Ironwoman Laura has been in town these past couple of weeks. It’s been eons since we last met up. Her visit coincided with the grand opening of the new Sea to Sky Gondola just south of Squamish and the annual Rotarian fundraiser in Port Moody, called the Search for the Perfect Pint (essentially a craft beer tasting event).
The Search for the Perfect Pint is a ton of fun; you get a wee shot glass and for $35 you can roam amid the local craft brewery tents set up – at Port Moody City Hall (of all places!) – and taste all you want. Alongside the beer is a host of local restauranteurs who dish up tasty nibblies – the east coast chowder (odd on the west coast), tempura deep-fried bacon (yes, I just typed that) and beer ice cream all being standouts!
7) Ironwoman Laura and multi-Ironman Darrin go back for more from Spinnakers (one of the original craft breweries in BC
Saturday morning found us at Shannon Falls bright and squirrelly for a walk through before arriving at the Sea to Sky Gondola at 8:30AM. It is the Victoria Day long weekend in British Columbia this weekend and although we were expecting crowds, the parking lot was empty save for 8 or so vehicles. I suspect the threat of rain keep many folks away. Anyhow, by 9:10 we had tickets in hand and were aboard our gondola car heading up the mountain. The trip takes about 10 minutes and deposits you at the Summit Lodge some 885m above sea level. At the summit there is a small rabbit warren of trails – the longest being a 1.6km loop; a suspension bridge with views (when not cloudy!) of mountains Sky Pilot and Co-Pilot; some lovely viewing points; and access to the backcountry trails.
9) G goes exploring before heading up
10) our gondola arrives!
11) Barb and the Ironmen happy to be heading up
12) made it to the top!
13) Ironwoman Laura stops to grab a shot of the suspension bridge
14) halfway across the bridge with Howe Sound in background
15) over we all go
16) made it!
17) Ironwoman Laura pauses to take a rest
18) hiking through lovely trails
19) these cute?! signs warn of where NOT to hike
20) G and Ironwoman Laura pause to look at Olesen Falls
22) the moss is everywhere
25) jump if you’re happy to be here!
27) heading off on one of the side trails
28) G takes the lead
29) moi at the Lookback trail end with Howe Sound in background
30) here is – in foreground – Stawamus Chief (the 2nd largest granite monolith in the world and a mecca for rock climbers) with just over its peak the town of Squamish == [double-click to open in full panoramic view]
31) left – Mount Sky Pilot; right – Mount Co-Pilot … which we could see after returning to the Summit Lodge
32) moi with Summit Lodge in background
33) G takes one final stroll on the suspension bridge before heading down (Mountains Sky Pilot and Co-Pilot in background)
37) … meanwhile back home, this shot: taken Saturday morning from our condo when no less than 4 cruise ships were in port – Holland America Zuiderdam (left); Princess’ Coral Princess (middle) and (right heading to Ballantyne Dock) Princess’ Grand Princess. You can see just a wee bit of Holland America’s Amsterdam on far left coming in by Stanley Park (above Canada Place sails) == [double-click to open in full panoramic view]