Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Asulkan Cabin Rememberance Day

This trip a few years ago ranks as having some of the deepest snow that I have ever skied. I missed 2012 and they trip got cancelled in 2013 due to lack of snow. This year we had very few expectations due to the fact that it rained up to 3000m two days before and there really wasn't much snow at 1700m in the Revelstoke Mtn webcam.

We arrived on friday night in Revy at the Powder Springs Motel ($65/ night in shoulder season). Its attached to The Last Drop a pub I've been to a number of times but never for my first drink. We went directly to the pub around 11:30 and finished off a bunch of Pints of Mt Begbie Brewing's Nasty Habit IPA (delicious). The place was packed - reminded me of frosh week at Queen's - apparently all of the lifties had just shown up and still had money to spend at the bar.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Squamish to San Diego - Nearly a Month in Arlofornia


I am not near the point where I am bored with all of the things that can be done in BC yet but when I have a big slot of time off it is always great to get a little further a field to see what the rest of Western North America has to offer.  This was the first long road trip that we have take our 6 month old son Arlo on, perhaps we could have warmed up with something a little less than 5300km! I was really excited to have the time to spend with him. Babies and long road trips do not always mix - but I wanted to focus more on the things that we could do, rather than those that we couldn't. With a little bit of patience and a little bit of luck (Arlo behaving himself) having a 'baby on board' didn't slow us down at all.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Portland
Day 2 - Florence Beach Regional Park
Day 3 - Harris Beach State Park
Day 4 - Humbolt Redwoods State Park
Day 5- Santa Rosa
Day 6-8 - Santa Cruz
Day 9-10 Yosemite
Day 11 - Inyo National Forest
Day 12-13 Bishop
Day 14 - Alabama Hills
Day 15-17 San Diego
Day 18 Santa Barabra
Day 19-20 Montana De Oro State Park
Day 21 Monterey
Day 22 San Francisco
Day 23 Oakland
Day 24 Salem
Day 25 Squamish

As far as our favourite places go - we would both agree that the Eastern Sierra (Days 11-14) was probably a highlight, the high desert is such a gorgeous area with fantastic access to the alpine for hiking; perfect weather, an beautiful fall colours. The best camping spot was in the Alabama Hills, a landscape of huge boulders, with dirt tracks leading to great secluded spots.  We had very little expectations about what the cities we would visit would be like but thought Santa Barbara was a really neat spot, its amazing how a strict municipal building code can make you think that you are somewhere in Europe.

It was fantastic to get to spend good chunks of time with some great friends in the San Francisco area, as we get older and time with old friends become fewer and further in between, I won't miss an opportunity to see them when I can - we rented the house in Santa Cruz with everyone the first weekend and then swung back through San Fran on the way back north to see them all again.

One issue that kept coming up on the trip again and again was the three year drought that the state was experiencing at the time. Some things were difficult for us to notice since we did not live in the area full time, but in some areas it was clear as one person put it - that "nature is beginning to shut down" - dried out trees, lakes with little to no water in them - on our way back north we found it actually weird when we saw our first river near the Oregon California border that actually had water in it.

We were lucky with the timing of the trip - Arlo was 6 months at the start, old enough that he was eating solid food and someone could go to the back seat while we were driving to feed him without us stopping. He was also young enough that he could sleep for long periods of time in the car seat still (on the drive home he slept about 16 of the 24 hours of driving! We did not do as much biking as we would have without him, that being said hiking was great using both the Ergo carrier and the larger hiking backpack although a nap in there caused some serious face chafe that turned into a scar for a few days after. I did get out for some great bike rides however; a few in Santa Cruz with Mike et all, the Monterey Peninsula, Montana De Oro State Park, Santa Barabara, Yosemite etc. A trip I will never forget, big thanks to Sarah - I won't ever forget the endless gourmet camping meals by headlight post baby to bed.  This was the Delica's last Hurrah - cracked the cylinder head shortly after returning home.
Love the Eastern Sierra

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lorna Lake Drop - Chilcotin Mountian Biking

I went to the Chilcotins in 2010 and vowed that this would be a place to return to year after year. It is amazing how life seems to get in the way of these sort of trips and it took 4 years to return. This really is a mountain bikers playground with miles of scenic fun single track to enjoy.

Day 1 - Float Plane Drop to Lorna Lake - Big Creek to Elbow Pass - Tyaughton Creek - Spruce Lake (gear dropped here by plane) (5-6 hoursih)
Day 2 - 
Group 1 - High Trail to Windy Pass - Spruce Peak Ridge Ride - High Trail back to Spruce Lake (6 hours ish)
Group 2 - Tyaughton Creek  to Deer Pass - Trigger Lake - Hummingbird Lake - Spruce Lake (8 hours ish)
Day 3 - Gun Creek Trail - Tyax Lodge Patio ( 3 hours ish)

The weather was perfect - warm days and cool nights, no bugs and a great crew to ride with. The food was fantastic - from steaks to BLTs to the unburnable Yun Pup to dinosaur egg oatmeal. A lucky floatplane rescue of another group at Lorna Lake reminded us of how remote some of this area is. 

Ride Fast - Take Chances
Ron charging through Big Creek 
The Robertson Conquerors

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Brohm Ridge Hike

We had a wonderful day up on Brohm ridge sept 6th. This was Gran Fondo day in Squamish so we got an early start to avoid road closures. This area has such high potential for public use but the current access is really limiting as it took - 2 x delicas w 7 people took about an hour to get up the very rough Cat Lake FSR from the highway. The road gets progressively worse as you go. We parked at the gate 1385m after briefly descending we climbed up past the snowmobile cabin to the height of the ridge at 1700m - this is the most tiring part of the hike. There were a few people at the snowmobile cabin doing some maintenance to the road. We took a break at the highpoint to change Mark and Arlo's diapers - it was a little weird watching Laura (mark's new fiance) change his diaper but you know, whatever floats your boat. Though it was foretasted to be very hot in town, the breeze and the cool alpine air were quite refreshing and best of all there were no bugs.

From here the walk undulates along the ridge and is actually a really good bike ride. There was only one group of dirt bikes up there on this day and they just went up and back sticking to the trail. We had lunch around 1900m, this is the park boundary and there is a quick bit of exposure on the trail get passed (this could be bypassed by taking a low route through boulder fields) a few others continued another km up the ridge to the edge of the Warren Glacier at around 2100m. About 6 hours of hiking round rip with a number of stops.
Mt Garibaldi ....and Mark looking good - you may not be able to see greg because he is skinnty and his shirt isn't there too take up space 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

CFFOV in Squamish

This is not really my adventure but rather one of my mother's. All of my spirit of exploration I get from my parents, they spent many days when I was a teenager at the cottage exploring the back-roads of northern Ontario. My mother last flew CFFOV across the country in 1992 when she flew from Ontario to Alaska I remember crying on the dock at the cottage when she arrived back and then had to leave again to drop her copilot off in Toronto.  This time Squamish was the final destination, It took her three days to fly across the country with my Uncle Alan in good weather (except for a bit of a headwind). When she was here we went for a number of flights around Squamish along with one up to Desolation Sound and one over the mountains through the Salmon Inlet over to Howe Sound, flying along the back of the Tantalus range was truly awe inspiring.

Above Woodfibre

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arlo's First Chief

Uncle Cam and Aunt Christine are here so we decided to go for a jaunt up iconic Squamish Chief. Arlo behaved himself the whole way up and down (slept). We got a lot of looks from other people on the trail. This will be the last time I carry him up - next time he has to do it all on his own.