Cheakamus River – Whistler Bungee Bridge – Brandywine Falls

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Cheakamus River (until the bridge)
Elevation : Not a lot… some up and downs
4km round-trip, 2hrs
2hrs from Vancouver

We did this trail in February and didn’t get too much snow on the trail. Just needed some little crampons at some areas as it was slippery but, nothing that can’t be done only with boots. Easy trail for a relaxing time outside.

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Bungee Bridge
Elevation : minimal
6km round-trip, 2-3h (depending how long you end up watching the people jumping…)
2hrs from Vancouver

Some part of the trail were a little bit hard to follow as it wasn’t well marked. We followed the previous footprints in the snow and ended up at the right place (markers not really close to each other in some areas.. maybe better during the summer). Easy trail, and easy access from the highway.

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Brandywine Falls… we stopped there on our way back from the Bungee Bridge. Worth the stop but not what I would call a ‘hike’ or a ‘trail’.

Hollyburn Peak – Cypress Mtn

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Elevation : 400m
8km round-trip, 4hrs
40min from Vancouver

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I have a love/hate relationship with this trail… I have done it a few times already, but for the first time ┬áthis year have I had a beautiful view at the top. Often right in the middle of the clouds… It is a good training as the trail is steep all the way to the top. And don’t get fooled ; there is 3 last steep slopes at the end before you reach the top. Great views of the Lions and Howe Sound if you are on a great day!

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Mt Seymour – 1st peak

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Elevation : 450m
10km, 4h
45min from Vancouver

This is definitively my favorite snowshoe trail on the North Shore. If you only want a short hike you can stop at Brockton point on the way (the view point in front of the chairlifts) up and come back down. On a clear day, I would totally recommend to go up the first peak. Be aware that you are in backcountry and avalanche terrain. You should NOT leave the marked trail unless you have proper avalanche safety gear and proper training. Avoid entering the area when the avalanche risk is high!

The views are amazing and the effort considerable. A good training but short enough to be done in half a day and back home for other adventures !

Campbell Lake – Harrison

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Elevation : 700m
9km, 5-6h
2hrs from Vancouver

Early morning, leaving Vancouver at 7am and heading to Harrison Lake to do a nice hike with a friend. Campbell Lake trail (also called the Harrison Grind…… although it has nothing to do with our Grouse Grind…) is a nice 5-6h trail that offers a lot of different terrain. We took 6h for the round-trip up to the lake on Agassiz Mountain ; April 1st 2013, there was a lot (and I mean… A LOT) of fallen trees on the trail, which slowed us down a lot.

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At that time we got forest, bushes, crossing over and under fallen trees, icy snow, slushy snow and mud, on a sunny day, and followed by the first gelato of the year on Harrison Lake’s dock.

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Mount Baker Backcountry

Mount Baker Backcountry - Table Mountain Circuit

This picture was taken in March 2013. I am enjoying my hot chocolate in Mount Baker Backcountry with a group of skiers/splitboarders/snowshoers. The peak in the middle is Baker summit. One day, I’ll be going there, even closer. But for now… I’m off to practice my snowboarding skills!

We had the chance to have 3 amazing days in the backcountry, and stay at the Mounaineers Lodge on Mt. Baker. It is a great volunteered-based lodge where everybody has to sign up for a duty for the week-end.

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On the first day we attempted to get to Shuksan Arm but we had to turn around because of the bad weather and low visibility.

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On the second day, we totally lucked out… We did the Table Mountain Circuit in a deep powdery snow… Sunscreen mandatory!
7hrs snowshoe, elevation gain : I would just say : going up and down, up and down, up and down…

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This 3 days trip with a group of complete strangers just reminded me of summer camps… And I was hooked again (as if I ever stopped anyway…). I decided to get going and get outdoor as much as I can in the next few months. Hopefully my next months/years will be spent in the backcountry even more !

*** Avalanche safety kit, including Beacon, shovel and probe mandatory for this trip… Real backcountry = emergency teams not always able to come for rescues… you are on your own out there! Make sure you are ready! ***