Friday, August 30, 2013

A Weekend at Whistler

Last weekend Neil and I went to Whistler for a few days. I always enjoy Whistler in the summer, it's great in all seasons but I do appreciate the high hiking trails that are accessible during the summer months.The views are spectacular in all directions. We hiked/ran the High Note Trail (7,000 feet), biked on the bike paths and enjoyed a run on the Valley Trail. We managed a quick shop in the village where I picked up a yoga mat for a weekly class I have signed up for starting next week through into December. This will be the first yoga class I have done so fingers crossed that I like it! As the days become shorter I always start planning my activity for the fall. So far Neil and I are signed up for TRX which we have enjoyed for the past year, I'm also signed up for a Yoga class at the local community center and we will run the nights we can. I plan to run to and from the yoga class which is at the local community center. I even have a pack that will hold my yoga mat! Weekend activities are easier for us to make happen - it's the week days that we need to better schedule into our lives.  
The Summit of Whistler Mountain
 The High Note Trail
Cheakamus Lake
Another view of Cheakamus Lake 
Enjoying the bike trails!
While we were at Whistler, Ironman Canada was taking place. This is the first time the event has been in Whistler. The swim was in Alta Lake, the bike went to Pemberton and back to Whistler and the run was a few loops on the Valley trail net work. We saw some of the competitors finishing. What a different sport from trail running/ultra running! Those folks are very serious and this is such a contrast from ultra running/trail running. We were reflecting on events we have participated in where you don't see another human being for hours and have no formal aid stations for 100 miles. That's where family and friends are the deal maker for the event. Speaking of events, Neil and I have signed up for our first event in 2014 - a road marathon in Tromso, Norway called the Midnight Sun Marathon. Neil is presenting at a conference in Stavanger around the same time so we thought what a great opportunity to run an event 350km north of the Artic Circle! Tromso's Midnight Sun Marathon takes place in 24 hours of daylight, that will be very different!  They advertise it as the most spectacular and scenic in the world taking runners by fjords, mountains and colourful houses along the way. Runners from around the globe come to run this event so it should be fun! It starts at 7 pm and most runners are in by midnight. I guess I better get out on the road - I am almost 100% on trails these days.
Happy Labour Day Weekend Canada!


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Busy with Bagging!

We've been busy the last few weekends bagging. The weather has been fantastic with the exception of one foggy day we endured in the Seymour area.
 One sunny Friday Dave, Neil and I headed out to do Wettin, Hat and Fat Ass mountains
The Tunnel Bluff trail starts right on the Sea to Sky Highway just a few km's past Lions Bay. It was a really good trail until the col between Wettin and Hat.
We managed to find the top of Wettin in good time. That's Neil at the cairn on Wettin (5,075 feet)
After wandering around trying to find the trail to Hat Mountain we found ourselves on the Old Hat Trail. I would strongly discourage anyone from taking this trail. The 3 of us found ourselves in some scary situations with shear drop offs and very thin ledges. Thankfully everything was dry...once we were on the trail we could not turn back and the only way out was to keep going. I had flashbacks that night!
Beautiful scenery once we could enjoy it.
The top of Hat Mountain (5,432 feet) has a radio transmitter station with a geocache hidden on the summit cairn close by.
On top of Fat Ass, (5, 280 feet) you can see the green transmitter on Hat in the distance.
On the Howe Sound Crest trail working our way towards the Brunswick trail to head back down.
Done for the day - it was a long one 9 hours. Helen picked us up and greeted us with ice cold lemonade ;-) just what weary, dehydrated baggers needed. She drove us to our car which was parked at the trail head past Lions Bay.
We set off again the next morning. It was a quick re-stock of the baggers pack and we picked Dave up and started at Lynn Headwaters with the goal of bagging Mt. Perrault. Dave showed up wearing a rope around his waist. Either the trail to Hat freaked him out the day before or he knew something about the days adventure that I didn't!
The trail was rough and steep past Norvan Falls.

The trail followed the creek bed which was low and dry most of the way. It was slow going.
This is Mt. Perrault  where we never did quite find the peak. We tried to access the ridge to the right of the summit but the terrain was extremely steep and littered with rock bands.  This, in combination with thick, impenetrable bush made the going so tough we turned back- I was not a happy bagger!
After abandoning the attempt to find the top we took the trail to Lynn Lake. It was a peaceful small lake where the Lynn Lake trail ends. Dave waded in to cool off.
The next weekend we headed up Mt. Seymour and met the dreaded Seymour fog. Neil led Wendy and I to Rector (4,165 feet), Curate (4,178 feet) and Vicar (4,115 feet). I was somewhat concerned with the fog, it was hard to see the markers but a blessing perhaps that we could not see the drop offs below us!
Wendy, Neil and myself on one of the peaks.
The following morning the skies were once again blue and we picked Dave up and parked the truck outside the gate at Lynn Headwaters. We rode our bikes 12km to the start of the Vicar Lakes trail. This was my first time on the Vicar Lakes trail - what an obstacle course it is! Plenty of ropes to swing from and very steep at times.
Vicar Lakes with Mt. Bishop in the background where we are going.
Climbing up Bishop - it felt really high and steep 4,978 feet. Dave and Neil did a great job of finding the trail over to Deacon and Presbyter (4,907 feet). There were plenty of bugs out - I reacted badly to some black fly bites around my eyes. Thankfully I had Benadryl with me. The Benadryl kept it in check, Sunday/Monday were monster eye days.
 The top of  Deacon (4,934 feet).
On our way out on the Vicar Lakes trail. Plenty of ropes.
Dave and I enjoying the 12km bike ride out. It felt very refreshing after the heat of the day. Another long day - 10 hours. Good fun team DOD! That now takes me to 23 peaks to date. My goal is to "complete" all the peaks in the competition 79 in total. I have 3 more to do to complete the list. Looks doable over the next few months. Happy Bagging!