Vancouver

So where did we get to? Ah, Vancouver airport, and a distinct lack of planning certainly made itself evident as i collected my bags from Baggage Claim and realised Simon and myself had neglected to arrange somewhere to meet, or even exchange phone numbers… Thankfully Simon was more than up to it, and as i sat outside smoking a much needed cigarette, he appeared. A train journey and short walk and we arrived at his flat, a small-ish one bedroom place in the suburbs, surrounded by bars, pubs and coffee shops. We met a friend of his for a beer and chatted into the evening.

Simon, my host for the week, and Victoria, his girlfriendSimon is working in the mornings, so i have a few hours each day to relax, rest and post on the internet. This morning, i’m gonna head down to the world famous Mountain Equipment Co-op, a short walk from here, and have a good look round. We popped in yesterday, but it’ll be nice to really explore round there, albeit strange to see DMM stuff that has made the long journey from the same place as me! To be honest, though, there are plenty of other shops on that strip, and while it is a bit of a bus-mans holiday, i do need some souvenirs, and will undoubtedly head Downtown too.

Vancouver is a fantastic city, busy and vibrant, and while maybe not quite as culturally diverse as Toronto, is a hustling and bustling hub on Canada’s West coast. Then again, i may not have picked the best time to get an insight into what Vancouver is usually like; the final of the Stanley Cup is currently on between Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Yesterday was game six of the best-of-seven series, with the Canucks leading 3-4. The final is played more in the vein of a snooker match, as opposed to a cricket Test series, so once one team gets that fourth win,Throngs of Canadians, all cheering for the Canucks they’ve got it. There was certainly excitement around the city, with plenty of blue jerseys wandering around, and seemingly everyone getting involved. After much uncertainty as to where we were going to perch to watch what could turn out to be an historic match, we decided to head Downtown, to enjoy it on the big screens installed by the city on some of the major routes through. We weren’t alone, and literally tens of thousands had the same idea. The atmosphere surely should’ve been amazing, but for the fact that Boston took a few early goals, and by 4-0 the crowd weren’t really that psyched any more. Vancouver pulled two back, but also conceded again, so now we have to look to Wednesdays final decider.

But this isn’t supposed to be about ice hockey, it’s a bouldering blog! Well, as is too often the case, the rock was neglected yesterday, due to rain. I’ve come to accept this more in recent years, and learned to deal with it. It happens, and i’m here for plenty of time, so a single day isn’t going to bother me too much. Today we’re heading up to Pemberton, further North than Squamish itself, as the forecast looks a bit better (and i’m told the landings are much better…) and i’m hooking up with Steve on the way; the Canadian we met in Fontainbleau back in March, and mentioned below. Even if it was to rain today, i’m certain we’ll find something that will go, some rough granite to run through my hands, the tourist in me rearing it’s camera intruded face desperate to make the most of the short time here, the climber in me itching the palms of his hands desperate to get off the ground.

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