Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 4- Mount Crickmer attempt

Because Crickmer seems an "easy" hike, I had decided to do this one in the winer. Well now I think this is not that easy all depending on the conditions.

I really hesitated to take the snowshoes because I had a strong feeling we would be facing some very hard snow but after reading some reports, I thought that we would be encountering fresh snow, especially on that high steep slope that leaves the trail at about 1050m.

We left from the trail head at about 8 am and made up our way the long logging road. I was surprised it seemed to be much faster than what I had read. We quickly made it to the bridge after going through some very nice views done by fresh clear cuts.

We felt that only after the bridge we were on an actual trail. We found it rather easy to find the cut to the old logging road.

We encountered some soft snow at about 800 m, nothing to slippery. But after 20 min we encountered a wash out, a bit tricky to cross it because some very hard snow was making this very slippery. We managed to make it safely with our ice axe cutting ourselves steps.

Than it was just sketchy slippery water bars one after one.

As we were getting higher I could see some fresh snow in the trees but nothing at our level, just icy snow that was very hard to walk on. I don t trust snowshoes on icy snow. As we made it at the point where you leave the old logging road, I quickly realized that we wouldn t go any higher today, there were clear traces that it had rained on the slope and it was now a vertical ice rink, we needed crampons...

We took the opportunity to train our self arrest techniques and after had a lot of fun butt sliding all the way down at some times very scary speeds. On our way back we crossed two other hikers who also did not plan to do the summit that day.

When we got back to the logging road we crossed lots of off road vehicles but the worst was on burma road where it was a zoo and drivers acting like they wer on the Paris Dakar...

We will come back to do the summit but the conditions are the same that we had in early December, also I m very impressed by the small amount of snow there is this year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

01/07/2010- Day 3- Mt St Benedict in BC

Use to the Sea to Sky hikes, we decided to rent a car and try out Mt St Benedict last Thursday, last sunny day before a week of showers.

We parked the car at the indicated parking spot by the 6th edition of 103 hikes and easily found the trail head.

We were surprised by the poor amount of snow although we knew it has been an unusual warm winter.

Again the trail is very well marked and pleasant. When we made it to the old logging road, some hard patches of icy snow started to appear and made the hike a bit challenging. It was very important to look at where you were walking. BTW I had brought our snowshoes but we did not use them once on the whole hike, crampons would have been ok, yak tracks perfect.

At the lake it was finally all snowed up but the lake was not completely frozen.
We easily found our way towards the col but had very slippery moments on the steep slope.

As we reached the col, the snow got soft and it was pure pleasure all the way towards the summit.The sun appeared and we started to get our well deserved views.

I discovered the area and I was astonished by the beauty of Robbie Reid that I had only seen from the summits of Bishop or Dilly-Dally.

Baker had a small cloud beard and the Judge was truly majestic.

It took us almost 3.75 h to make it to the summit, since we had to return the car by 6 in Burnaby we rushed down and made it back in less than 2 hours, the snow had gotten softer with the heat of the afternoon and going down from the col was a fun slide.

Altogether it took us 5.5 h with break car to car. A great hike to do in the middle of the week with fantastic views, highly recommended to all.

Day-1; Day 1 & 2

Well, I wanted to start the year strongly.
So the Varsity Outdoor Club (University of British Columbia Outdoor club) was having a new years eve party in their Brian Waddington Hut. So we left on the 31st of December (day -1) and took about 6 hours to the hut. I was on the track with my snowshoes and my snowboard on my back while my freind Ryan was trying out his new skis.

The celebration was fantastic in the small hut although I was exchausted and went to bed at 22:30.

The next day (day 1!) We took our skiing gear and went up to do a few downhills. There was lots of snow and the avalanche risk was high. Some other skiers started a small avalanche slab.

The evening was again great in this great sporty environment although that everything was damped.

The next day we left early and because it had snowed so much it took us nearly 6 hours to make it back to the car.

Mexico 2009.

Just to give you an idea of what I did in 2009 and similar stuff I would like to do in 2010.

We did a 7 day kayaking trip in the Sea of Cortez a great and unique adventure in a very rugged terrain. I t was windy for the year but we managed to do most of the island of Espiritu Santo.
We did about 80 km of sea kayaking, 3 good hikes and a few snorkeling sessions.

The trip was fantastic, please enjoy the pictures.
Beware the under water pictures are pictures of the aquarium inside the Vancouver airport, don t get too excited.

A strange idea...

Well, although today is the 10th of January and I am just starting this new blog, I would say it is not too late for a 2010 resolution. The fact is that this blog is not the resolution but the a testimony of it. My resolution is therefor to spend at least 100 days in the great outdoors, this can be the mountain, forest or ocean but it has to be "outdoorsy". I would like to count my time at the rock climbing gym because we do have some ugly week-ends in Vancouver but after much hesitation I decide not to. However they will be reported. So my trips will be mostly hiking, trekking,scrambling, mountaineering, rock climbing, biking and sea kayaking. enough to fill up the year.

My sources of inspiration are mostly these books:

I inspire myself from these books:

"Scrambles in southwestern BC" by Matt Gunn

And an awesome one: "Ultimate Adventures" from Rough Guides edition, coslty adventures that I often manage to do at a more reasonable price.

These book truly inspire me and if I managed to do everything they talk about, I could die in peace...

You might want to understand what this resolution means. Well, the fact that I am an office manager with limited time off, makes this resolution particularly difficult and interesting because for those that would also like to do interesting adventures in life, time always seem to be the issue.
Then comes money who is an issue for most of us. Last year I have traveled around the world and have done rather expensive adventures but have had to manage to keep it to a reasonable price.For example from Vancouver (my home) a round trip to do the Annapurna circuit without missing out on anything cost me less than $2400 CAD all included. I did nt use guides or porters and we didn t pay for the nights at the huts since we were eating there.
Also I have no car and that makes some hikes to do very challenging but I do have some great friends who love to go hiking with me and who do have a car.

I invite you to follow my adventures throughout the year and to see if I will be able to take up the challenge.