I felt the fear of the horrible memories I had, but I sucked them back and started the hike.
The first 15min went well, It’s pretty tough on your legs but I was going strong. I should also mention now, I’m an extremely bad morning person. Whenever I do physical activity before 11am I just feel really sick and I don’t know why. So needless to say that’s exactly what happened. I started to feel sleepy, nauseous and got a headache. Of course I needed to finish though because I knew what the view was like, and once I start something I need to try my best to finish it. I took some breaks along the way, my other cousin this time stayed with me (this time no tears thankfully ) and we made our way up only a few minutes behind everyone else. Once we reached 3/4 of the way I was starting to feel a bit better, and once you’re at that point you get to use chains and ladders to haul yourself up the rest of the rocks before you reach the top. Personally that’s my favourite part because to me it’s like a big puzzle of where to put your feet and which rocks to use.
Let me tell you, after 2 hours of climbing it feels amazing to reach the top! The memory of my horrible experience as a child is almost gone when I realize I had not only done much better then last time but had also climbed to the second peak instead of the first! Being up on the mountain is amazing and the scenery is absolutely incredible! Would I do it again? Yes I would, but not for a little while and definitely not in the morning this time!
Till next time, -Nadia