I spent the last 4 days in Squamish, BC to partake in a run training camp with my coach and a few of the other ladies she works with. There was a lot of running (duh), some beach time, a lot of eating and exploring the town and an 8km race. I will go into detail day by day, but I will divide them up because it will be way too long for a single post!
Took my new Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged out for a test run and interval workout, read the review here: Shoe Review: Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged
After that I quickly showered, grabbed my bags and hopped in a cab to the Greyhound station. The bus departed from downtown Van at 10:30am and arrived in Squamish at 11:50am, not bad at all. My AirBnB host graciously offered to pick me up from the station in Squamish, and showed me some cycling routes around town. The rest of the group was coming from Victoria late afternoon, so I had a day to myself. I dropped my stuff off in my room, changed into workout clothes and prepared for an adventure. My plan was to cycle downtown and grab lunch, cycle to the base of The Chief and hike to the top. The ride downtown was easy and flat, I rode on the highway which wasn’t as scary as you might think. For lunch, I chose Zephyr Cafe (38084 Cleaveland Ave, Squamish, BC) they have a very healthy menu with salads and rice bowls etc, and cater to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free diets. Though I eat everything, I prefer health centric dinning options and Zephyr was awesome! I had a rice bowl with organic chicken, it hit the spot and fueled me for my adventure.
Then it was time to ride to The Chief, Google Maps said it was only 3km away, down highway 99. No problem! Well, I made it those 3km and found the left turn, but instead of noticing the minuscule sign indicating one of the parking lots for The Chief, I kept on going. I totally blame Google Maps, well, mostly. It said to continue and so I rode up and up this gravel road. I later realized this was a logging road called The Sasquam River Trail, which explained why I was the only person on it aside from a few cars parked here and there doing who knows what. In the spirit of adventure I kept on going, hoping The Chief was around the corner. After an hour or so and a lot of climbing, I decided I didn’t need to climb The Chief and turned around. Biking up hill was hard, biking downhill was freaking scary on a gravel trail where brakes don’t respond as quickly as they do on concrete. I made it out of there with no damage and to my surprise, there was The Chief on my left hand side, where I had began my bike ride to nowhere!
I locked the bike up in the parking lot, and walked towards the main lot, where the hike begins. My legs were definitely tired from the running and cycling I had already done, but I was not leaving without completing this hike. I had heard the hike compared to The Grouse Grind (which I have also never done), but the main point is, I was told it was pretty easy. It did not feel easy climbing wooden stairs for 1 hour and 20 minutes! After the stairs, it gets more interesting because you have a metal chain to hold onto, followed by a ladder and more chain and then climbing up the rock to the top. It was hard and it was hot, but it was totally worth it because this is what I saw at the top…
I ate a protein bar, took a bunch of pictures, rested my legs for a bit and then decided it was time to descend because I was hungry for dinner and Mags 99 was calling my name! The descent was even harder, my legs were shaking and twitching. I had planned to stop at the waterfall and soak my legs for a bit in what I figured would be very cold water, that plan went sideways when I was greeted by a giant, scary, barking dog who ran towards me. Getting a dog bite half way down The Chief was not on my agenda, so I carried on. I got to the bottom, jumped on the bike and headed to Mags 99, a mexican restaurant and Squamish classic just off the highway, near The Chief. I got their salad with pulled chicken and a Howe Sound Lager, beer never tasted so good.
We had a trail run planned for Friday morning, so I knew I had to do something to relieve my legs and grabbed a big bag of ice from the gas station on my way home and spent the next 2 hours icing various parts of my legs.