OPINION: Saturdays are for #Squamish stories

Ask anyone in Squamish what they’re doing this weekend, and you’re bound to get an awe and envy-inspiring itinerary: trekking into the backcountry, climbing an insane new project or waking up before the crack of dawn to capture some stunning photography. Thanks to its epic terrain and the people it draws, Squamish comes to life on the weekends.

That’s why I’ll be on shift, working to cover our community as it really gets busy.

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So far, Saturdays have brought me to the Squamish Valley for a flood meeting, held in the picturesque monastery surrounded by mountains. (No, this isn’t the set of The Sound of Music, although you’d be forgiven for thinking so.)

The next weekend had me hike a 10-kilometre round trip to the Red Heather Warming Hut for avalanche awareness (followed by a hike up the Stawamus Chief’s second peak on my Sunday off). It was the first time I regretted not bringing snowshoes — or tire chains — for an assignment. Harsh winters on the East Coast taught me how to layer for the cold, but I’m otherwise unprepared for what to expect in an avalanche. Thankfully, BC Parks had my back, showing me and other backcountry beginners how to stay safe in the snow with a series of drills.

My third weekend took me on a shorter walk along Mashiter Channel. It would have been even shorter if I’d met the Squamish River Watershed Society at the channel.

Instead, I accidentally started at the creek with the same name (on the other side of the golf course). By the time I caught up with them, they were well into spawning grounds, where Brian Klassen recounted the construction of the waterway we stood by.

The youngest in our tour group, brothers Ozzy and Gus Sadler (five and seven years old) stole the show as they counted salmon vertebrae on the remnants of the most recent spawn. We spotted other signs of wildlife near the channel too: a herring and large bear claw marks in the trees, reminding us we’re not the only Squamish residents in the woods.

Wherever your weekend plans take you, we’ve got you covered on Saturday. That is, if I can find the right trailhead. See you out there, Squamish!

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