*Most photos on this post are by Alain Denis*
One late summer morning, we headed down to Squamish to get to our friend’s boat. He was giving us a ride to Anvil Island, the third largest island on Howe Sound. Our mission was to get to the summit of Leading Peak (765 meters high) and spend the night there. It was a beautiful and clear day, with bright blue skies and just a few clouds.
During the boat ride to Anvil Island, we stopped to check out some pictographs decorating a few rocks on the coast. The ride was about an hour-long. Once on the island we crossed the Bible Camp to get to the trail. We were stopped a couple of times by some folk asking a few questions. This is private property after all, and they always like to know who is on the island, for the sake of the youth in their camp. They gave us directions and made sure we got to the trail.
Despite having an elevation well below the 1000 meters mark, the ascent to Leading Peak is very steep. It’s also full of roots and rocks in some stretches. On the hardest sections, there are ropes to help you pull yourself up. Sometimes I needed to use my hands to steady myself and avoid falling over with my heavy pack. Nice training!
When we got to this uphill, I thought we had arrived. However, there was still more to go until the summit of Leading Peak. Anyway, we made a little stop to rest, enjoy the view, and take a couple of photos. Finally, after around 4 hours of hiking up, we made it to the top, where there is a helipad. I was so tired that after lying down and making myself comfortable, I didn’t want to move for a while.
We had a pimped out setup with our tent on the helipad and wondered if people could see us from the Sea-to-Sky highway. Before sunset we rewarded ourselves with a nice meal while listening to some chill out tunes. We had the best lounge ever! The views from up there are simply stunning!
After such a day, we had no trouble sleeping. But at around 3 in the morning, we woke up to some heavy rain. Alain ran outside to help out Todd, who was sleeping on his hammock. We squeezed all inside the tent, and hoped for the rain to pass soon. The wind was so strong that I kept wondering if it was in any way possible for the tent to fly away with us inside it. Eventually, we fell asleep again.
Later that morning, the rain was still falling and the winds were so strong that the top of the tent was almost rubbing our noses. When we stepped outside we could not see anything, the clouds had swallowed Leading Peak! We hoped that the sea would not be too rough, and that our friend wouldn’t have any trouble picking us up as planned.
Remembering how tricky it was to climb on that steep trail made me worry about how slippery it’d be in the rain. My hiking boots didn’t help much. I slipped and fell on my ass more than a couple of times. With lots of patience and caution, we made it all the way down in one piece. We were soaked and very dirty, though.
After waiting for a few minutes, our friend finally showed up. He brought us hot tea, water and some cherries. He was awesome! The boat ride back was not so bad, considering the weather. Before we knew it, we were back home, having a nice hot shower, and getting into some dry and clean clothes…
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