Andy G. at St Mark’s Summit:
“A glorious day out with a relaxed bunch of fellow hikers. Seven of us set off along the trail to St Mark’s, seeking sunshine wherever we could. It was f-f-f-freezing cold near Yew Lake, easily the coldest part of the day, but not too bad a little higher up in the forest where it was cool, light and airy. Bowen Lookout was worth the detour, the Lions were resplendent in their white winter coat, and the whisky jacks were as bold as ever at St Mark’s.
The snow was thin and well compacted along the trail, which was easy to follow. Microspikes or YakTrax were helpful for the descent but not really needed on the way up. Off trail, there was about 20 cm of light powder sitting on an icy crust. This crust bore my weight quite easily, but I had little traction even with YakTrax especially on a slope. Getting to the lower viewpoint was a little tricky as it was hard to make steps in the snow but we all made it and enjoyed lunch in the sun.
A couple of things to note. Day passes are at the old lodge – pick up one *before* you try and cross the ski area. And don’t expect to start on the trail before 9:30 – we (and everyone else) were held up by the fact that the ski resort was still doing work on the runs. I’m guessing that this is mostly due to them having to manage the low snow levels and work to make the skiing any good, and that this restriction might be eased later in the season.”
Steve v. dashing through the bike lanes, on his one-person open bike:
“It was a perfect night for a sleigh-bell ride by bike around Vancouver’s holiday sights. Twelve of us, most decked out either in bike lights or attire, really rang in the holiday spirit. On our route we hit St. Paul’s, the Robson ice rink, Jack Poole plaza, Canada Place, Lost Lagoon, the West End willow tree, the tree near David Lam park and Olympic Village, plus all the trails and seawall in between.
That wasn’t the best part though. The true meaning of this season was seen in the reactions of others hearing our broadcasted Christmas music coming and then turning to see Santa Claus, Rudolph and more riding their way on a cold winter night, completely decked out in festive wheels and frame lights. We received applause, smiles, comments, compliments, and many camera flashes.
One unexpected highlight was when a carol ship paused under the Granville St. Bridge and cranked up Ave Maria on their fantastic sound system. It reverberated like a cathedral between the buildings and bridge deck. We then heard a voice – Colleen who was scheduled to ride with us yelling from the ship telling us our bikes look awesome!
It truly is better to give than to receive. I want to thank everyone that came for the extra effort they put in. This isn’t just a “pack your bag” callout; people spent money and time to make it more than the sum of the parts for this ride. Happy Holidays everyone!”
Andrew W. on Hollyburn Peak:
“It was a beautiful day as a party of two headed up Hollyburn Peak for a nice relaxing hike. Snow was scarce with just a dusting of the white stuff at the top, all hard packed down from the rain and freeze-thaw conditions this past week (nowhere near the amount needed for snowshoes.) A little bit of ice in a few places made the trail a little more slippery than usual but on a clear day one could see for miles. A great break from the madness of the malls!”
Stephen H. on Mount Crumpit:
“Last month’s trip to Crumpit Woods in Squamish called for a follow-up. Christine, Donna, Jaime, and Sherron joined me for a delightful loop that visited Mount Crumpit, Five Point Hill, and three other hilltops in the woods. With so many mountain bike trails in the area, it’s easy to get off course. Fortunately, a map and GPS kept us from getting lost. We had the place to ourselves (except for the occasional sound of dirt bikes) and enjoyed plenty of views of the Chief. After hiking the Woodpecker trail, we even saw one of those too.”