To see a snowy frozen lake

Snow sculptures and Mt Price: throwback Thursday to 10 years ago when we snowshoed up to Garibaldi Lake and had the place to ourselves.

Re-reading my trip report from a decade ago I immediately pick up on how thrilled I was to make it to Garibaldi Lake in the winter. There’s no doubt it felt like quite the achievement, and it was our longest day of snowshoeing to date. What was most remarkable was how few people we encountered, no doubt helped by our decision to head up into Taylor Meadows rather than going straight for the lake. By the time we made it down to the lake, everyone else was on their way back down. I’ve been back once since then, on my all-time longest day of snowshoeing (11 hours) much of which was spent slogging through fresh powder. (But what a day that was – the clearest blue sky I’ve ever seen!)

I had to work quite hard to pick a good photo from this trip, though. Our camera was showing signs of its age (giving us the famous E200 lens error a few times), and there’s clearly an awful lot of muck either on the sensor or on the lens judging by all the dark patches that show up so clearly when photographing a scene that is mostly white! Alas given the weather, it was hard to capture the drama and scale of the view before us – white snow and white clouds don’t make for exciting pictures.

But I was pleased to find this one photo. I was intrigued by how bumpy the snow was, which I guessed was due to winds blowing across the lake and piling it up, and in particular by this one area where the ice of the lake was also exposed. Mt Price looked spectacular with its corniced north face and lit by soft afternoon light. It’s not a classic composition but it’s still quite a lovely scene, and – apart from the ones of us looking happy to have made it – is probably my favourite of the day.

I’ll finish by saying I can’t believe it’s 10 years since we did this. Perhaps we need to do it again this year? Hmmm…


Top of the Mountain

The End. Good movie, a well paced build-up before a heart-pounding climax with some beautiful scenes! Would watch again.

Some people manage to come up with great captions for their photos on Instagram. Some post meaningful statements, or pose questions to ponder. Me? I end up usually just describing what’s in the photo 🙂 But this more playful take on a description of the hike up to the top of Hollyburn came to mind as I typed the first words, The End, which were mostly about the crossed poles indicating the end of the marked trail. Indeed I have enjoyed “watching” this hike many times now. I can’t say that for any film…

Tree family

Snowy tree family – another photo from our Christmas day snowshoe up Hollyburn.

Sometimes you see something and can instantly recognize that it’s a square photo. As I framed this shot I could see that the group of trees could be isolated and placed them with just enough sky above and snow below to complete the picture. I like the way the trees appear to be interacting with one another. I saw a photo on Instragram recently where the photographer thought the same, a small group of trees all leaning in and appearing to be deep in conversation. It’s the weight of the snow that does it, bending over the tops of the trees (and sometimes much more). I’ve been caught in the spring many times by trees shedding their snow and springing back up to surprise me 🙂

Cloud waves

Waves of clouds lapping at the forest. A throwback-Thursday sunset from 5 years ago, when Venus was sparkling in the evening sky as it is right now. We often seem to get the timing wrong for our first snowshoe of the season, inevitably starting out too late and arriving just after sunset 🙂

And so yet again we reached our destination just after sunset. At least with Dog Mountain we hadn’t had to slog up a steep slope to get there! I’ve seen many sunsets in the mountains, but this still ranks as one of my favourites. It had been a cold, dank day down in the city and we were hoping to find a bit of warm sunshine above the inversion layer blanketing Vancouver. Except with one thing and another, we were delayed getting under way and, with the route to Dog Mountain being in the trees, we didn’t get to see the sun itself in the end.

But what a consolation prize! Above the cloud deck, which extended across the Salish Sea to the mountains of Vancouver Island, the south-western sky was tinged a glorious yellowy-orange, Venus dazzling in the blue. Below us, the clouds appeared to ebb and flow in the tree tops, giving us the appearance of waves lapping at the shore. We lingered until the sky turned from pink to dark blue, and the orange band on the horizon began to fade before hoofing it back to the car and back into town for some hot food!

Snow in the city

White out. Is it really a Flashback Friday if it was only last week? After a few days of very welcome sunshine, we’re back to views like this, even in the city!

It’s been a couple of years since we had snow in the city, and I must admit I haven’t missed it one bit! Still, it was kinda nice to watch the snow fall in great big flakes, and pile up in soft layers on our patio table and in the trees. It was even fun to walk out in it for a while, although it did get a bit wet later in the day. So I figured that this photo from last Friday when Brenda and I went snowshoeing up at Mt Seymour was quite appropriate, as the view in the city was very similar to this!

Clouds clearing Crown

Clouds clearing over Crown Mountain, from a snowshoe trip up to Hollyburn back in April 2011

Sometimes a photo works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve taken many photos of the west face of Crown Mountain on my various hikes up to Hollyburn over the years, but most end up looking flat and boring. Until now – or at least, until April 2011 🙂 This photo was taken part way up the open slopes on the final approach to the summit, roughly at the first mini-plateau on this ascent. Crown appears over the tree tops and teases with partial views through the forest.

I found a spot with a better view and took this photo, although I was still annoyed at the presence of the foreground trees. It was only when I got home and looked at what I had taken that I liked the square crop with the four trees at the bottom of the frame acting as a border hiding the boring lower slopes of the mountain and leaving just the interesting parts of Crown visible as the clouds began to drift away.

Mt Hozameen

The jagged peaks of Mt Hozameen, as seen from the Heather Trail near First Brother in Manning Park. This photo was taken on a snowshoe trip back in Mar 2013 where a group of us headed up the Fat Dog trail and continued up into the alpine to reach the Heather Trail. This was my third attempt at this trail, both previous attempts failing to get this far due to time constraints. It was worth every step.

To me, this mountain is one of the most recognizable features when hiking in Manning Park, though it’s not in the park itself, lying a few kilometres south of the Canada-US border. The closest approach is a little-used trail along a ridge that leads to one of the border monuments (Monument 74), but the view isn’t so good from there as the peaks are significantly foreshortened. I think the best view is from either Lone Goat or Snow Camp mountains on the nearby Skyline II trail.