Charles and I headed up to Squamish for some hiking and mountain biking. We picked up Jo’s two hyper border collies for a steep walk up Squamish’s most famous landmark, The Chief.

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The Chief is a rock climbers’ mecca and one of Canada’s top climbing destinations. We followed a trail that meanders up the much more gradual backside through lush old growth forest.

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We scrambled over big moss-covered tree roots and slippery pboulders. While the weather was clear, everything was wet. Water streamed down the path and the dogs splashed through mucky puddles.

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After some good steep climbing the trail leveled out and suddenly we had panoramic views of the ocean glittering below and even bigger mountains all around.

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The Chief has three peaks. We ascended the third then traversed back to the second. As soon as we got to the edge we realized why this is such a hot spot for climbers. The cliff face plummets straight down all the way to the ground thousands of feet below.

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Descending from the second peak toward the first we got to a long slippery ladder. Dusty nervously let me carry him down but Ruby didn’t want any part of it. She backed off in a hurry. A little funny seeing as she was walking along the edge of the abyss completely unperturbed just a few minutes before. So I headed down with Dusty while Charles backtracked with Ruby. At the intersection of the two trails we stopped to wait. Even though it had been a pretty full hike Dusty couldn’t help but grab a stick and start a game of fetch. When Ruby caught up all kinds of sticks went flying. You were playing fetch without me?!?

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