The Great Outdoors

This past weekend has probably been the best ever. So, so, so much fun. So much sunshine, so many outdoor activities, so many goals ticked off the list.

And the weather has been absolutely glorious! After the first two week of September washing us out and freezing us to the core, we were convinced we’d be in for a rough Autumn. Mother nature had other ideas though, and blessed us with non-stop sunshine and mid-twenty degree days.

This weekend we had planned for our mate Reuben to come up for a visit. He and Jill (this beautiful married couple) have been living in their van, travelling around BC, climbing rocks like crazy folk. Jill is down in Vancouver at the moment, learning how to become a yoga instructor, so Reuben thought he’d pop by to give mountain biking a red hot go.

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One lap of Easy Does It (the basic green run on the mountain) and he was bored, which made Andrew and I SO HAPPY. Reubs rode bmx as a kid and picked up mountain biking so quickly. We managed to tick off a tonne of blue runs, snuck in a black and made it to the garbo zone for a full hour long run. Safe to say he was one happy chappy, and I ticked off so many personal goals that day too. It was by far the best day I’ve had on the bike and I have Andrew to thank for being the perfect balance between coach and riding buddy.

I’d also been out with a work mate a couple of days ago (who snapped the below picture you may have seen on my instagram), and the combination of those two days out means that I’ve now ridden every blue and green run on the mountain – happy days!

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The next morning, my legs had seen better days but with a day off together we pushed ourselves to head back up the mountain – without a bike this time. Andrew and I hopped in the gondie as soon as it opened, rode it as far as it would take us and set out on an alpine hike.

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We took the Harmony Meadows to High Note to Half Note Trail, which would have been around 10km and took us 2 hours, 40 minutes. We had to cut it short due to Andrew’s riding plans, but I was secretly ecstatic about that.

The hike was stunning, alpine hiking is insane and like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. The thinner air and constant uphills made it challenging, but we made it through and still smiled by the end!

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We actually started in the opposite direction to what is recommended (the chairlift to take us to the the proper trail head didn’t run until 11am), so we begun in rough, open conditions, full of loose rocks and mediocre scenery.

I’m glad we got that out of the way though, because as we turned the corner an hour in, we were dumbfounded by the sights.

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Photos absolutely do not do it justice, because the views of Cheakamus Lake and surrounding mountains were breathtaking.

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A couple of tips for long hikes:

  • Clif bars are the greatest thing in the world
  • As is water
  • Don’t buy that last wine at the bar the night before
  • Wear sunscreen. FML
  • Have a good hiking buddy and make fun conversation about all the amazing adventures you’ve already been on
  • When you start climbing steep hills, stop that conversation immediately
  • Apologise to your knees for the downhill slopes
  • High-five at the end because you didn’t die!

With all the riding we’d been smashing out, I’d forgotten how great hikes can be. This weekend definitely showed me how incredible Whister is in the summer, and how many activities there are to fill your spare time.

We finished up the weekend with healthy nachos, plenty of guacamole and beginning season four of Scandal. It was grand!

Very tired, but super content.
Hanbel
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