Andy G. at Rainbow Lake:
“Perfect conditions for our group of 8 to hike up to Rainbow Lake. The trail is dry and in good condition, though the boardwalks require some care as there are many loose or missing planks. Bugs were much less of a nuisance than I expected, except at Hanging Lake where the mosquitoes were annoying enough for me to spray on some Deet. Woodland flowers are just past peak, but the peak for the marsh and meadow flowers is still a couple of weeks away. We extended this hike to Hanging Lake, which I didn’t really think about at the time, but later I realized it added an extra 4 km and 150 m elevation gain! With the warm temperatures and extra distance, two litres of water was not enough for me and I was glad of the still partly-frozen Nalgene back at the car.
Most of us cooled our feet (and more) in Hanging Lake where the water was pretty chilly (swimming is not permitted in Rainbow Lake). It took us 9 hours in total, a bit more than I expected but a good portion of that extra time was lounging around and cooling off at the lake. A great day out that started with a bear running across the road in front of us just past Squamish, ended with the ever-excellent burger and fries at Splitz Grill.”
Steve v. at Brunswick Lake:
“It turns out that the trail beyond Deeks Lake only gets better. None of us actually had high hopes but were game to attempt to bag this one (me especially since I’d failed to summit my last two hikes). We were very pleasantly surprised. After Deeks Lake, the trail levels off and gets almost alpine and took us to two very scenic lakes with views of Hanover, Hat and Brunswick mountains (we waved at Rex doing Brunswick, but he did not see us according to his Facebook post).
My great hiking companions Sophie and Jacqui were super well matched for my pace and gear and we did what was expected to be a 10 hour+ hike in 9.5 hours, with time for a meal at Park Royal.
I want to thank all the people that gave us tips about the recent conditions (people from Club Tread, Meetup, NSH, and Wanderung). There are three river crossings and a sketchy snow slope but as it turns out, we timed it just right. Since last week, the bugs seem to have subsided and the water levels dropped enough for us to carefully cross logs and rocks. As for the road, the gate was open and though a 4×4 would have saved us hours, we actually could have knocked off maybe 45 min with a regular car were we willing to risk the gate being locked (as the sign warned might happen).
The snow slope obstacle that we feared had melted since last week and was doable by going along the shore instead of risking a slide. And do it when no clueless dog owners are around: Jacqui very nearly was knocked off to serious injury by a dog, and different dog later got under my feet on a steep downhill where I was told “just step on him” by the owner. Ya that would have been stable… (pet peeve of mine). Source of aggravation #3 were the people that had a breakfast fire as we arrived at Deeks Lake on the way up. We could smell it. Five hours later it was still warm and being billowed by the wind and could easily have ignited the surrounding dry foliage. However, even these minor annoyances combined were not enough to curb my mood on this great trip.
Lastly, should you choose to check out this trail and are really fit, you may want to consider doing a cross over (key exchange) or one-way hike through Hat Pass to Brunswick, it felt silly not to push forward, but then again this would have been a great place to camp.”
Chris N. in the North Stein Valley:
“Colleen and Cara joined me on a 3-day trip into the Brimful Lake area of the North Stein. We used the Texas Creek Road for access which is in rough 2wd condition in spots though good AT tires would be needed for traction and there is a fair amount of loose rock on the road which may need moving if you have low or average clearance. The waterbars start around km 17 or 18 and there is good parking at a meadow around 19 km (it’s obvious). After this point, the deeper waterbars start in earnest and even in a short wheel-base 4wd the going would be slow and annoying. We walked the rest of the road following some new Road Centerline tapes (indicating plans for new logging) up the western fork to the trail. Don’t follow the tapes into the forest beyond the last landing; the trail starts on the west side of the landing – look for cut logs places to avoid the boggy bits. The trail starts wet but improves to a good footbed and quickly emerges into meadows. At the pass entering the Stein, head south up the ridge to gain about 50 m elevation before the trail turns right again and sidehills, maintaining elevation. There’s plenty of cairns through a rock field and the trail is visible all the way to the lake. It took about 3 lollygagging hours from car to camp. There’s a bear cache and a green throne-style outhouse (open to the elements but with a good view) and plenty of good camping in the massive meadow south of the lake. On our middle day, we headed south and caught an old trail south and east to explore some nice ridges and meadows that bordered Cattle Valley. We attempted a traverse of the mountain to the east of camp but the ridge got pretty nasty. We also did shorter hikes out on the ridge to the south-west of the lake and around the lake to the pass to the north. One of the highlights was spotting a wolf that was hanging out about 500 m south of the lake on the first evening who gave us a thorough barking-at. There were also plenty of marmots and smattering of pika, a couple ptarmigans and assorted other birds.”
