Chris N. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Both the 250 and 257 buses will take you close to the Baden Powell trailhead near Horseshoe Bay. The 250 will get you closer but is slower and the route is windy (not good if you get car-sick easily). The 257 drops you at the ferry. From here, walk towards the long-term parking lot and follow the sidewalk around to the right. This turns into a trail which takes you to an overpass. Cross over and walk 200 m south to the trailhead. With a fast group of hikers, we made it to the Donut Rock fork in an hour. This trail isn’t as clear as the main one but the only tricky spot is crossing Nelson Creek before the serious climbing starts. Stay low and look for the trail heading straight up after the second branch of the stream. The trail is well marked from here and steep. We encountered snow patches at 920 m and continuous snow at 980 m. The snow was reasonably firm and neither snowshoes or microspikes were needed. Donut Rock was reached in 2.5 hours from the trailhead. From here, we continued up to reach the junction with the main trail and headed south to Eagle Bluffs (much better views than Donut Rock). There’s no snow from the bluffs all the way down the main trail. Flagging on the boulder field was patchy – just head straight down. Return time to the ferry was under 7 hours including 2 hours of lounging at viewpoints.”
Perry K. at Whyte Lake:
“Seven of us enjoyed a 3 hour hike in the drizzle on April 8th doing the Whyte Lake Circuit in West Vancouver. We had lunch at Whyte Lake and then continued down the Baden Powell Trail eventually getting back to our cars at the Glen Eagles Community Centre. Much disappointment ensued when we discovered the hot chocolate cafe at the Community Centre was closed. We made up for it though by finding a very good cafe on Lonsdale in North Vancouver.”
Colleen C. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Glorious day to be on a mountain – spring is certainly upon us!
The air was cool through the forest on the way up, keeping the sweat at bay, but was balmy on top. No biting bugs out yet so we basked comfortably in the sun enjoying the views of the tankers, islands, ferries, and several eagles & ravens gliding in the thermals. Lots of grouse are out, and we saw a snail!
There were only tiny patches of snow in a few sheltered spots at the bluffs (just enough for snowballs but you had to work at it). We met one person who had come from the Cypress side, she reported little snow and just wore boots. That said, there are recent reports of heavy snow on other North Shore peaks, so do your best to get current info and be prepared. Spring can be capricious!
This was my first time doing this hike by transit and it worked out well. Take the 250 or 257 to the overpass just before descending into Horseshoe Bay. From there it’s a careful crossing of Horseshoe Bay Dr and short walk back to the Black Mountain trailhead.”
Colleen C. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Maybe it’s because I’ve spent a lot of time lately in snowy mountains, but the greens of the forest here seemed particularly vibrant.
We did, quite suddenly, hit snow at about 750 m (where the boulder fields start). We continued up another 50 m or so but it was a bit of a slog moving up through knee-deep moist snow on top of loose rocks so we found a lunch spot (nice views of Horseshoe Bay and the islands) and then headed back down.
We ended up driving (thanks Susanne!) but this is a good transit hike.”
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!”
Andy G. on Mt Strachan:
“A very peaceful and completely view-free hike on a cloudy day. A bit like the first time I called out this hike ten years ago! No matter – the beauty of the forest and the flowers kept our attention from start to finish. Emily, Janavie and I walked past Yew Lake to pick up the HSCT as far as Strachan Meadows, then Christmas Gully up to the north summit for lunch. From there we went over to the south summit to pick up the trail back down. We took the shortcut near the Hollyburn Giant to save a bit of time. It took us 5.5 hours car-to-car including nearly an hour for lunch.
The trail was snow-free and mostly mud-free, apart from the section between the Baden-Powell trail and the north-side turnoff to Hollyburn. Rocks and roots were slippery after the recent rain, and all the bushes were sopping wet. As were my shorts after a few minutes of hiking through all this…
A surprisingly-large number of flowers were blooming, including sundew, deer cabbage, purple asters, pink heather, white heather, northern starflower, sitka valerian, some very early queen’s cup near Yew Lake (otherwise lots in bud), bunchberry, rosy twistedstalk, coralroot, partridgefoot, lupine, Indian hellebore (just in leaf right now), alaska violets, yellow violets, and various berry bushes. I think that covers it 🙂
Black flies were annoying once on Strachan summit and down through the marshy meadows, but mosquitoes were mostly not a problem – just a few here and there.
All in all, another great day out in the mountains!”
Andrew W. on Hollyburn Peak:
“It was a beautiful day as a party of two headed up Hollyburn Peak for a nice relaxing hike. Snow was scarce with just a dusting of the white stuff at the top, all hard packed down from the rain and freeze-thaw conditions this past week (nowhere near the amount needed for snowshoes.) A little bit of ice in a few places made the trail a little more slippery than usual but on a clear day one could see for miles. A great break from the madness of the malls!”
Stephen H. at the West Knob:
“Sunday’s forecast-as-rainy day ended up being the perfect somewhat-sunny day. Angela, Svetlana, Nuria, Rebecca, Eugene, and Rasham joined me for a satisfying hike on the Whyte Lake, B-P, and Donut Rock trails to this viewpoint on lower Black Mountain. Views were enjoyed, mushrooms identified, and riddles solved. Trail junctions were easily spotted, though not necessarily well signed.”
Tu Loan cycling up to Cypress Bowl:
“Emeric L. joined TLT in her third callout of the Triple Crown series. Because he had already ridden the ridiculous hill along 15th street as part of his commuting regiment, they started at the bottom of Cypress. After consolidating gear and discussing the water situation, as they both anticipated a hot and thirsty ride up the mountain, the peloton of two made their way up the mountain.
The trees provided ample shade much to the delight of the riders. Good conversation was to be had as Emeric imparted some much appreciated wisdom regarding race preparation. TLT soaked it in as she had 5 days to prep for a big race/event that she hadn’t been thinking much about. “Breathe from the stomach. Set your intentions. Visualize. Meditate.” The ride up was a great place to practice TLT’s breathing. Later, she figured it was a great strategy for Emeric to not have to listen to her talk!
The ride was definitely less daunting than anticipated (as predicted in the callout). At the 11 km mark, with TLT’s insistence, Emeric channeled his TDF French roots and blasted the last 4 km to the top. Literally. He blasted! TLT believed she heard a sonic boom. With him gone, she was able to set her intentions of consuming a cold beverage after the ride, visualize the pizza she was going to order, and breathe in the hot melting cheese. She figured the food-induced coma will help with her meditation. Emeric came back to pick her up and together they reached the chalet where they were greeted with much enthusiasm by mosquitoes. A quick picture was taken before they flew down the mountain.
Post-ride refreshments were enoyed at the Tap House in Park Royal. TLT had her pizza and beer just as she intended.
Thank you Emeric for another great ride! Now that TLT’s ridden all three local mountains, she will be looking to climb them all in one day! Look out for that callout!”
Stephen H. on Hollyburn:
“Mary, Dave, Ida, Ivy, and I headed up to Hollyburn Mountain on Sunday. The 8 a.m. meet time proved to be a good idea, as the parking lot and trail were to get crowded later. Anyhow, we enjoyed some great snow and mountain views. On the way down, we bashed through some powder and did a few butt slides. Perfect day.”