Giant trio

Admiring a trio of western red cedars in Stanley Park

I thought we’d seen the best of the big trees that Stanley Park has to offer, but we ventured up a quiet trail and encountered these. Close up, it looks like a single giant tree but it’s actually three that have merged near their respective bases. Just another reason why I love Stanley Park.

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Mist in the trees

Sometimes you just have to take whatever views you get

This is my contribution to Instagram’s plethora of misty tree shots 🙂

The forecast looked promising: a cloudy start clearing to sunshine by noon. Alas it was wrong, and we got nothing but a great view of the clouds at St Mark’s Summit! Of course, by the time we were driving back over the Lions Gate Bridge we were in glorious sunshine.

Tekarra and the Marmot

A welcome sight at the end of a long day – hiking below Mt Tekarra towards our campground. Oh and yet another cheeky marmot!

We were so glad to see this view, to be finally done with the long switchbacking trail down from the Skyline. Marmots kept us company, mocking our zig-zagging descent with their ability to trundle straight down the slope. By this stage we’d hiked 16 or so of our 18 km for the day, and we were all pretty tired. But there was one final insult: we reached the trees and could see a sign. We expected it to mark the campground, so imagine our dismay when the sign actually said “no camping”, and the campground was still another km away…!

Top to bottom

Della Falls more or less from top to bottom, roughly 440 m (over quarter of a mile). Flashback-Friday to my first backpacking trip to the interior of Vancouver Island in July 2006.

Another shot of Della Falls, this time from the trail up to Love Lake which offers this more-or-less complete view of the drop of the waterfall. I’d like to go back again to see Love Lake melted out (it was still mostly frozen on our visit), and to explore the area some more.

Ooh, Garibaldi

Leading lines: the sharp ridge rising from Diamond Head to Atwell Peak, seen through a gap in the trees near the Red Heather shelter

We had a long cold spring in 2011, which meant the snow lingered well into July and August. This day in early July 2011, I solo-hiked up to Elfin Lakes on snow almost the entire way. As I neared Red Heather meadows (or rather, white snowy meadows) I looked up to catch a glimpse of Garibaldi through the trees. A moment later I came to a tiny gap with the mountain framed beautifully by the tall firs. This spot is so specific that I haven’t actually been able to find it again on subsequent visits. I was even happier with this photo when I realized that it was absolutely pin-sharp, about as sharp as I could possibly get with that camera-lens combination. It’s probably my favourite photo of Garibaldi.

It was also the quietest day of hiking to Elfin Lakes I’ve ever experienced, although I did start out quite early on the trail. The funny thing was that I deliberately picked Elfin Lakes for a solo hike as I thought it would be busy…!

Della Falls

The lower cascades of Della Falls, taken almost exactly 10 years ago on my very first backpacking trip 🙂 After that, I was hooked!

Maria and I were invited on a 3-day backpacking trip to Della Falls by a friend of ours, to whom we are eternally grateful. Despite all the mosquitoes and the fact I ran out of steam part way through the day, those three days got us well and truly hooked on backpacking, and we just haven’t looked back since.

Grouse chick

Cute little ruffed grouse chick, the only one left in the brood by the looks of it

We were hiking up to a viewpoint above the basalt columns at Easter Bluffs when we came across a mother grouse and her lone chick. Grouse usually have a brood of half-a-dozen or more, so something clearly didn’t go right for this little bird. The basalt columns were impressive, if very hard to photograph, though our enjoyment was tempered by the incessant mosquitoes. I couldn’t wait to be done hiking that day!