Nicky C. at Cerise Creek:
“With Wanderungers always having their backpacks packed in case of a last minute hiking opportunity it didn’t take long for us to find two others to try the Cerise Creek hike in Joffre Provincial Park! It was glorious weather – sunny and not too hot – on July 13th and after 3 hours driving we – Nicky, Gabi, Michael & Sravan – found the trailhead no problems, unlike others before us it seems. The trail was slightly easier than Joffre (fewer roots and smaller boulder field), but without the glacial blue lakes… We weren’t disappointed though – after 2-1/2 hours hiking (completely snow free) we had passed Keith’s Hut and ventured up on top of the ridge overlooking the glacier. Great lunch spot, although the mosquitoes got to us in the end! The descent took us about 2 hours. Since it was Sravan’s first time in the area we stopped in for a peek at the first Joffre lake on the way back, which only gave us a taste for more hikes like it! I would say Joffre Lakes offers more spectacular views, but the fact that we only met a handful of other hikers/climbers on the Cerise Creek trail made it a very attractive alternative.”
Tu Loan cycling up to Cypress Bowl:
“Emeric L. joined TLT in her third callout of the Triple Crown series. Because he had already ridden the ridiculous hill along 15th street as part of his commuting regiment, they started at the bottom of Cypress. After consolidating gear and discussing the water situation, as they both anticipated a hot and thirsty ride up the mountain, the peloton of two made their way up the mountain.
The trees provided ample shade much to the delight of the riders. Good conversation was to be had as Emeric imparted some much appreciated wisdom regarding race preparation. TLT soaked it in as she had 5 days to prep for a big race/event that she hadn’t been thinking much about. “Breathe from the stomach. Set your intentions. Visualize. Meditate.” The ride up was a great place to practice TLT’s breathing. Later, she figured it was a great strategy for Emeric to not have to listen to her talk!
The ride was definitely less daunting than anticipated (as predicted in the callout). At the 11 km mark, with TLT’s insistence, Emeric channeled his TDF French roots and blasted the last 4 km to the top. Literally. He blasted! TLT believed she heard a sonic boom. With him gone, she was able to set her intentions of consuming a cold beverage after the ride, visualize the pizza she was going to order, and breathe in the hot melting cheese. She figured the food-induced coma will help with her meditation. Emeric came back to pick her up and together they reached the chalet where they were greeted with much enthusiasm by mosquitoes. A quick picture was taken before they flew down the mountain.
Post-ride refreshments were enoyed at the Tap House in Park Royal. TLT had her pizza and beer just as she intended.
Thank you Emeric for another great ride! Now that TLT’s ridden all three local mountains, she will be looking to climb them all in one day! Look out for that callout!”
Katya at Upper Statlu Lake:
“Four adventurous Wanderungers, Alazhar, Rob, Alexandra, and I, headed up to the Upper Statlu Lake (also known as Brotherhood Lake) last weekend. As one of us later noted, this trail is truly a “diamond in the rough”: it is overgrown and difficult to follow at times but it rewards you with spectacular views at every turn. We followed the directions to the trailhead and waypoints from this Club Tread entry. Be warned that the directions in 103 Hikes are outdated due to a recent landslide. The drive from Vancouver took just over three hours with the last portion on logging roads. The roads were in surprisingly good shape: they had been recently graded and should be accessible by 2WD vehicles for some time.
The first leg of the trail took us across two creeks and past a massive waterfall to the Lower Lake. The deadfall on the old logging road sections was thick, but the rest of the trail was fairly easy to follow. We came across two small campsites at the east end of the lake that could snugly fit up to two tents. As the trail continued along the north end of the lake it became significantly harder to follow: it crossed several talus fields and dense blueberry thickets. We wished we had brought clippers to clear our way and beat the bush. The views all along the lakeside were spectacular and ripe blueberries kept our spirits high.
At about 2/3 of the way to the far end of the lake we took a sharp right up the Brotherhood Trail. Please note that both the Club Tread entry and 103 Hikes take you to the far end of the Lower Statlu lake, not to the Upper lake. If you are looking for waypoints this resource might be helpful. The trail went steeply uphill, foot bed fairly well worn. We followed the trail until we came across a rocky gulley, where it just stopped. It took good fifteen minutes before we spotted some tape to the left across the gulley. The terrain was steep and unstable; the trail lead vertically uphill. From here on the trail was almost non-existent: just a few flags here and there. The last 200 m before the lake were a challenging bushwhack, but once at the lake, it was all worth it. We had a quick swim and ate our snacks on a sandbar overlooking a dozen waterfalls. We spotted a small site at the western end of the lake with a fire pit couple of logs, and two flat tent spots.
