Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend

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via Photo Challenge: Ascend

201 stairs from the top to the beach

The Ascent from Wreck Beach to the road around Point Grey – also known as the University of British Columbia – where we had parked the car is 201 steep steps. As you can see from my photo.

My partner went up them at some speed and I trudged up behind her, not trying to keep up necessarily, but not wanting to lag too far behind.

Wreck Beach, by the way, is one of the famous attractions in Vancouver, and is even included on the sightseeing bus tours. Its fame stems from the designation as “clothing optional”. Such beaches are of course common in other countries. In North America, attitudes to public disrobing are still strongly influenced by puritanism – or prurience.  In February there were very few people on the beach and all were well wrapped up. There is an album of the photos I took that day on flickr.

What is missing of course is the moment when I decided to sit down on the steps, to catch my breath. There was a handrail and a support post, but a huge gap between the handrail and the step. I leaned against the post – and passed out. I have a heart condition, and at one time would faint with some frequency under stress. Once I came to Canada and did that, a thallium stress test was ordered which showed that I have cardiac ischemia – and subsequent investigations showed that the blockage in the artery was very old and calcified. So usually I no longer push myself to the point when I faint. I suppose I had simply forgotten to be careful enough. Anyway, no great damage was done – someone stopped on his way up to make sure that we got back to the car safely. I was more embarrassed than anything else.

I still tackle ascents – this one is on the Baden Powell Trail near Quarry Rock

 

Baden Powell Trail

which we did in 2016 with no ill effect.

And this one in the Pantheon in Paris

Vertiginous descent

And so far I am doing fine.

Written by Stephen Rees

December 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm

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