Sea to Summit – Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail May 14

Forums Trip Reports Sea to Summit – Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail May 14

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    Anita Leonhard

    The day dawned cold and cloudy, in keeping with the general temperament of this miserable spring. Showers were forecast for later in the day, precluding any hope of a brighter afternoon. But despite the uninspiring weather, an even dozen of intrepid souls showed up for the hike from the base of the Chief to the top of the Sea to Sky gondola and beyond. Like me, I’m sure everyone else had given up on waiting for better weather, since better weather was clearly not on its way any time soon.

    The Sea to Summit trail is often described as the Sea to Summit Grind, but it’s really not much of a grind at all. While it has an elevation gain of 850m, it’s spread out over 8km. Moreover, the Sea to Summit trail is really very lovely, offering close-up views of Olesen and Shannon Creeks, dramatic outcroppings of Squamish granite, and of course the always wonderful, drippingly-lush forest.

    The extremely good company provided by all the participants made the hike fly by. We ran into a bit of snow just before the gondola base-station, but overall, there was less snow on this portion than expected.

    We settled down for a well-deserved lunch with some not-so-bad views of Howe Sound and miscellaneous mountains peeking out briefly from behind the clouds. The predicted showers had abated and the station was buzzing with tourist gamely making the best of things. Here we left a few of our party behind since their hiking appetites were already sated. But eight of us were still hungry for a little bit more and so we ventured on to Al’s Habrich Ridge Trail.

    By now, the snow-cover was pretty constant. Snowshoes were good at first, but then the terrain became a bit more challenging and the snow more slippery. Soon we were all back to microspikes, which had the benefit of not acting like toboggans when you least expected it, but had the disadvantage of not preventing you, even a little bit, from sinking deeply into the soft snow with some regularity.

    As we slowly progressed, our attrition rate began to go up until at last we were all ready to call it a day. A few peak-a-boo mountain views later, we were swooping back down on the gondola over the terrain that had taken us hours to hike up. All in all, it was a great day and a great hike.

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