Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Baden Powell - Part 2

Baden Powell Trail - Cypress Mountain to Grouse Mountain (Cleveland Dam)

I really outsmarted myself on this one. I didn't plan this or think about this beforehand (not sure why), but this is all downhill. Nice. Start at the top of Cypress and end up at the neighbourhoods on the way up to Grouse mountain. Probably about an 800 metre loss of altitude. That's why it was so hard going the other way the last time I did this leg.

Cross country trail in the summer
The trail starts close to Hollyburn lodge, and takes a nice run part way up Hollyburn mountain where it joins the cross country ski trails. It's a bit strange, as you could probably start at the cross country parking lot, but that would be cheating.

It's funny walking the cross country trails that we skied so many times with the kids when they were young. The hills look so small. They seemed so much bigger then.

After leaving the Cypress area, stopped off to see a few lakes just off the trail: West lake, and Blue Gentian lake (I loved the name, but the lake didn't quite live up to it).

Blue Gentian lake
West lake. Sign for a different season.

After the lakes, there's a long slow descend going east. There seem to be a number of other access points to this trail. One of them being the 'Crossover Trail'. Someone has built a little bridge there using the old technique of splitting cedar into planks, rather than sawing. Good to see.

Not too far from here, the trail joins with the Cross Canada Trail, and pretty much follows the power lines east to Capilano Road. However, there are some interesting points. I remember the following steps from a previous hike.
On the left, from Nov 2017. On the right, this trip.

The trail passes through what I think of as 'old second growth'. The forest is uniform, definitely not the mixed bag you'll find in an untouched forest, with what look like 80-100 year old Douglas Fir. Maybe the old growth was logged 100 years ago and tree-planted not too long after?  It's an eerie feeling, almost an optical illusion when you first come across it.

Eventually the trail enters upper parts of North Vancouver, crossing paved roads, and edging along the back yards of houses, eventually ending up at Cleveland Dam.

Oct 12, 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Baden Powell - Part 1

Finally finished the Baden Powell trail. This instalment was Horseshoe Bay to Cypress mountain: 12km.
(However, I decided to treat this end of round one as also the start of round 2, hence the 'Part 1')
I like this view. The leftovers from a bridge construction.

Started from Horseshoe Bay, past Whyte lake, beautiful trail, except for the boulder field (markings bad, up and to the right!), then a bit of a scramble up to Eagle Bluffs.

I had hiked to the Bluffs before (coming the other way), and couldn't find the way down the other side. Now I know why. No markings when you come out of the bush. You just have to trust that going up, finding your own path, is going to work.

Then on to Cabin Lake, via Black mountain. The lake was gorgeous, nice and clear. A bit too chilly for a dip though.

The trail down from the lake is disappointing, gravel switchbacks. Probably much nicer in winter on snow shoes. But, a nice array of mushrooms...

Hitched a ride down from Cypress (no buses!) with an Australian quad from Wollongong. They were sightseeing, so did some tour guide schtick for them. I'm sure they liked it...
Caught a bus right into Vancouver. It's always nice when the transit option uses the HOV ace and bypasses traffic, especially when it's the Lion's Gate bridge.
My phone had died (trying out new GPS trail tracking app that eviscerates the battery), and I hadn't checked in with base camp(Jane) yet, so tried to find a pay phone. No go. They are all gone. All gone...
Asked the Skytrain police about pay phones. They shook their heads. I told them why I needed to call (check in with base camp). The young lad knew immediately what I meant (must have been a hiker). He opened a compartment so I could use their private phone. Nice.
Great day: nice weather, beautiful trail, nice people jumping at the chance help.

Oct 10, 2018

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