Sunday, May 15, 2016

Vicar Lakes Trail

The alarm went at 5am (it's been awhile since I was up that early!) Team Dodgy, with our ad hoc member Chris met at the Lynn Headwaters park gate to start our journey for the day. We were heading to the Vicar Lakes Trail. 
We started the journey with a 12 km bike ride to the start of the trail. The air was fresh and we were the only folk out there this early on the Seymour Valley Trailway.  Once at the very hidden trail head, we stashed our bikes in the bush. 
Shortly after the start of the trail we came upon these very large first growth cedar trees that are named "The General and The General's Wife." I would guess that these original giants are at least 700 yrs old. That's a longtime to be married! We were all in awe and especially Chris who proclaimed these are the largest trees he has ever seen! Us too - but we have been here previously! But still in awe of these giants in the woods. 
The trail is steep: very steep and so knarley there is always something to grab onto, be it a rope or a tree root. My heart rate was up there. I haven't climbed this steep on a trail so full of obstacles and ascent since last August. We climbed to 1,030 meters (3,471feet) With an elevation gain of 2,629 feet  in 3.5km's. 
We stopped for a bite to eat at Vicar Lakes where we were greeted with snow and very boggy ponds both around and under the snow. It was at this point we decided to turn back down. It is still very early in the year to be among the peaks of Vancouver for us Baggers. Despite the unseasonably warm May temperatures this year, the huge snowpack of the past winter is slow to move. I would guess it will be another month before the alpine is largely snow free. 
The clouds were closing in and we were feeling cold from the mist with our feet being soaking wet. 
The route down can be a bit trickier with it being hard to see your foot placement. Ropes are in place in strategic points which really help. It really is like a climbing gym in the woods - the real thing! 
Once down off the trail we retrieved our bikes and decided to take the Seymour Mainline lower road out which is a bit rougher and perhaps with a few more hills (at least it felt like it on the 12km return trip!). There was lots of evidence of Bears on this route!  Here we are at the Spur 4 bridge where us "Once Upon a Time" fans recognize the spot many scenes from the show were filmed. 
After the final 12km bike ride out we were done! It was an 8 hour day, 2 hours of biking and 6 hours on the trail return. 
This trail is like no other - amazingly challenging terrain. Great outing team Dodgy! Looking forward to the next journey. 

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