Mountains at sea

A view of Golden Ears from the entrance to Active Pass on our ferry ride home.

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I love being out on deck as the ferry goes through Active Pass. I’ve seen killer whales here several times, seals most times, eagles, and the occasional sea lion. On our outward journey on Friday, I saw a couple of deer feeding in one of the meadows on Mayne Island.

As usual, I was up at the bow, primed to get take a picture of the other ferry coming towards us, only to be reminded of the glorious view of Golden Ears framed between headlands on Galiano (left) and Mayne Islands. Since it caught me by surprise, I was a little late in taking the photo, and as a result, it’s not as well framed as I feel it could have been; I would like the headlands to be a little closer together. I’ll have to make sure I get it right next time! Maybe the light will be more favourable too?

The joys of camping…

Another photo from the weekend’s beautiful sunrise on Golden Ears. A spectacular place to camp but some people really need to learn that their voices carry way beyond their tent, and that yelling to your buds at 5 am is just not cool. Check out this week’s Leave No Trace Tuesday tip from @happiestoutdoors about being considerate of others in the backcountry.

I love spending time in the backcountry, and one of the things that appeals to me is the peace and quiet. It seems natural that leaving the city behind means leaving city attitudes behind as well (though I must admit, I’d like it if city folk could be a little more courteous of their fellow city-dwellers).

Historically, most of the people venturing into the backcountry were people who really wanted to be there for its own sake. My impression – and this could just be the curmudgeonly view of someone getting older! – is that there is now a significant number of (young) people going into the backcountry because it’s cool to do so. They don’t really love it, they’re not there to leave behind the busyness of life, they’re ticking a box, trying to impress their friends and get that ultimate sick Instagram shot.

I suspect most of them will grow out of hiking, taking up alternative pursuits in the process, and of course it’s not my place to say they shouldn’t be allowed in the backcountry. After all, the more people who get out and hike, the more people there will be who think there is value in protecting those areas. But I do feel that people venturing into an environment should go in with a view of adopting the existing traditions and attitudes, kind of like seeing how things are done before making your mark. Is it too much to ask for a little more respect and humility?

Golden mornings

Edge Peak and Golden Ears summit in early morning light, with the waning moon still hanging in the sky

One of the prime reasons for hauling our camping gear up onto this ridge is to enjoy the sunset once night and the sunrise the following morning. I crawled out of the tent a few minutes before the sun poked over the eastern mountains and set about exploring the ridge for the best photo-ops. I particularly liked this view of both Edge Peak and Golden Ears summit, which I could just fit into the frame with the ultra-wide angle lens on Maria’s camera. And to have the moon hanging over Golden Ears in the clear morning sky was just perfect.

Summit celebration

Celebrating at the summit of Golden Ears – a return match 8 years in the making for me. Photo taken by fellow Instagrammer @sonia.sayle – thanks!

Here’s our happy dance at the summit of Golden Ears 🙂 Maria had made it up there back in 2008 but it was my first visit and I was so happy to have made it, especially with the gorgeous evening light. Just glorious…


Golden Ears at last! Awesome summiting on a beautiful sunny evening, great light on Robie Reid and Judge Howay. Worth every step 🙂

A rematch 8 years in the making! I conquered the corner that held me back last time and savoured the gorgeous light at the summit of this landmark peak. I’m not a peak-bagger, but it felt really good to make it up there! And to my surprise, the whole trip actually didn’t feel too difficult either, despite its gruelling statistics. Either I’m fitter, or I carried less crap this time.