Monday, August 25, 2014

Ben Lomond and Ben More

I must start this blog by clarifying that we climbed Ben Lomond and Ben More in the North Shore Mountains of southwestern British Columbia, Canada - not Scotland! ;-) It is located southeast of the town of Squamish and is described in existing trail reports as "an aesthetic pointed horn which marks the divide between the Seymour and Stawmus River watersheds on the west side of Loch Lomond".  It was first climbed in 1908 by F. Perry and W. J. Gray and presumably named in recognition of its namesake in Scotland.  It had been on our radar for sometime now given Neil is Scottish and he climbed the "real Ben Lomond" in his youth.  So when our Scottish friends proposed an outing to this wilderness area so close to Vancouver it was an easy decision to make a day of it "in the hills!"  And so with my trail companions for the day all being from Scotland, the destination intended, and with the copious heather covering the lower mountain slopes, it truly felt like I was in Scotland. 
That's Ben Lomond in the background. Glyn, Kirsty and myself.
After the 12km forest service road (4 x 4) required we parked Neil's monster truck and walked up the road until we met the trail on the left. The trail was well defined although surrounded by dense bush with berries in abundance. Some bear scat was noted.  
The trail emerges from the bush into what felt like high alpine terrain. Wild flowers were plentiful and the views very nice.

First snack break!

After this we met the white rock that became our terrain for the remainder of our journey.
Wind Lake, a very peaceful spot.

Glyn is so prepared. He brought a compass and a map! ;-)
I even had a mini lesson in how to use the compass on the map. Wow - that was cool! Team Dodgy I have new skills!
There was plenty of rock to traverse and climb up.
Outstanding views back to Sky Pilot.
Kirsty enjoying the views at the top of Ben Lomond (1654m/5427ft) with Bagpipe Peak to the left and Loch Lomond below.  The final summit push involves some enjoyable Class 2 - 3 scrambling.
We also went up Ben More on the return - it is right there.
Panoramic views - mountains in all directions.
Back at Wind Lake we cooled ourselves off. The air was "close" and it felt like a storm was on it's way but thankfully it never came over us.
Glyn, Kirsty and myself making our way along the side of the lake on our way out. We were 8 hours and 20 minutes to get back to the truck. The ride in the truck takes about 30 minutes each way. We were only a wee bit late for my Birthday dinner! (again)
 I would highly recommend this hike. It is a beautiful unspoiled wilderness area that gives a true perspective of the grand enormity of the Coastal Mountains. To entice, there are plenty of other Scottish named peaks in the area such as Bagpipe, Chanter, Haggis, Ben More, Ben Lui, Avon and Ben Vorlich. The Scottish trail companions completed the experience.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Mount Seymour - Tim Jones Peak

Craig drove down from Kamloops this morning for the weekend. To maximize the Bagging adventures he was picking up Baggers on his way to his Thursday afternoon destination of Mount Seymour. He sent regular updates about his ETA.  He picked me up at the corner of W. Hastings and Bute. I was not dressed like the locals on the street at noon! We continued on to pick up his daughter Carly and son Andy. Craig called this a Bagging miracle to have both his children at the same time on an outdoor adventure. Carly is at University in Montreal so it is a rare occasion they can all do this together. I was honoured to be invited along for the journey. Our destination was second pump on Seymour, Tim Jones Peak.
Nice family photo!
The trail higher up traverses along rocky terrain.
Views back to First Pump that we travelled over.
Andy like the rock that surrounded the trail - he was like a mountain goat running around up there!
Andy found another slab to explore!
Craig and Carly making their way up.
Here's Carly and Andy - their first peak in the Bagger Challenge. Tim Jones Peak which is at 1,425 meters.
Great day out!
I really enjoyed this Thursday afternoon outing with the Moore clan. ;-)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mount Brunswick

