Monday, January 30, 2012

Snowshoeing in the Mountains

 I know! Two posts in one week. Don't think this will continue. I could disappear again for another month as the school work piles on.


There are snow in those mountains. I thought it just rained here all winter, at least until we got that snow a couple of weeks ago, but before that everything was green and rainy, and we had a mild Christmas. I'm acclimatised to the winters here, and know how to get through the months of rain.

However, this year db and I resolved to get in some snowshoeing. db had purchased two pairs of snowshoes for us in the fall as Christmas gifts. I was wondering if we'd ever get to use them because there was no sign of snow and friends I had spoken to in December said that the snow conditions weren't great on the mountains when they had been skiing, so I wasn't expecting much when we headed up Mt. Seymour Rd. for our first snowshoe outing. 

 Our Costco snowshoes. db found these at Costco and they've been great. The last time I was on snowshoes, it was those more "traditional" shaped snowshoes that you might know with the tennis racket shape: very wide and difficult to walk in. Snowshoes have come a long way, and these are great! They may not be as streamlined as some of the "running" snowshoes I've seen on the market, but they sure are fun for walking. (I really don't have plans for taking up snowshoe running...honest).

As we drove up towards the ski hill, we were relieved to have purchased winter tires because it was suddenly full on winter!

There were skiers everywhere. Kids were heading to the sliding hill with parents, and snowshoeing is definitely popular. We purchased our passes and strapped on the snowshoes.

These photos are from three different outings.  Mt. Seymour, Cypress (twice), and then back to Seymour.

You can see how much snow had actually accumulated on the mountain. Now I realize that whenever it's raining at home, it's snowing on the mountains.

 The reward back at home! Two vegan hot chocolates with those amazing sweet & sara marshmallows.

The following week, I took hot chocolate in a thermos (thank you to my brother for sending the fantastic company branded -- Capital Springs -- thermos for Christmas), and carted the marshmallows so we could enjoy it in the car. Why wait until you get home in the rain. It's more fun to have hot chocolate in a winter setting.

 This is Hollyburn Lodge at Cypruss. The snowshoe and nordic skiing trails lead to this lodge on the way to Hollyburn Mtn. It's a really cute little spot in the woods, and there were several pairs of snowshoes hanging outside next to skis while people warmed up inside. They have a little cafe in there as well, and there's a lovely wood stove smell as you near the lodge/cabin. Must be quite the hike up with the supplies (oh wait, there's a snowmobile track that leads up there).

You can see that it was snowing on that day. It was very pretty.

 I think this was Cypress the following weekend. We went on a longer hike. I was hoping to go all the way to Hollyburn Mtn, but once we hit the hiking access trail (free for snowshoers who don't want to pay to have access to the snowshoe trails), it was packed so we quickly headed back to the tranquility of the snowshoe trails and made our way on a fairly long route that pretty much tired us out for the rest of the day. db had also forgotten to put his orthotics in his hiking boots, so he had very sore and tired feet.

We did get some sun that day though. Blue skies.

This last shot was taken back at Seymour last weekend.  It was pouring when we left home, and as we drove up the mountain it was definitely like a winter storm up there. It was slow going on the road up.

At the top it was a blizzard. Snow was whipping around us and the winds were crazy. There were still skiers everywhere. There was actually an event going on, and it didn't seem to be slowing it down too much. db and I wondered how crazy we might be, but thought it would be better once we got into the woods, and it was. It was pretty tranquil in the woods, and we had another great hike. The trees creaked a little in the wind.

This hike was a little more adventurous since we took one of the "closed" trails. There were at least one or two other set of snowshoe tracks on the trail, so were weren't the only ones doing this. Plus there are many hiking trails that lead up to Seymour.

It was definitely more off the beaten path, but it did follow a well marked route and clearly someone else had been through. It was beautiful and quite hilly so it was a challenge. We did have to cross a creek without a bridge at one point so that was a little more challenge than I wanted in snowshoes, but I think there was probably a better way around that. was a good hike on a snowy day. The snow was still whipping up the ski slopes when we got back, and since we had been forced to park along the side of the road, we had a bit of a walk in the snow and wind, so we were glad to get to the shelter of our car, and warm up.

Next weekend, we might venture a little further afield. Squamish? Callaghan Valley?


Wandering Coyote said...

I love this! You are the second friend of mine to go snowshoeing at Mt. Seymour recently and it looks so beautiful.

sp said...

It is beautiful. If you get a chance you should go. Cypress is even nicer because the trails go on a bit longer, and the lodge is there.