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" Dream. Commit. Succeed. "

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Table Mountain and Artist Point, Mt. Baker, WA, USA

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Distance from Vancouver: 2h45 plus border time
From Artist Point to Table Moutain round-trip: 2hrs, 3.2km round-trip
Elevation gain: roughly 200m

On our fourth day, we finally started to see the sun clearing out of the heavy clouds. Mt. Shuksan and Baker were just teasing us slowly by revealing the views of the glaciers, the peaks and the valleys we have been walking in for a few days without really catching a glimpse of.

With a few hours of sunlight left, we decided to hike up to Table Mountain first. The trail is mainly flat at first, and then goes up in zig-zags all the way to the top of the mountain. Take your time and enjoy the view.

We really took our time to explore and walk around on the top of the mountain. It is worth going around and try to see from both sides of the mountain, as the views vary greatly. You will also see the Chain Lakes Loop trail at the bottom, both on the long ridge heading to Ptarmigan Ridge trail intersection, but in the valley heading up to Herman Saddle too.

The trail is really well marked up to the top, however after you have many small trails going around to different rock areas to explore. We also had our lunch with nice hot chocolate at the top to relax and enjoy the views.

From the top you can also see the parking lot at Artist Point, as well as the shorter and flatter trail heading to Artist Point  itself. You come back the same way you went up and reach back the parking lot quite quickly.

Artist Point Trail:
From Artist Point parking lot round-trip: 30min,  2.0km round-trip
Elevation loss: roughly 60m

We went back down and followed the Artist Point trail, to have a chance to look back on Table Mountain, one of the most iconic in the area for me. It has such a different and special landscape to it…

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This is the only (and first) view of Mt. Baker we had that day! Work your imagination!

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This is heading towards Mt. Shusksan:

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At the end of our exploration day from the parking lot, we headed back down to sleep at the first car camping spot we could find. We stopped at Silver Fir on the main road (16$ US for one night) and had a nice little private spot with our own beach near the river. It was a perfect little area to relax before our last big day hike the morning after.

 

 

 

Chain Lakes Loop, Mt. Baker, WA, USA

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Distance from Vancouver: 2h45 plus border time
From Artist Point to Mazama Lake round-trip: 2hrs, 6.4km round-trip
Elevation loss: roughly 200m

For our second day in Mt. Baker area, we decided to head to Chain Lakes for camping. We knew from the Glacier visitor center that the weather wasn’t good for the next 2 days, but we wanted to try to get something out of these few days off in the area. We figured it would be a nice area to camp at, and as we were only about 1h away from the parking, we could always get out quickly if the weather got quite ugly. In this area you will have to pay 5$ US per day to park and visit the park during the day. Make sure you show your proof of payment in your car before heading out!

And so we went – we drove all the way up to Artist Point in the Mt. Baker area. From there we followed the main indications towards Chain Lakes Loop. We did not hike the entire loop, although I have done it a few years ago on snowshoes. After one mile on a pretty steep traverse (the trail itself is quite flat), follow the sign on the right towards the Chain Lakes trail. Continue reading “Chain Lakes Loop, Mt. Baker, WA, USA”

Nooksack Crique Trail, Mt. Baker/North Cascade, WA, USA

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Distance from Vancouver: 2h30 plus border time
3-4hrs, roughly 11km round-trip
Elevation gain: 195m

Back to Canada and ready to keep exploring, I decided to spent my last week of my 7 months trip/vacations very close-by. We planned a nice 5 days trip to the North Cascades and Mount Baker area in Washington state. Because we were both a bit injured and wanted to relax during the week, we opted for a flexible itinerary that would allow us to go back to the car every 1-2 nights. Lighter backpacks also means more games to carry for rainy days!

We crossed at Sumas crossing through Abbotsford early on our first day and stopped at the IGA and the liquor store right after the border. From there, there is another 45min drive to the Glacier visitor center. I strongly recommend stopping to check on updated conditions about the trails and the roads.

Weather wasn’t quite on our side at that time, so we had a long 30min chat with the park ranger to discuss various possibilities of trails and camping spots for a rainy day. We decided to start in the valley instead of going up in the Mt. Baker alpine area. We knew the rain would come in early in the evening, so we chose to hike the Nooksack Cirque Trail, which follows the river on a pretty flat and covered trail. Continue reading “Nooksack Crique Trail, Mt. Baker/North Cascade, WA, USA”

Iceberg Lake and Skywalk South, Whistler, BC

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Distance from Vancouver: 2hrs
6-8hrs, 18.5km loop
Elevation gain: roughly 1100m, depending on starting point

I have been dreaming of hiking this trail for the last year or so, when my friend first told me about it. It has been created by tons of volunteers of the area and was meant to offer a great alpine experience to hikers in the Whistler area. The trail was opened very recently and was designed to link with other pre-existing trails, creating a network of trails that gives you tons of choices once in the mountain.

Because the trail is relatively new, there wasn’t a whole lot of information online about the different trail possibilities. For example, I found that most of the information would refer to Skywalk Trail, but really were indications of how to get to Iceberg Lake, without really being ‘on’ the Skywalk trail itself. The trailheads for the actual Skywalk North and South trails are located up in the meadows near Iceberg Lake on Rainbow Mountain. Continue reading “Iceberg Lake and Skywalk South, Whistler, BC”

Things We Never Talk About

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I have been keeping track of some things happening during my trip and thought it was time to share them. Because there isn’t always just the nice photos moments…

List of funny moments we never talk about:

– “lost” my only pair of short and my favorite travel skirt (which I had for over 10 years) when doing laundry in a laundromat during my first week in Argentina

– repaired my jeans 2 times

– ate so much meat I didn’t fit in them anymore.

– bought new jeans. Button broke after 1 week. Repaired jeans.

– zipper of my light rain jacket pocket broke

– my goretex jacket waterproofing is dying (time to test Marmot’s warranty) Continue reading “Things We Never Talk About”

Mount Seymour, Vancouver, BC

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Elevation : 450m
9km, 5h
45min from Vancouver

And here I am – back home in Vancouver after 6 months on the road. It didn’t take me long before I headed straight up in the mountains to enjoy our local views again. Strangely, I realized I had never done detailed trip report about hiking Mount Seymour, one of our most popular local mountain (and my personal favorite in town) even though I have been up there how-do-know-how-many-times (Read about it here, or here, or even here! Bonus – this time we also had a lovely encounter on the trail… Remember not to get closer to the animals, and leave no trace (as any type of garbage or food left behind will attract them and contribute to how they get used to humans, which is a danger for us and for them).

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The drive up to Mount Seymour recreation area is quite simple and can be done quickly when the traffic gods are on your side. It was a very warm week-end in Vancouver, but we headed up around noon. The trailhead is located at the far end of the parking lot (passed the Washrooms and all the buildings) on the right. You will see the ski runs and one of the lifts – follow the Mount Seymour Main Trail on the left hand side. You will go away from the ski run in the forest and start heading up.

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Continue reading “Mount Seymour, Vancouver, BC”

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