Summer 2014 Epic Road Trip Part 1 – Chasing A Waterfall

First off, I’d want to say I’m really sorry for the lack of updates. Things have been really busy – working, rock climbing, sorting out some photography things, and road tripping. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on all my work soon…

I decided to go on a two week road trip. It was something I had to do because last year I wasn’t able to go on a trip, so I was really itching to get out there. I got the chance to meet up with a bunch of friends along the way. It was definitely great seeing them again It’s been too long! And this was actually the first time I’ve ever done a trip by myself (well… Drove all over the place by myself), so it was something out of my comfort zone because I had long days of driving and I always felt like I needed a partner in crime when doing trips like these. But I was glad I went for it!

My trip started on July 11th (Friday) right after work. Packed up my car and headed for the ferries. Spent the weekend in Squamish doing a trad/multi-pitch rock climbing course (no pictures for that). Then on the Monday, I was off to my next destination – Lake Louise. Met up with a friend and her friend and camped at the Lake Louise campground. The next day we climbed Takakkaw Falls. It was my first big multi-pitch climb, so I was really stoked about it. 12 pitches rated at 5.6.

 

Here’s a picture of our camping spot. Rise and shine! Ready for an epic day!

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Here is the beauty we’re going to be climbing.

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After climbing up all that scree at the bottom, we were ready to rock! This is Sean leading the first pitch I believe.

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Joy leading the second pitch.

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4th pitch – just a little bit of traversing.

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This next pic was great. This is the view you got after coming out of the rocks on pitch 7.

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So much focus…

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The next one is the 11th pitch. It’s not really a pitch… It’s more like climbing through a 200ft tunnel near the top of the waterfall. So awesome!

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Joy finishing up the last pitch!

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We made it to the top!

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After hanging out for a little bit, it was time to get back down. This is Joy setting up the first rappel.

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Thank you Joy and Sean for bringing me up this amazing climb! You guys rock! What an epic way of starting the road trip. So much beauty.

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Next day, it was time to head over to Calgary, so I made a quick stop at Lake Louise to snap a few shots.

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Stay tuned for the next part of the trip!

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Mt Horne

My buddy, Mason recently bought a bunch of camping gear, so we had to test it out! A group of us went camping for the weekend at Little Qualicum Falls. It was a great time to get away from the city. It was definitely something I needed. A few of us hiked up Mt Horne.

Elevation: 910m
Elevation gain: 750m
Total distance traveled: 9.78km

The trail was really steep… But we all made it (eventually). I slowed down the whole group because my cardio is garbage. But in the end, it was really rewarding. In my mind, summer has begun already!

This is the beginning. Just finding the trailhead.

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After the first steep part, we reached a railroad track which was level (thank goodness!).

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After a little bit, we had to head back up the steepness.

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We’re on the right track!

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The first glimpse of Mt Horne.

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Views along the way. Man is it beautiful!

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We made it to the top! Signed the registry and hung out for a bit. Victory!

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Mt HorneI was pretty exhausted afterwards, but it was so rewarding! I’m pretty stoked for the many trips in the near future!

September Long Weekend @ Horne Lake

Over the Labour Day long weekend, a few of my friends decided to come over to Vancouver Island to do some camping! We wanted to check out Horne Lake caves and possibly check out the rock climbing situation there because I’ve heard many amazing things about it.

DAY 1:

We drove out to the Horne Lake campgrounds. There was a few first come first serve spots, so we decided to just give it a shot and check it out. We got there and ended up getting the last overflow site! It was awesome! Here’s our set up… Minus the truck.

After setting up our site, we checked out the area, then the girls did some guided tour of the caves while Peter and I did the self guided tour. It was sweet, but I didn’t take my camera because I’d probably smash it on the rocks a gabillion times.

After a late dinner, we just chilled out on the beach. It was awesome – a few shooting stars!

Yay star photography!

DAY 2:

Time to do some rock climbing and find this amphitheatre I keep hearing about! The hike up to it was pretty steep, but the view was pretty amazing!

I love how there were signs telling you what some of the routes were

Warming up on a 5.10b or something along those lines. Fun climb, but kinda sketchy cause I didn’t fully trust my belayer. But I made it to the top! Was relieved. There were a lot of harder routes around the area, so I figured we would only do this climb and that was it. It was still awesome finally checking out this place!

The crew.

The beautiful, beautiful amphitheatre. Warm up route is a 5.11a. I WILL be back one day! Everything about it looked amazing!

DAY 3:

Time to head back to Victoria… Slowly. We had breakfast, packed up the campsite, and started driving. We decided to make a few stops. First stop was Little Qualicum Falls.

We waded in this area for a bit, then Peter spotted a crayfish. We tried to get the other people and their kids to catch one.

