My friend Steve and I had been planning to meet up for quite some time and do a hike together. He lives in Kelowna and I live in Vancouver and so we decided to meet halfway near the Coquihalla Recreation Summit Area which was both a two hour drive for us. Perfect!
After some online research, we decided on Needle Peak as it seemed to be the most difficult hike. Some of the posts said it would take around 7-13 hours of extreme hiking. The forecast for that day called for reasonable weather, about a 20% chance of rain. However, Steve and I were both unprepared to what we had in store that day. During the middle of the afternoon, it had actually snowed on us! Luckily I brought some pants, but I wished I brought a pair of gloves and a toque!
We left the trailhead around 9am and arrived at the top of the peak in about 2 hours. The elevation at the top was about 2000m. We were probably at the top for a good hour or so since we wanted to wait until the clouds cleared up to take our signature “Buddha” picture. So we had our lunch there and waited for the clouds to disappear. By then other people started to come to the top and it got a bit crowded.
Since we got to the top earlier than we had intended, we had the rest of the day to ourselves and decided to explore the area. We went to an area called Flat Irons and that’s when the weather turned on us. The fog and snow came in and the cold was almost unbearable.
We hiked about a total of 24kms in total that day. We wanted to celebrate with a big meal at the end of the hike but the only thing that we thought was open was an Indian food truck near the Coquihalla Recreation Summit parking lot but it was closed. So left our separate ways until our next conquering adventure!
For pictures of the Stawamus Chief Hike click HERE
This hike was one of the things on my bucket list this year. Joining me on this hike was Phebe and her dad.
We arrived to the Shannon Falls parking lot around 9:30am and started the Stawamus Chief hike around 10:00am since we stayed around the falls to take pictures.
Our hike from the parking lot to the 3rd peak took us about three hours including our breaks. We stopped briefly on the 2nd peak for a quick break before eating lunch on the 3rd peak. We didn’t go to the 1st peak due to the huge crowds. The views on top of the 2nd peak were quite amazing. We took the back route for the hike down which took us a little over two hours. Stawamus Chief…conquered!
Last weekend, Phebe and I and a few of our friends decided to do some car camping before the end of the summer. We decided to go to Golden Ears Provincial Park. Phebe and I arrived first at the campground late Friday night. There was one campground that was open all-year around (Gold Creek campground); however, it was all full! Luckily, after talking to the Park Ranger, another campground opened up (Alouette campground) due to the higher than normal demand (probably due to the school strike). We drove around quite a bit and eventually found a spot and quickly claimed it like a vulture on its prey. It might have been the last spot on the camp ground!
Hike to Lower Falls & Gold Creek Lookout
The next morning, we decided to hike lower falls trail. The trail to the falls was relatively flat and easy. Once at the waterfalls, we decided to cross the creek to the other side as we wanted to further our hike to the Gold Creek Lookout. While I was jumping from rock to rock, my sunglasses accidently fell into the rushing waters (I wasn’t wearing it at the time as the temple of my sunglasses was hanging off my shirt). Roberto and Patrick both braved the cold waters to help search for my shades but to no avail. We managed to cross the creek and after a steady uphill climb to get to Gold Creek Lookout, we were rewarded by a great view.
For all pictures of Golden Ears Provincial Park, please click HERE.
Our camp spot
Patrick trying to look for my shades
Morning breakfast – banana pancakes!
This is getting serious! Thanks for the help boys!
Ready, set, fire!
Group shot at Gold Creek lookout
For lunch we stopped by Alouette Lake where Sarah & Patrick prepared sandwiches and quinoa salad. It was so yummy. For the rest of the afternoon we played frisbee, read, walked, and napped.
Picnic at Alouette Lake
Lightshow at campspot
We decided to be a bit creative and make use of our headlamps at night. Fun fun!
Shalom – Angel
Roberto – 6 armed bear!
My heart to Phebe
Before heading back home, we did a quick detour to go see Mike Lake. I nice peaceful lake almost in the middle of nowhere.
Group shot at Mike Lake
Last week I had the opportunity to hike Crown Mountain with my friends Sarah and Patrick. Crown Mountain is situated in North of Vancouver (behind Grouse Mountain). There are sites, including this one, that talk about how to hike Crown Mountain and possible routes so I’ll save you all the details on how to get there. We decided to take the BCMC trail route near the beginning of the Grouse Grind as it was probably the most convenient and easiest of the alternatives. It was a pretty hot and scorching day so that made the hike a bit more difficult and unbearable sometimes in the heat. Nevertheless, the hike was well worth the effort. The views from the top were simply amazing! We were on top for probably an hour, admiring the breathtaking views. Going back down was just as difficult as going up. Some parts were super steep and rocky. I’m not sure if I would do this hike again but at least it’s off my bucket list! Everytime I’m driving and I look up to the North Shore mountains, I can proudly say that I’ve hiked Crown Mountain!
During the Canada Day long weekend Phebe and I decided to do some car camping near Harrison Hot Springs. We both had never been there before. There is a campground about 15 minutes away from Harrison Hot Springs called Sasquatch Provincial Park. We were hoping to see some sitings of sasquatches but we were out of luck. Instead, we greeted by massive mosquitoes at our campspot. The campground should have been called Mosquito Provincial Park. We wanted to camp near Hicks Lake but it was all full when we got there. There was another camp spot just a few minutes down the road called Bench campground. We luckily found a spot and decided to camp there for the night. That afternoon we headed to main town of Harrison Hot Springs and just relaxed by the beach. It was good just to get away and not do anything for awhile.
The next day, on the way back home, we decided to have a picnic lunch at Bridal Falls. The hike up to the falls was about 15 minutes, according to the posted sign, but they are never accurate. We got up there in about 5 minutes. We also stopped by Fort Langley to have a quick stroll of the heritage town and grabbed and ice cream by the park.
For the May long weekend, I went on a hiking/camping trip with my friend Gideon. He has never had this type of back-country experience before and he was in for a treat! The drive to Garibaldi Lake parking lot was about 1 hour 30 minutes from Vancouver. We had intentions on doing some fishing on the lake but that did not pan out. The lake was frozen! We never expected this but there was snow at the camp site! As we continued hiking along the trail, we saw more traces of snow and by the time we hit the lake the snow was pretty deep. There weren’t any designated signs for the camp spots due to the snow so you pretty much had to pick whatever spot you want. At the campsite, they have these shelters where you could cook and sit to eat. We decided to pitch our tent in one of the shelters to avoid camping in the snow and to avoid the cold! There weren’t any signs that told us not to. We were lucky to be one of the first people at the camp spot so we decided to grab one of the shelters as our own! We tried our luck to make a small fire outside our shelter but it was too damp and cold. There was no flowing water around so we got our water from the lake. It was ok as the water was super cold and we boiled it anyways. Gideon regretted not bringing his gaiters as his pant legs got continually wet from the snow. He tried to dry them off with his gas burner and almost risked getting his pants on fire! That was our extent of our entertainment. To pass the time at night we played cards and talked throughout the night.
The hike from the parking lot to the campground took us about five hours. It would’ve taken less if it weren’t for the snow. The hike back the next day took us only three and half hours as it was mostly all downhill. For our victory meal we went to a place in Horseshoe Bay (Olive & Anchor) for some delicious burgers and fries.
For all photos of our trip, please click HERE.