Monthly Archives: January 2016

Deroche Mountain, 31 Jan 2016

Colleen C. on Deroche Mountain:
“Four snowshoers
Eight cookies
Fifty-four waterbars
Two lakes
Wait, how many waterbars?!

Yes, that’s right FIFTY-FOUR waterbars on this hike! I’ve never seen so many or some so deep on a relatively short stretch of logging road – and as a born and raised BCer, I’ve seen a lot of waterbars in my life.

I’d been warned about these so-called “monster waterbars” but brushed it off as an exaggeration by folks who perhaps didn’t have much experience about how BC deactivates its logging roads. Well, crow eaten. And let me tell you that’s tough for a crow admiring vegetarian.

That said, I perversely found it great fun, both climbing through them and counting them on the way back. We didn’t make the summit so I’ll be re-visiting this area soon. If anyone happens to go before I can get back, let me know your waterbar count (in my astoundedness maybe I miscounted one or two). Though I’d recommend waiting for a bit more snow or a rather a lot less.

The snow conditions may have made some more tricky than usual, but for this I defined a “waterbar” as a distinct, steep down & up all along the length of the Hanson Creek road. Some were natural creek washouts,
rather than dug out by a mad excavator operator futilely but energetically trying to dig a tunnel to China, but not many.

Cypress Creek, 20 Jan 2016

Jaime A. at Cypress Creek:
“Seven of us headed up to do some snowshoeing on Cypress, led by the fantastic Perry. This was a well-timed trip because the pineapple express hit the next day and ruined all things snow in the North Shore Mountains. The plan was to start on the Baden Powell trail that begins just in behind the first aid hut, cross Cypress Creek and head uphill to have lunch somewhere on the saddle between Hollyburn and Strachan. We headed into the trees and onto some very sucky snow.

The past week’s wet snow/rain had turned anything under the trees into an ugly crust. The spaces pocketed between the trees had soft snow and they were a nice break. It was an awkward mix that was too hard for snowshoes but too fragile a crust for microspikes (we had some hip-deep postholes). Once out of the forest we were all pretty excited about the surreal thickness of the fog, obscuring all but the closest trees, and the perfect snowshoeing conditions of the snow.

We were able to practice our MacGyver skills as we ended up with 2 broken snowshoes and a broken pole along the way, all of which were remedied by some fine teamwork and “10 essentials” supplies.

On the way home we helped dig and push a young fella and his tiny, fancy car (with summer tires) out of the snow that thankfully stopped him 4 feet from a steep plummet down a ravine.

A great trip with a fantastic group of adventurers!”

Rainbow Lake, 3 Jan 2016

Jaime A. at Rainbow Lake:
“Eight of us woke up early and braved the frozen fog morning to head out to Rainbow Lake. The trailhead is found along a residential back road in Whistler just off Alta Rd, very accessible. The icy wind at the trailhead had us and our hands frozen in seconds, but we left it behind as soon as we ducked into the trees. Thanks to the full week of perfect, blue-bird days the trail was hard packed and manageable with boots or micro-spikes up until around 5.5 km, where the trail split into a fork, the left side headed to Madely and the right to Rainbow. The trail thinned out after that and the accidental post-holing increased.

The meadows before the lake were stunning with hoar frost that was bigger and more dramatic than any of us had ever seen. It was also the first bit of sun that we had encountered the entire way so it felt great on our frozen faces. We had a very quick lunch on the sunny lake and had to leave the sun behind to try and make it back to the cars before dark, which we did.

It took us 6.5 hours to do the 16 km snowshoe. Impressive for a group of 8 but it was too cold to stop for breaks! The trail markers were few and far between along here, mostly buried under the snow, but we had a packed trail to guide us. Route-finding here would be straight-forward, but trickier in fresh pow. The lack of sun along this trail puts it onto an overcast hiking list for me but it was a great snowshoe with lots of exploring potential beyond and around Rainbow Lake.”