Thursday, December 26, 2013

Xmas Eve Day - Ski Cypress Peak

One of the benefits of having a poor snow year thus far is that many of the forest services roads are still open and we can access areas that would normally necessitate a long ski in approach. The logging road approach to Cypress Peak is up the Roe Creek FSR which is a left turn off of Highway 99 between Whistler and Squamish where the Powder Mtn Cat skiing truck is normally parked. On Christmas eve day Cam, Mags and I headed up in search of some elusive early season powder turns.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mags in the Mist in Squamish

A gorgeous morning behind the back fence with the dog, literally 50m from my back door. The new camera has arrived and I am still getting used to it, the increased frames per second certainly helps when capturing mags running!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bagging Brandywine

As much as I like doing solo trips or trips with a small group where we can get somewhere far and fast, my favourite time in the mountains is by far when we get a great big group of people together. It all lined up on a sunny day in October for a group hike. We had aimed to go for a stroll in Tricouni meadows south however the bridge over the Cheakamus River was being worked on so we were forced to our backup of brandywine meadows. We drove the Delica, with seven people in it, all the way up to the Snowmobile Cabin, I was proud.

We walked through the meadows, it felt a little bit like we were a dog walking group with the four dogs we had there. Our goal was to make the nearest ridge top so that everyone could get a good view. The snow started around 1700m from the October storm that we had.  A few people turned back after a snack on some boulders part way up. Instead of taking the normal route up we decided to scale a small steep and slippery gully, my 4 months pregnant wife included. Sarah, Martha and Cassie had enough when the outing changed from hiking to Arctic exploring at the ridge top. A few of us continued to the short non technical climb to the summit. Great day!

Dogs and people, but mostly dogs

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Hutt'n on The Duffy

In October I had a few mid week days off and had the itch for an bit of an adventure so I loaded up the dog, my bike and some hiking gear and headed up to the Duffy Lake rd to look for a hut that I could use in the winter to ski out of.  I'd only scratched the surface of this area without snow and I was looking forward to seeing what else it had to offer. When the weather is good in October I think its the best time of year to be in the mountains; no bugs, fall colours, and a crisp feeling  in the air.

I'd wanted to head here for a few winters but had never found the time. Stories of people not being able to find it because it had been covered in snow up to the stove pipe discouraged me from trying, so why not a summer recon trip. The summer route involved a fair amount of time on logging roads so I thought that bringing my bike might be a good idea - that ended up being debatable.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brohm Ridge Bike

I've spent lots of time researching great spots around the province to mountain bike in the alpine yet hadn't done one that was so close to home, Brohm Ridge. Brohm ridge runs directly west from the Garibaldi Massif, the volcanic complex looking over Squamish from the North.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Upper Stikine River - Paddling the Sacred Headwaters

Dropping my camera in Cheakamus Lake made me give the blog a bit of a break, however with a new camera purchase on the horizon and a great trip to the Upper Stikine River this summer its high time for a new post.

The Stikine (Great) River is one of British Columbia's last truly wild rivers. It runs more than 600km from its headwaters in the Spatzizi Plateau to the Pacific Ocean in Alaska. The river is split in two by a canyon of Class 5 whitewater that has only been run by a handful of professional kayakers. The headwaters of the Stikine and two other rivers  was recently an area of great environmental interest as Shell planned hundreds of methane gas exploration wells in this previously pristine watershed. An agreement between First Nations, the provincial government and Shell has protected the area from development for now.

This trip exceeded all of our expectations; the headwaters were certainly a highlight, however the river was spectacular every day. It is amazing how few people paddle this river, our pilot seemed to think that there would only be one other group flying in this year! We ran every rapid except for Fountain Rapids. The river might have been even more fun as a whitewater trip if the water was a little bit higher. The one disappointment would have to be the wildlife, we expected to see more than the one moose, bear and caribou; apparently other times of year are better as a lot of the animals are up in the alpine in the summer, however, one can't help but wonder with prevalence of hunting camps in the area if over - hunting could be a cause of this.
First night in paradise

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mt Taylor

As this ski season is taking awhile to get going, I thought I would post a few shots from some of the better days last year.

We had a great crew to head up Mt  Taylor early March last year. It had rained pretty high a few days earlier so were not sure what type of skiing we would get. The way up through the clear-cut and the lower trees was pretty tough going with a thin layer of snow on a firm and slippery unbreakable crust. Once we got a little higher however, the conditions started to take shape. Its a bit of a slog up through the trees to get the open bowl and boulder field - I had done it once before a few years ago, we ended up going higher than we needed to that time and skiing down to the opening - bear right to avoid this.
Great Goats Bearded Forest on the way up