YOUTH CENTRE IN SQUAMISH
Welcome to the Squamish Youth Site! This site is designed to provide youth with a means to find resources in order to meet their needs. Even though this site is primarily for youth, people of all ages are welcome to use the resources provided!
Two youth working at the Squamish Public Library as part of the Youth@BC program, which is funded by the Provincial Government. This site was created last year under the same program and this year we are renovating it. We have a new name, a new background, and some new information. We hope you enjoy it!!
If you like what you see, or if you think that there's something we should include, let us know about it! You can leave a comment in our guestbook or you can email us.
Don't forget to check out the sites done by other communities for the Youth@BC program. You can find links to their pages on the Youth@BC site at: http://youth.bccna.bc.ca/
The town of Squamish is surrounded by two provincial parks and lies at the mouth of a river. The area is very scenic and the toweing Cliffs of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park make for an interesting ampetheatre.
Stawamus Chief Provincial Park
Shannon Falls Provincial Park
An afternoon hiking the Chief!
It was a typical hot August afternoon, and I was at work. I remember looking outside and thinking of how much I'd like to go hiking on one of my days off. At first I thought I'd enjoy hiking along Mount Seymour in North Vancouver, but then I remembered reading a travel forum, and how various people were suggesting hiking around in Squamish.
Squamish is a small working town midway between Vancouver and Whistler. It's culturally rich with the Squamish peoples who have been calling this region home for thousands of years. It's also apparently known as the "outdoor recreation capital of Canada". If you were to drive through the town, it might not seem obvious. But if you scratch the surface a little, you'd realise how many sports take place here, such as kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, camping, fishing, and so on.
The most famous landmark in all of Squamish is the Stawamus Chief; a large granite rock kind of reminiscent of Australia's Uluru. Alright... the Uluru comparison might be a bit of a stretch *grin* but even considering that the area's mountainous, the Chief looks as if it was randomly dropped from the sky, and just happened to land on the southern outskirts of Squamish.
For local rockclimbers in the region, the Chief is a popular destination. Thousands climb the Chief annually, inching their way up the smooth vertical face of the westward cliff.
Other less-gutsy locals like myself will take the easy route: hiking the back trails up to the top.
I had never climbed the Chief before, so we figured, "why not? It can't be THAT hard!"...
... so on Sunday, August 18 we left Vancouver for Squamish. This is an account of that trip.
"A visit to Shannon Falls"
We drove from downtown Vancouver across the Lions Gate Bridge to North Vancouver for lunch, then continued on to Hwy 99 - the Sea to Sky Highway. After 45 minutes of singing along to the Pixies and old U2 songs in the car, we saw the sign saying "Shannon Falls, next exit" - and that's exactly the exit we took.
We parked the car at the Shannon Falls parking lot, and followed the sign that pointed us to the "Stawamus Chief Trail". We actually didn't realise we could get on the Chief trail from Shannon Falls, so it was a pleasant surprise.
The trail started off as a grassy field, and then entered into the forest. The smells of the trees, shrubs and the dirt was thick in the air - I loved it.
The trail made its way up the side of the mountain, carving its way into the slope with manmade stairs. Sometimes the stairs would have railings, and other times it didn't. Parts of the trail included balancing over rocks, and log bridges. It kept going higher and higher, each time getting steeper.
"Walking the Stawamus Chief trail"
After 20 minutes of hiking we came across a wooden bridge built high up over a gorge. I could see the view of Howe Sound and the mountains between the trees.
We continued up a steep staircase that was practically verticle, however, it was on the steep wooden stairs without the railings that I felt uneasy. My boots were slipping, I felt dizzy, as if I had vertigo. I knew if I was going to continue further up, I'd need better boots.
I was incredibly disappointed, but knew that if I had gone any further, it would only get more steep. And boots without proper grips weren't the right things to wear. We turned around and went back down the stairs, stopping off at the lookout points along the way.
We discovered a campground at the base of the stairs. Unfortunately the only way back to Shannon Falls from the campsite was via the freeway. Instead we retraced out steps by going back up the stairs, over the bridge and back south down the same trail we came.
For the rest of the time we explored the creek by Shannon Falls, and then drove back into North Vancouver, taking the scenic route along Marine Drive back into downtown.