Markus cycling the sea-wall in Stanley Park:
“Shout out to Rob M and Oksana for joining me in what has to have been the most laid back call-out I’ve ever been on. The weather was perfect for the myriad of stops that we made on the way. From investigating tidal pools around Stanley Park to finding little tucked away waterfalls around False Creek, we covered a lot more than just the distance from start to end.”
Paul G. on the Baden-Powell Trail:
“Seven of us took in this hike along the base of Fromme and Grouse. The undergrowth is greening up nicely and the black flies have arrived. We were teased by the sun for a few minutes, but as we approached East MacKay Creek, the fog thickened, the forest darkened ominously and the skies opened up. Heavy rain and hail, but no frogs. Maybe next year 😉 (2012).”
Ben at the Brian Waddington Hut:
“Despite the dramatic disappearance of the sun this weekend, our group of five met up and headed north with hopes of finding clearer skies. The road to Birkenhead Lake was clear and in good shape all the way to the lake. We turned off at the branch immediately before the gate to the campground and parked nearby, facing 6.6 km of logging road to walk to the trailhead. Along the way we passed up a VOC group heading up with skis on their backs. At the end of the road we had lunch and let the skiers take the lead. The trail was short and very well marked as it winds up the forest along Phelix Creek. It was however challenging in the soft melting snow with heavy packs. Eventually we crested a small rise to see Long Lake and the hut awaiting us at the far side. The weather had been grey all day and it didn’t look like the situation was any more promising up here. The hut deserves its good reputation. The evening was a relaxing mix of cooking, reading selections from the library, and enjoying the skiers’ renditions of old Bob Dylan songs on the guitar.
The next morning the snow was falling and we left the hut to stretch our legs. We had no real expectation of reaching any summits, but we decided to make for Gandalf-Peregrine col and see what things looked like. After a couple of hours we found ourselves at the col having the turn around time discussion. We had plenty of extra time so we decided to invest another hour and take it a step at a time. We began to switch back up the end of the ridge leading to Mount Gandalf. We couldn’t see much but we knew that up there somewhere the white wizard was waiting. Progress was steady thanks to Brad’s trail breaking effort, and before we knew it we found ourselves standing below huge boulders. With less than 100m to gain, we knew we must be close. From here Pavel lead us on a true showshoe scramble as we moved up bare slabs, boulders, and the snow that filled the gaps between, not bothering to stop and remove the snowshoes. One final block split the group into three as we picked our preferred routes over or around the rock. After converging and counting heads, we moved on. Then out of the mist appeared the great unmistakable flake standing like the final stone on some great summit cairn. We were there! Congratulations all around! A huge thanks to Brad, Pavel, Rob, and Darcy for their contributions to this very memorable trip.”
Carollyne on Mt Gardner:
“Even with the very low overcast clouds and showers, this trip was excellent. One goal was not to get lost, unlike every other time I’ve done this hike, and we didn’t, even though the route wasn’t totally as planned. Thanks go to VOC Wiki’s excellent map, Vancouver Trails info and the much improved signage. We intended to take “The Handlogger’s Trail” (Mat Hill trail in 103 hikes) to N. Mt. Gardner trail. Shortly after we began we found a crevasse of a washout. Although the stream flow was low and it would have been easy to cross, this route no longer looked promising so we double backed and took the road until N. Mt. Gardner Trail. From there it was straight forward to the ropes and the helipads, with 360 degree white wall views of cloud. Following a short lunch break, we returned making a loop via the trail near the opposite helipad, the S. Mt. Gardner trail. Total time: 5 h 15 min Cove to Cove. We finished off with dinner at Doc Morgan’s and were back in Vancouver by 6 pm. Other than the washout, the trail was in excellent condition and not muddy. I also picked up a good free map, “Bowen Map & Guide 2011″ on the ferry that seems to include all the trails on Bowen.”
Ahmad on Panther Peak:
“I was first surprised by the lack of signage to the park. I expected at least the regular provincial sign that I am used to seeing in provincial parks. Second, I was surprised by the lack of people especially for the long weekend. There are four cabins in the park and I think the park is underrated. We only saw 6 people in total.
I wasn’t aware of NcNair Cabin which was a treat to find near our destination. It seems most people in winter head to Edwards Cabin and some to Steele Cabin. The trail to Edwards Lake was broken but there was again lack of markers but might just hidden in snow. It could be better in summer.
After Edwards Cabin, we broke the trail towards Chapman Lake. The trail crosses Chapman Creek about half way but we missed the turn and we became on the other side of the lake. We reached a creek that we couldn’t cross. We had four options: return to Edwards Cabin, turn back and look for the bridge that we missed, camp where we were, or cross Chapman Lake. We chose the last one. The lake was melting in some sections but we managed to cross it without a problem but I expect it will not be crossable any more soon. McNair Cabin was in good condition and it is located truly in serene location.
Our objective was to summit Panther but I was pretty exhausted from the night before. I also had some concerns of crossing the lake on the next day and the tight schedule for the ferry. I think this is an awesome place to spend an overnight if not more.
Photos, movies, and GPS track on Live Trails.”
Ben trying for Coliseum Mountain:
“It is a bit too early in the year to find favourable conditions on this hike. The snowline was at approximately 825 metres and the terrain at this point on the trail is quite rugged. Ugly postholing and slushy snow on the steep slopes made for an unpleasant time. We reached Paton’s Lookout to find ourselves in the middle of a thick cloud. There was only a slim chance that the weather or the snow would improve if we continued, so we decided to turn back and call it a day. I look forward to returning here later in the year.”
Dan at Wedgemount Lake:
“Finding ourselves with more sunshine than forecasted, we upgraded our destination and headed to Wedgemount Lake for this glorious weekend. The snow was vastly more abundant and better than last winter; there was hardly any no iciness. A congenial group of seven with varying levels of experience, we snowshoed the entire way with only minimal slipperiness. Routefinding did not pose any problems on this trip.
We reprised last spring’s approach and headed up a ridge beneath Mount Cook – descending back down onto Wedgemount Lake – and bypassed the steep and avy-looking summer route. Once at the lake, we witnessed a few cornice-triggered avalanches. Calum videoed one and it is posted on the Wanderung Flickr site.
Three of us then headed across the lake and onto Wedgemount Glacier. We were awestruck by the vast jaggedness of Nature’s beauty, with brilliant vistas and rugged wonders in every direction that took our breaths away! Let me tell you, this is a must-see winter locale if pristine alpine nature is your thing. We did not run into a single soul the entire day! More photos on my Live Trails report.”
Steve at Upper Shannon Falls:
“Either I’m out of shape, or someone added a big mound of rock, and few extra clicks to this trail. Probably more the first one… I totally underestimated this as being a short/easy hike despite hiking it before. It is more like a shorter version of the Chief trail with some nice flat bits thrown in. I had a really great group of women sign up (yup, you heard me!), but thankfully the conversation steered clear of the recent Royal Wedding which was my big fear. We took in the falls and the viewpoint, but it took us over 4 hours (moderate pace). This one reminded me of old Wanderung hikes circa 2002 for some reason and I enjoyed it.”
Markus at Minnekhada Park:
“Six of us enjoyed a nice hike around Minnekhada Park. Be aware that there are two parking lots along the road to the park. The first one appears right after you cross a bridge and is next to a trail that takes you to Pitt River. You’ll want to carry on to the second one and be sure to get there early if it’s a nice day as the lot fills up fast. The route we took was hilly but got us to the High Knoll lookout in good time. Thanks to Kelly for driving.”