Saturday we climbed Mt. Brunswick. This mountain is a summit in the Britannia Range of the North Shore Mountains on the Howe Sound Crest Trail. It is the highest peak on this range at 1,788 m,
5,866 feet. Another peak for the 2014 Bagger Challenge!
We picked Chris up at 6:45 and planned to meet Kirsty and Glyn at 8:00am at the trail head. However, by the time we drove up to the trail head to find no parking available and drove back down to the overflow parking at the school and then a walk back up the was an 8:15 start! Unfortunately the weather was very misty with low clouds but we all agreed to proceed knowing that views may come at a premium on this outing.
  It has to be said that, on a good day, the views are magnificent from Brunswick but sadly, not on this trip! But it was a good workout with good trail companions so the day was well spent. 
It's a steep climb up to 5, 866 feet. Here's Kirsty!
Chris, Glyn and Neil
Kirsty, myself and Chris
OK - must share the photos from the last trip up Mount Brunswick on a clear day. This is Craig and I holding each other up!
The views on the climb up make up for the effort required.
That's the Sea to Sky Highway and Howe Sound below us.
Despite the weather the trail still provided us with a good physical challenge and good trail companions. Happy Trails!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Summertime Activities!

On the Grouse Grind - Neil bought me the shirt at the beginning of the season. It's amazing how many people on the trail think I work for the Grouse Grind, or think they will be given a shirt when they are done. Nope - I tell them they can buy them at the top. The Grouse Grind is a 2.9 kilometre trail up the face of Grouse Mountain. The elevation gain is 2,800 feet (853 meters) with a total number of stairs to now be 2,830.  We've climbed the trails up Grouse Mtn in the last few weeks. They all have the same elevation gain of 853 meters! The BCMC and the Flint and Feather both have less traffic than the Grouse Grind. I think my favourite for the "work-out" is the Grind, my favourite for the steepness and more technical terrain is the Flint and Feather. The BCMC is a great one to avoid the crowds on the Grind at popular times. They are all very good for us!!
I've been enjoying doing at least 2 activities per day this summer. That may include a combination of many things. For example, a Spin Class and a Run or a bike ride and a hike up the Grouse Grind. Some days have had 3 or 4 activities. A Spin Class, Run, Grouse Grind and a TRX Class - now that is the best Summertime Day!
This week Neil and I also did a climb up the Flint and Feather Trail on Grouse with Dave, Chris and Kendall. This is Chris and myself climbing up the Flint and Feather Trail.
The Flint and Feather trail offers a wee bit of rock scrambling near the top which is fun. Here's Chris!
I'm loving my new Rack Attack Bike Rack on my car. From the farm, I can now head out for spontaneous bike rides on my own. The condo has bikes for easy access to the seawall and trails. It's a good summer!
Hope you are enjoying your summertime too!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


It's summertime and wow what a summer it has been! The weather has been fantastic here in the Vancouver area. To make it even better, I have taken the summer off. It's been a great summer...
Plenty of chair time
It's been hot for our canine friends too!
The most consumed fruit of the summer - so refreshing!
I've been tending to the flowers in the garden - looking good! 
Plenty of Barbecues with family and friends.
Keep Calm and Enjoy Summer time!
And I have been training quite well. I've been Spinning, Running, Grouse Grinding, Bagging Peaks, TRX weekly, Riding my bike...all in spectacular summer weather.
Keep Calm and Enjoy Your Summer Time.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Grouse Mountain, Goat Mountain, Little Goat Mountian and Dam Mountain

Saturday morning Neil, Chris, Kendall and I hit the Grouse Mountain Peaks. I always appreciate how close these peaks are to each other. It was a morning outing with lunch at the Chalet.
This is Neil and Chris on Goat - the first Peak of the day.
 On our way to Goat Mountain.
 It has some nice technical sections.
Go Kendall !
My turn! 
Chris, Kendall and I - Neil is up ahead waiting for us for the final climb up Grouse Mountain. The weather here in the Vancouver area has been spectacular. Very warm! Not so great for our canine friends who must keep cool. Happy Bagging!