DAY 282

SOOOO TODAY WAS AN EPIC ADVENTURE! Yesterday at the potluck, a few of us were just chatting, and we were all saying it'd be awesome to do a hike together the next day. Chance actually came in from Vancouver Island, and was sleeping in his car so he ended up parking at Sam and Johns house, 2 of the new friends that we made at the potluck. So Chance, Sam, John, Peter (another new friend), and I were all super keen, and last night we were looking up challenging hikes to do. So personally, I've been craving a sweat sesh like crazy since I just havent really moved my body much since getting home ahah, so I wanted a pretty challenging hike. So we got on google and googled like the most difficult hikes in Vancouver, and we found one called Crown Mountain, so we all made plans to do it today. When I woke up this morning, part of me was wondering if it would actually happen, but it DID. Chance showed up at my door at 7:30 to pick me up, and the rest of them were already in the car. So off we went to conquer this mountain. But fuck, we had no idea what we were in for. We knew it was gonna be tough... but this hike was just FUCKED. haha, so it started out relatively tame. It starts off by going up a local climb here called the Grouse Grind, locals call it natures stair master, because that's pretty much what it is. Just under 3 km of stairs and steps. But it's an extrememly popular hike, so it was super busy and well paved so it wasn't sketch at all. Then after getting to the top of the Grind, we walked past the bear habitat, and took a fork, then started climbing up Crown Mountain. Once again, the beginning was deceivingly tame and the footing was nice and safe, but oh boy did it change. We eventually found ourselves in the craziest terrain, climbing up pretty much vertical climbs, using chains to go up, scaling rock faces where we could easily fall to our death, trucking through SNOW, sliding down mudslides, going down crazy steep paths that were slippery with very unsure footing, and all in all it was just the wildest most technical hike I've ever been on. BUT MAN did I feel alive, we all had to be so aware of where we were stepping that we were all just so present and so in the moment. And as soon as we got about 20 minutes into the climb we were just literally in the wilderness. Like just surrounded by nature everywhere. It was so quiet, and all we could hear was birds and the sound of our own voices. We hiked through alpine vegetation, then pine forests, and so much more. It was also extremely difficult because the path goes up then down then up again.

So there was heaps of elevation gain. So Chance and I wore trail runners, but the rest of them didn't really pick the most optimal footwear hahaha. Sam was just in Nike Free's, John was in runners that were just falling apart ahha, and fucking Peter was in SANDALS! ahahha but he was a champ and made it. 

 

But man, the best part about the hike was seeing Chance in his element. That guy is a fucking legend, he's just the nimblest most agile little mountain goat I've ever encountered. When we were going snails pace, he was just leaping and bounding from boulder to boulder, sliding down snowy banks, and all together just so confident and fearless, he reminded me of a little kid.

Everytime I watched him hop around it just made me smile and chuckle. It was also just awesome to have him with us since he has so much experience and knowledge with hiking. He was our fearless leader, and lead the charge pretty much the entire way. I also stumbled a few times and he always caught me which was much appreciated ahha. So after about 4 hours, we finally all made it to the top ALIVE ahah, and after waiting awhile for the clouds to clear we were rewarded with the most stunning view of the mountains and Vancouver. We just sat up at the top, chatting, eating dates and cliff bars, and enjoying the view. There was also the FATTEST crow up at the top just chilling with us, which just added to the mystical mysterious ambiance ahha.

After we got to the top though, we took it SOOOOO slow coming down, just because it was seriously like, one wrong step on a loose stone, or slippery snow and we would all fall to our deaths. Going down was actually way harder for me than climbing, for my knees, muscles, and legs in general. I haven't hiked in ages and that impact was just killer, but we were all in good spirits pretty much till the end just because we were with such great people. It's actually insane that we were all strangers yesterday, and now I feel like they're steadfast friends haha.

We all just jived and got along so well and it was just awesome conversations and good vibes the entire 9 hours that we were adventuring. We took lots of breaks, got heaps of photos, and chatted about the most random convos ranging from my wierd love for Fiddler on the Roof, to social media, our stories and journeys, food, and underwear brands haha. Chance is also making me really want to visit Vancouver Island at some point just from the way he's described it. Johns commentary throughout the hike was also just HILARIOUS. He'd make the funniest sounds, and would just talk to himself and honestly everything he said made me chuckle. Eventually we all made it down Crown Mountain, and had the option of taking the gondola down Grouse, but the line was just miles long so we opted to walk down on a trail called the BCMC, but about an hour into it, we definitely slightly regretted it haha. It was getting late, we were all pretty fatigued, but we pushed on, and eventually... we made it back to the car. It was 1600m of elevation, and just the wildest hike and adventure of my life. Chance, Peter and I made it down first, and we just sat and chilled while Sam and John caught up. Sam's knees were killing her, and honeslty she did an amazing job to finish the hike and persevere. After we all got down, we loaded into the car, and headed back to our respective homes. Chance dropped me off first, and the first thing i did was put rice on. Then I showered, scrubbed all the mud and grime off me, necked so much water, put on cozy PJ's, and had like sushi burritos of nori filled with rice, sweet chilli sauce and so much avoooooo. It was way too delish.  Then because we were talking about banana ice cream on the hike I couldn't resist making some berry pineapple nana ice cream, and then finished off the night with a few bowls of oats with maple syrup.