November 12, 2009
Our original plan was to hike Howe Sound Crest Trail in Cypress Provincial Park, but due to the amount of snow, it was impossible without snowshoes. So we got turned around not far in and we had to come up with another objective. Stawamus Chief is the landmark of Squamish, just on the east side of Sea to Sky Highway. This huge granite dome is claimed to be the second largest granite monolith in the world, topping 700m above the adjacent water body, Howe Sound. We followed a well maintained trail to the centre summit. The trail is short, but steep. There were a couple slippery sections due to the recent rainfall, and they provided some sort of challenge to us. I slipped a couple times. Near the top the terrain becomes very rocky. A ladder helped for a short rock step, and after that we were basically hiking on giant slanted granite rocks. On top of the Chief, Howe Sound and Squamish Valley dominate the view to west. Looking north, Mt. Garibaldi was hidden in clouds, with its summit barely showed up. Overall, with little effort, we got great views.