First Time in Vancouver - Grouse Mountain

Why did I decide to go to Vancouver? Not because I knew there were cool climbing spots or amazing natural landscapes or because it's a very modern city. I got my plane ticket about 10 days before flying over to Vancouver because first of all my dad was staying at her friend's house, therefore I had a couch to sleep on for free; second because I got a pretty cheap roundtrip flight from San Diego. ($260.00 USD); and finally because as a freelancer I can just take my laptop and my camera anywhere and continue working (just like I am right now writing this at Breka Coffee Shop on Robson St. Downtown Vancouver. 10/10 would recommend btw). It was one of those impulsive traveling decisions that I always think about too much but never regret.

Stereotypes were right! Canadians are really nice (for the most part). The maple trees on the streets, the mountain views, the parks, hikes, the ocean views…. Everything is beautiful!

The day after I landed, I decided to go up to Grouse Mountain. It took me about an hour to get there by public transportation. First took a bus, then the seabus, then another bus and I got there. All for just $2.40 CAD.

My dad and I went hiking up the mountain, both carrying our cameras and stopping often to take photos of the fascinating forest views. The regular hike to the top is 3km (2 miles) up but we got distracted and took the wrong path that lead to another path that was very steep. We ended up walking around the mountain and then up again a total of 8km (5 miles) going up in elevation over 1km (.6 miles). It was sort of tiring but very gratifying once we were at the top where there's some activities like a Lumberjack Show, the Skyride, bear sightseeing (through a high voltage electric fence), drink a beer or coffee and have some snacks.

We took the Gondola back down for $15 CAD right after sunset, which oddly happened at 21:20. It had the most amazing views or Vancouver. From afar you could see the city and if you looked down, you'd see a very dense forest, I visited Vancouver in the summer but I'm seriously thinking about coming back on the Fall when the trees have red and orange tones or the winter when everything is covered in snow.

(Click to enlarge)

Gear Used:

  • Canon 6D Mark II

  • EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM

Adrian The Photographer.

A Night Camping in Joshua Tree

I knew about Joshua Tree thanks to U2's album “The Joshua Tree”. I had no idea this magical place they referred to was only 3 hours away from San Diego and it's also great for rock climbing.

My friend invited me to go camping with her and two climber friends of her. I obviously said yes before she was done with her question.

We got to Joshua Tree National Park, paid like $35 to get in and found the perfect spot for camping. We set up the camp and we went climbing until there was no light left. Then we had a bonfire, ate some steak, and a lot of junk food (including s’mores of course) and after bonding we went to bed.

We were at -1ºC / 30ºF and I didn't have the appropriate clothing or gear to survive. Thankfully my friend Josie brought like 4 super warm sleeping bags and let me borrow one. So I had two sleeping bags and 4 layers of clothes. I think I was warm enough.

I woke up at 5AM, I drank some water, looked up at the sky and a marvelous amount of stars was lighting the sky. I had no option….

I got out of my warm sleeping bags, took my heavy camera bag and went on a walk looking for some cool spots to take photos not far from the camp or I'd get lost. I have the worst sense of direction…

My hands were freezing even with gloves on but I was out there taking photos, light-painting Joshua Trees and rocks these are the photos I took:

(Click to enlarge)

J-Tree took our hearts and our skin (rock climbing).

Gear Used:

  • Canon 70D

  • EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM

  • EF-S 10-18 f/4.5 - 5.6 IS STM

  • Slik AMT Tripod

  • Joby Gorilla Pod

  • Flashlights

Adrian The Photographer.