Climbing The Stawamus Chief-Squamish BC

On June 9th, we drove north up the Sea to Sky Highway from West Vancouver to Squamish to hike The Stawamus Chief, well known for its climbing and hiking trails. It was a beautiful sunny day with brilliant blue sky, affording spectacular views of the coast and Howe Sound. Arriving at Shannon Falls Provincial Park around 10:30am we began our hike from the base of the falls. Shannon Falls is composed of series of cliffs, rising 1100ft, making it the third largest falls in the province. The hike to the First Peak was through the beautiful forest of Hemlocks and Douglas Firs, and then ascending steep rocky cliffs to the top, at (610m) 2001ft. We enjoyed wonderful 360 degree views of the mountains and Howe Sound below. Back to the trail we continued on to the Second Peak with even steeper rocky cliffs where we used chains and ladders to help pull us up the cliff face. On the Second Peak at (655m) 2150ft, we stayed and ate lunch with the chipmunks who would not leave me alone, and took in the wonderful views. Then it was on to the Third Peak, passing by a rock ledge where the climbers rappel down hundreds of feet to the base of the mountain. The Third Peak at (702m) 2300ft, was the final peak, and we could see Mt Garibaldi rising high above the valley covered in clouds, and great views of Squamish nestled at the end of Howe Sound.

The trail down was different than the one we took coming up so we did not have to descend the chains and ladders. However, it was very steep with plenty of rocks and roots to trip you up or down! Finally we made it back to Shannon Falls where we took more photos of the water falls glistening in the sunshine. Driving into Squamish for some number one recovery drink at the Howe Sound Brewery, we had a great overall view of the (700m) 2296ft granite monolith, the Stawamus Chief. It is the second largest granite monolith in the world and provides a good nesting habitat for the Peregrine Falcon, which we did not see today. A spectacular day once again in beautiful British Columbia.