Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Birken Awesome

A good start to winter on the Coast is just what we needed, Wednesday me Greg, Cam and Mags headed out to the Birkenhead area in hopes to find some snow that was spared Tuesday's monster outflow winds. The major problem with skiing in the Birkenhead Area are the long approaches and lack of plowed roads to a good starting elevation. Luckily early season you can make it pretty high on some of the logging roads (getting up is the easy part). The snow really was fantastic, consistent and very light shin deep powder. 
Short days make for some great light in the alpine - looking good here Cam

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Howe Sound Highlines

What a fantastic day of riding above Howe Sound in this endless summer.
you couldn't make up a prettier place to ride bikes

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Up Up and Away and the Sproatt Alpine Bike Trail

The RMOW and WORCA are working on a wonderful project for the Sproatt Alpine across the valley from Whistler, it is not yet complete but we wanted to go and take a look. Mid week adventures are becoming more common with a few friends with some flexibility in their schedule and young Arlo safely in daycare. We shuttled a car up to the Callahagn access point of the trail which is the same way that Canadian Wilderness Adventures  uses to access the alpine for their snowmobile, jeep and ATV tours. It takes about 35 minutes on the logging road to get to the parking spot after which there is another 30 minutes of steep pedalling and hike a bike until you get into the alpine. The alpine trail is going to be fantastic, twisting and turnining amongst the alpine meadows at a gradual grade that is perfect for biking. It looks very will built and is elevated above the grade so it will not be too muddy in the spring. The trail is not yet complete and ends fairly abruptly before you have to make your way on older but completely ride able single track to the start of the Up Up and Away trail that is the current descent option. This trail is steep, loose and eroded (it would be extremely difficult to stay on your bike in the wet). WORCA has plans for a blue descent trail in the area at some point in time but for now this is the only option. The trail spits you out just above Function Junction where a beer at the brewpub would be an excellent idea. Thanks Jake for the Photos.

Mags and some Men - Whistler in the background

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Downtown Creek Hike with Mountain Mags

I had been eyeing this area for awhile now but the long drive had always pushed me away. With 22 degrees and sun forecast in Squamish for late September, Mags told me that she wanted to go to the mountains and I was not one to deny her. After a stop at Mt Currie Coffee Co  we headed up the Duffy Lake road gazing at ski lines as we drove and dreams of winter starting dancing in my head.  Just past the cottonwood creek campground we turned up the Downtown Creek FSR that would take us up to our 1700m parking spot for the holy lake trail. Most of the drive up the FSR is straight forward however it is steep at times and one area where it drops off quickly to one side. I would not want a 2wd car on this road. There is only one right turn that you have to look out for (we missed it the first time and started hiking up the wrong valley that was to be saved for another day). Another wonderful day in the Mountains!
Once described as a Majestic Animal, once described as the animal that sheds in my car

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Biking the Chilcotins Again and Again and Again

Last year we lucked out with some spectacular weather the 2nd weekend of September and had a perfect trip to the Chilcotins and I swore that I would  not wait four years again before coming back. I had to work on friday evening on the annual bike trip this year but it wasn't going to stop me from meeting up with the fellas for a quick weekend trip. Cam and I headed up early saturday morning across the Hurley - it only took us 2.5 hours from Squamish to get to the Taylor Basin trail head. I had never been up the Taylor Basin Access before and was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got to the alpine 2 hours to Windy Pass. It wasn't the most pleasant pedal up but all in all not to bad. We then hiked out bikes up to Spruce Peak and rode one of the ridgelines before ascending Windy Pass again and heading back down HIgh Trail to Spruce Lake where beers and swims in the alpine awaited. The rest of the crew flew our gear in a day earlier but it was a little disappointing that they did not have dinner ready for us when we arrived.

After some baked brie and some beers that night we were ready to go for the ride out. We headed back up high trail and through Eldorado Basin to eventually meet up with Molly Dog for a great descent, So much fun riding with a crew all going similar speeds.  The weather was a bit cooler with some rain and snow in the area. Can't wait to get back again next year!

Cam looking slugish after the long climb. Riding the ridge off of Spruce Peak

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mamquam Stand Up Paddle Board

Sarah and I decided that we needed another way to get out on the water so we pickup up an inflatable SUP in the spring. It has been fantastic (although not great upwind). Murray came up from the city and we decided to give the Mamquam River a a try. We shuttled a car to our take out just before the Squamish Spit and drove to our put in at the Mamquam River whitewater site. Neither of us had ever SUP'd on moving water before so we were a little cautious to begin with, not to mentioned decked out in biking and skateboarding helmets and pads. The water level we really low after a little rain and a hot summer, we both took the big fins off of our boards and replaced them with smallest that we could - it turned out that this was a good idea as the biggest risk was the board suddenly stopping when it hit a rock and us flying off the front. Balancing on the boards was actually easier than expected by the end of the river we were standing up for almost all of the rapids. Probably the most incredible part of the trip was the Salmon, before Ring Creek joined the river it is incredibly clear and they swam in schools just like in a National Geographic film. By the end, the river was starting to get a bit stinky, this may not have been as enjoyable of a trip in a few weeks! The lower Squamish River is a bit of a battle to paddle along as the inflow winds battle the current making quick travel difficult.
Anyone have a rod?