When I got to the mountain I met some fellow hikers. I saw that there were neat wood carved statues out of big tree trunks. I started up the trail and realized it was very well maintained and set up. The trail was pretty steep and set up with natural and man-made steps. Essentially it was just a giant staircase. I paced myself slow and stopped for pictures often. I figured I'd get the most of the hike. I gradually passed and got passed by hikers. It really was a never-ending staircase. The air was cool, but not cool enough and I was a sweaty mess. The higher I got the foggier it was because of the clouds.
At the halfway mark I asked a kid to take my picture. He looked pretty beat and had no supplies so I offered up an apple. We sat and chatted for a good 10 mins. He was 19 and trying to get in shape. This was actualy his 2nd time up that day [which was pretty crazy since it's a pretty good workout as is]. Obviously he was in shape, but I admired his young dedication [He was on the goal to be the best shape of his life, which is much more than I did at his age]. He took off up the mountain and I continued on. I pushed a little harder to get a bit better time, but still stopped to get a few pics.
When I got to the top, it was about 1 hour 25 mins. I was a bit disappointed and felt that I maybe should have tried for a good time. Without the chat and a bit more effort (and a little less sight seeing) I could have made the hour and 10. I only thought this because the people I started with all beat my time. But I guess I wouldn't see the others [who I passed earlier]. On second thought, I'm glad I took a leisure pace.
The top was a lot more than a chalet, which is what I expected. With the cable car up, the top was an actual attraction. I made it up just in time to see a lumberjack show. It was basically a show of the lumberjack competitions on T.V.
It was really family with some risque comments that would fly over kids' heads. They did the chop, axe throw, log rolling and a really cool trunk climb. They scrambled up the tree wicked fast and just free falled down. It was pretty intense. The showmen were log-climb champions in competitions, pretty neat [for those who haven't seen a lumberjack competition, definately check it out, it's pretty interesting. I was always drawn to those competitions on tv for some strange reason]. Now I know what two of them do when not competing, giving free shows on a mountain in B.C. After, I took a chairlift... which was just a skilift up to the peak. I hesitated due to my fear of heights, but went for it... no regrets.
The entire time I was clutching the safety bar and sweating. At the top there wasn't much, but the view was nice. Going down was scarier than going up because I had a full view looking down. I kept hoping it wouldn't stop (which it did a few times briefly going up) causing the chair to sway [It was me by myself on a whole chair swaying back and forth praying that the chair would start moving again]. I was starving as it was 4pmish and went down on the cable car. While going in I saw a dude with a small cage. Apparently he was a parks guy relocating a douglas squirrel, which was covered so I couldn't see. On the way back I debated on the bridge as it was the only thing that day with a real entry fee. I decided I'd just speed through the attractions since I got student fee from the hostel card.
[Part 3 of my super long day coming up next]