It took them a while, but they finally caught one! That’s a biggy!

Afterwards, we went to Coombs. That place was pretty packed! I LOVE their market there! Didn’t take any pictures though… But yeah, after that, we headed back to Victoria. It was a great long weekend. I definitely needed that since the past month had been hectic. So it was good to just chill out for once. Thanks to all my friends!

Day 3 of 3 – Nanaimo River… The Dark Side

Last day of camping at Nanaimo River! (sadface). Last night some jerks tried to break into the trunk of my car, but luckily they didn’t succeed. Instead they damaged the lock so now my key doesn’t work in the trunk. It really annoys me people who try to steal and/or break into things… I don’t understand how people can get so desperate… Gah! I can go on about this forever, but I won’t.

Dion and I packed up all our stuff and decided to check out the other side of Nanaimo River (it’s called the Dark Side) for some rock climbing. I’ve never been to the Dark Side before, so I was really excited to check it out.

We parked our car on the other side of the river and started walking to the rock climbing site. It’s such a cool place to hike as there’s parts where the ground is cracked and you can see down to the bottom. We then got to a skinnier trail and then we were greeted by a ladder going down under rocks. At this point I was pretty excited.

Once we got out from under the rocks, we were greeted by rocks on either side of us. It was a corridor. It seemed like something from Lord of the Rings. It was surreal! Everything about it looked beautiful – the rocks, the sights… Everything!

After a bunch of picture taking, we decided to keep on going. But every few steps we took, we kept getting distracted by more amazingness! This tree grew in the crack!

After a few hours of distractions, we were trying to figure out which climbs to do first. The only problem was, a lot of the rock was still a bit damp. So we had no choice but to warm up by lead climbing a 5.10c…. Well… I decided to warm up on it (I’ll update you guys with the name once I get back from Vancouver). This route was AMAZING! It had everything in it. Jugs, big moves, crimps, laybacks, cracks. It was great!

By the end of the route, I was really glad I was able to finish because my confidence isn’t that great yet. So there were a lot of times where I was pretty sketched out because I didn’t want to take a fall. But I think I’m slowly getting more confident every climb!! Afterwards, we attempted a 5.11 but failed miserably because the rock was wet. I ended up smashing my knee into the rock and left some blood behind… Oops! But oh well, we’ll be back for it! Can’t wait to get out there again!

Day 2 of 3: Nanaimo River – Summer Goal Achieved

Day two of the trip. Wake up to the sound of the river flowing below us, and boy was it humid there! But hey.. The view we wake up to makes it worth it.

After having an awesome breakfast, we were ready to get our climb on! We were feeling pretty strong, so we went up a few routes to warm up, and then I thought to myself “maybe today is the day where I conquer my summer goal” which is to lead climb a 5.11.

It was such a great route. The first bolt was pretty high, but I felt pretty confident getting there, so that was no problem. The first few moves to the first bolt were pretty straight forward, then the next move was pretty big as it was pretty high up (for a short person). So I had to use anything I could get. Once I got to the second bolt, I was pretty happy because the first two bolts you could still hit the ground if you fell. So after a few breaks, I got to the second bolt and clipped in (phew!!). The rest of the climb was awesome. Nice and crimpy. Excellent route!

Once I got to the top, I let out a huge yell of relief because lead climbing is super scary (in my opinion). Most of it is just psychological… So it was good to conquer this – SUMMER GOAL ACHIEVED!!

This is Dion giving it a try as well.

So overall, it was an amazing day of rock climbing. But right now I’m in Vancouver, so I forget what the name of this route is, and once I get a few more pictures from my friend, I’ll be able to get you all more details about this route.

Day 1 of 3: Camping And Rock Climbing At Nanaimo River

Dion and I (Rhiannon bailed at the last minute… Sadface) were planning on going to Squamish to hike and rock climb, but the weather forecast looked like crap, We played it safe and decided to go to Nanaimo River instead. We left on July 17th and came back on July 19th. It was a blast! ….. As usual.

We got to Nanaimo River around 5:30pm ish? It was pretty late in the day. But we made it! We lugged all our stuff to our “campsite” and luckily we found two wood pallets, so we carried those back to our campsite and took it apart for firewood (yay for free stuff!). And this was the tool we had to tear those pallets apart. We decided that it would be quicker to do it this way rather than driving into town and picking up an axe of some sort… But yes, it worked!

After setting up and all that, we managed to get a climb or two in. It was raining a little bit, so it wasn’t ideal rock climbing conditions. A little bit slippery… But oh well. Here’s our sweet spot where we camped!

And of course… We had a fire!

And that was pretty much it for day number one. Keep on checking back for details on the other two days!

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