Monthly Archives: December 2011

Solstice cycling 21/12/11

Steve’s Solstice bike ride:
“Close to a dozen signed up for this trip and I’m going to call it a success. Completely foreign to any other callout I’ve ever done (being urban, and so low key in terms of athletic effort), it was a great thing to do on a weeknight. A few of us had lights on our bikes and helmets (mine here: but I think any future incarnation of this event requires far more effort on that front! We turned a few heads, but we could have turned more.

The convoy set off from Wall Centre and St. Pauls and hit a variety of sites including: the Woodwards displays, Lost Lagoon Tree, the willow on Pacific and more. We ended our ride with snacks and hot chocolate at Bridges.

We had a perfect night of weather and to top off that the Solstice events at the Roundhouse, Olympic Village, and Granville Island really upped the entertainment factor. That being said, I wonder if the ride could have been equally as enjoyable on a different night, freeing us up to actually spend more time at each of the False Creek (or elsewhere) Solstice festivities and the ride could have stood on its own.”

Mt St Benedict 18/12/11

Irina on Mount St. Benedict:
“This last minute trip only found three participants as we got out for a hike, hoping the forecast will be correct and it actually clears up in the afternoon. No such luck, just the teasing blue patches of sky running above our heads.

Gravel road, albeit with some pot holes, is in good condition for a 2wd. Took us less time than expected to get to the top, only 3 hrs: lack of snow over the last 2 weeks and only 5 cm of fresh powder from the night before meant that the trail was fairy well consolidated. It appears to be quite a popular place, and the existing track sure made our hike a lot easier. Boots to the lake, snowshoes from the lake to the summit and crampons for the way back (some portions of the trail between the summit and the lake are quite steep). Logging road is a running stream but one can still find dry rocks/low water to not soak the boots. Must be a nightmare during the spring melt.

Contemplated going to the nearby North summit (McKay Peak) but none of us were much motivated given low visibility. Good day nonetheless, as at least it didn’t rain or snow on us and we were treated to warm temperatures and lack of wind. A bit too long of a drive for such a short hike and no views, though. Trip report and photos on LiveTrails.”

Evgeny at the lake pano

Elfin Lakes 04/12/11

Dan at Elfin Lakes:
“Eight of us headed out bright and early to Squamish and drove up Mamquam & Garibaldi Park Roads to the Diamond Head Trail parking lot. We had a 4×4 with 2 set of chains and a 2wd truck with one set of chains – both made it up easily with no traction issues.

Blessed with recent dumps of fresh snow in late November, we put on our snowshoes right away. 1:15 later we were at Red Heather Shelter basking in the warm winter sun. The winter route to Paul Ridge was well-trodden and there were many groups of AT skiers – and only one snowshoe group – that we hiked past on the way up.

Countless photos and 3 hours later we started descending on to Elfin Lakes. Both lakes were solidly frozen – early by normal standards. There were easily 3-4 metres of snow at the shelter. Surprisinigly, only a couple of parties remained and it was fairly quiet inside. We lingered for an hour, soaking in the warm sun, and made our way back. Headlamps were used only for the last 45 minutes. And we treated ourselves to a great meal at the Shady Tree after, conjuring up next week’s adventure at the Musical Bumps.”