On our way back we reflagged the last section of the trail and added a rope to one of the steep climbs. It took us 13 hours for the round trip at an average fit hiker speed! We hiked the last hour and a half in the dark. Three drivers had to take turns on the drive back – we were that tired. Overall, a greatly rewarding adventure with a fantastic group of people!”
Steve v at Bug Lake:
“This trip was doomed from the start. Pouring rain, and no intel regarding how far we’d get in a 2WD. Despite those warning signs Eric and Kim joined me for a trek into the unknown, to a place with a foreboding name.
The drive most of the way was wet, and muddy but mostly without incident save for a few logging trucks. However, about 4km from the trailhead we hit a rock obstacle and worked our way over, only to hit trees making further driving impossible. We got out and hoofed it.
The trailhead was almost impossible to find, but once we did and got past the first 200 m, it became a decent trail, though steep and muddy… and buggy. We climbed and climbed through what looked like moss and old growth and for some reason Kim got most of the bugs. We never did reach the lake due to the extra 4 km each way and impact to our turn around time, we made it about 60% of the way up the actual trail. I’ve rarely been so soaked through my boots. We finished off the adventure by helping a crashed truck driver fix a flat and then went for BBQ in Squamish.
The unfortunate kicker is that this is one of my goal hikes to complete the 103 Hikes book… so I have to go back. when I do I’ll probably aim for better weather and bring a mountain bike.”
Tu Loan cycling to the Grouse Grind:
What does it take to entice a Bowen Islander to sign up for her first Wanderung activity? A Bike and Grind! Sarah G. showed up with her mountain bike to impress TLT, who was ecstatic that someone actually would want to join her on this callout! Sarah spun her way up to Grouse with ease as she channeled her former ironman and adventure racing days. TLT was in awe!
After about half an hour, they reached the parking lot. Transition from biker to hiker took about 7 minutes. The weather was cooperating and one could see patches of blue sky. This of course was all planned out by TLT. With her MapMyRide app, Sarah was eager to see how she would fare after a 7 year absence from the Grind. This is typical elite athlete attitude. TLT was just happy to have someone to chat with while doing the Grind.
The trail was not very crowded; although you had your usual Grinder with their Lululemon gear powering their way up and the casual tourist with their jeans and checkered shirts. The lighting was nice enough for a couple of pictures. Chatter about food and triathlons were animatedly shared, mostly with TLT asking all the questions. She was kindly told to go ahead to give Sarah some peace and concentration. By the three-quarter mark, the steepest section of the Grind, no chatter was heard as the two were eager to focus all their attention to the finish.
Reaching the top after under an hour AND a bike ride up, the two were elated with their efforts! They meandered their way to the grizzly enclosure to say “hi”. By then, the clouds broke and the beer and nachos (best post-workout combo EVER!) were enjoyed with a great view of the city.
The trip ended with a drop-off to Horseshoe Bay where Sarah was able to catch the 8:50 ferry. Thank you Sarah for making the Bike and Grind so much fun!”
Markus cycling on Gabriola Island:
“A fun, if sleep deprived, weekend was had by all. We enjoyed a nice sunny ferry ride out to Nanaimo and found a nice seaside bike route along the way from Departure Bay to the Gabriola Island ferry terminal.
After arriving on Gabriola we had a short easy ride to Descanso Bay regional camp ground and settled in for the night. Saturday was a good mix of sun and cloud as we made our way to the south end of the island. Along the way we stopped in at the Farmers Market, checked out Brickyard Beach, the petroglyphs (which would have been really disappointing but for the spontaneous frisbee match) and stopped at Drumbeg Provincial Park for lunch and enjoyed the neat rock formations, wildlife and gorgeous views. On our way back, we branched off the road to so some exploring of the trail network that run throughout the middle of the island (shout out to Ricki, Jeanette and Mary). Afterwards we stopped in at Robert’s Place for a well deserved meal and then back to the campsite for an evening of campfire and marshmallows.
Sunday greeted us with rain and so, after a short trip to see the Malaspina Gallerys, we made our way to the Ferry and home. Overall, I would say Gabriola is an excellent choice for a first time bike trip to a Gulf Island. Lots of amenities, conveniently located campsite near the ferry terminal, easy ride (Tip: bike the island counter-clockwise.) and lots to see.”
Keith cycling around town:
“I did a bike trip around the city (with Stuart I.) back in June and I know people are wondering how it went, well I’ll let you know… We biked about 65 km around the city. Originally it was to be only 35 km but we extended it into Richmond as it was only the two of us. As you will see we were slowed down a bit by some of the stops Stuart wanted to make. If you want to know how to balance 3 cases of pizza pops on one side of the bike and 8 litres of canola oil on the other – better call Stuart! We won $13 on the slots.”