Monthly Archives: January 2012

Betty White: “it’s where my soul lives”

This is what it’s all about:

My Dad gave my brothers and sister the gift that Betty talks about in this video for the Wilderness Society.

Thanks Dad.

Now it’s my turn….
BTW…you can comment (or read comments) on these posts by hitting the “comment” button below.
We’ve had our first comment by Brian Jones of Canada West Mountain School in regard to our post about AST-1 training!

AST-1: Anyone interested?

Are you heading into the backcountry this winter?

Garibaldi Provincial Park (Diamond Head area). January 28, 2012

Canada West Mountain School is offering 2-day AST-1 courses for snowshoers:

“Avalanche safety skills for those who travel in the backcountry on snowshoes.

This course is specifically designed to address the needs of recreational snowshoers who want to ensure they are staying safe in the backcountry.

One theory session is held on the morning of Day-1, followed by a field session in the afternoon.

On Day-2, you will head to a different location for further field training and practice, followed by a final wrap-up theory session.”

The courses are offered at Mount Seymour and cost $210.

If you are interested in joining me on one of these courses, let me know.

The next available dates are:  February 4-5 or 18-19 or March 3-4 or 17-18.

If you really need a reason for taking such a course, check out these frightening videos (especially the second one):

For more information, please check:

Garibaldi Provincial Park Snowshoe Recon Trip

Well, that was fun…

We did a trip up to Garibaldi Provincial Park and checked out the road conditions up to the trail head.  The road up from Brackendale (just north of Squamish) was well packed and mostly sanded.  Four-wheel drive was all we needed until we got to a section where a sign indicated that chains were mandatory (steeper and unsanded).  Not having chains, we parked at the chain-up area along with quite a few other cars and walked the last 3 kilometres of road to the trail head.  Note to self:  buy chains before next weekend’s trip!

Once at the trail head (where all the clever ones with chains had parked), we  put on our snowshoes and headed up the mountain.  The trail was great and plenty of backcountry AT skiers, splitboarders and snowshoers were coming and going – all having a great time .

We didn’t have time to get too high up before having to turn around and head back down the mountain.

Next Saturday we will get up to Red Heather shelter and maybe even Elfin Lake!

BTW…we found that Valhalla Pure Outfitters (right near the main intersection into Squamish) rents
MSR Evo Ascent showshoes for only $10 a day!

Anyone that wants to come next time…just give a holler.

Who wants to do some snowshoe day trips?

If anyone is interested in coming along for some day snowshoe trips into Garibaldi Park, let me know.

We’re looking at going out tomorrow and again on February 4, 11 & 25.

We’ll probably hit the trail into the Diamond Head area tomorrow.  Nothing too aggressive, just a recon and conditioning trip.

We’ll probably leave around 9 or 10 am and be back by dinner time at the latest.

For the moment, you will need your own gear.

FYI:  Vertical Reality Sports in Squamish rents snowshoes for $13/day
(604-982-8248 – ask for Pat or Donna).

Here’s the latest copy of the trail report for this area:

Garibaldi Trail Report – January 25, 2012

Lookie what I found…

Well, look what found their way into my briefcase at the NSA Group Commissioners’ meeting on Tuesday night (10 sets to be precise).

But you still have to earn them!

Thanks Ralph!


October 16, 2011:     Black Mountain  Done → Scouters Jody & Maciej with Scouts Wojtek, Simon & Conner.  

DEAL ALERT: MSR Snowshoes 20-40% Off at REI

MSR 22" Evo Ascents

Hi all:

I just noticed that REI has MSR snowshoes on sale for 20-40% off.

This is a great deal for anyone in the market for an excellent pair of snowshoes.



UPDATE:  Feb. 13, 2012 – Wow….all the “Evos” and “Ascents” are gone!

Joffre: November vs January Snow Levels

Mother Nature sure was busy at Joffre Lake Provincial Park since our last camp up there in November.

To see the difference in the snow level at our campsite at Lower Joffre Lake, compare the two photos below of the branchless tree stump that sits at the back of the main camping area (yeah, it’s that little knob in the foreground of the picture on the right).  There was about 3-4 feet of snow on the ground in November and another 3-4 feet of fresh pow on top of that during our second trip.

Snowshoes are going to be mandatory for all our future backcountry camps.

November 19, 2011

January 22, 2012

UPDATE:  Well, as of February 17, 2012…..the stump is basically covered by the accumulated snowfall:

See you in the Spring, Stumpy!

Joffre Lake Winter Camp II

January 21-22, 2012

Since last fall when we heard that there was to be a  North Shore Area Winter Camporee at the Cal-Cheak forest service camp just south of Whistler scheduled for this weekend, our troop had been looking forward to getting out in the snow with other scouts from our area.  Unfortunately, that camp failed to materialize.

We planned an alternative two night camp for Mount Seymour only to have the weather turn on us; the freezing level raised above the height of all of the north shore mountains and heavy rain was forecast.

Not to worry, Joffre Lake Provincial Park is always ready to greet us with perfect snow conditions!

Unfortunately, as the weekend came near, many of the troop were struck by illnesses and some had conflicts with their commitments.

In the end, Scouter Jason and I decided to head up Saturday morning with Scouts Simon and Max for an overnighter.  The normal almost three-hour drive up to Joffre took nearly five hours that day due to the traffic mayhem caused by the overnight storm on the Sea to Sky highway.

We were rewarded for our perseverance, however, with perfect conditions!  Mild (-5° c degree average) temperatures, loads of fresh powder snow and blue skies above the mountains greeted us upon our arrival.  On Saturday night, the skies cleared totally and we extinguished our headlamps to witness a fantastic night sky above the mountains accented by shooting stars.

Simon and I had new MSR mountaineering snowshoes to making trail blazing and campsite stomping a much more efficient exercise (totally needed with the nearly 4 feet of powder snow that had fallen on our campsite since our last visit in November).  Even with 30″ snowshoes on, I sometimes found myself sinking up to my knees in the fresh pow.

Our only complaint was that we didn’t have a second night to enjoy our campsite and the chance to hike higher up into the mountains.

Oh well, that’s what next time is for…

Note:  Click on a picture to start a full screen carousel slide show with captions.


Monthly Night Hike III

January 10, 2012

Sometimes you have to change your plans when conditions change.

After checking the weather forecast this morning, I did just that.  The forecast called for totally clear skies over the North Shore for the evening and I already knew that we had a full moon this week.  That was enough to put out the call to the troop:  scratch the regular meeting in the church – it’s time for our monthly night hike on Cypress!

We had perfect conditions and everyone really enjoyed our moonlit tour of Cypress.  The biggest change since the last time we did this was the addition of all the night lighting and trail grooming for the cross-country skiers.  We had to walk single file along the edge of the trails that we were used to being the sole users of at that time of night.  Not tonight though.  Dozens and dozens of skiers zoomed by us as we hiked along.  Many were participating in an organized race.

We stopped at the Upper Warming Hut as usual and enjoyed a short break before heading back down the mountain into the bright lights of the Cypress Nordic Ski Area and then home.

Note:  Click on the first picture to start a full screen carousel slide show of the pictures with captions.


Welcome to 2012!

Simon & Tavish having fun working at the West Van Christmas tree lot to raise money for our group.

It’s the start of a new year and there are many fun adventures waiting for us.

Let’s remember to play safe and have fun out there!

Thanks to all our Scouts and their parents for helping out at the West Van Scouts’ Christmas tree lot during December.

I hope Santa brought everyone some excellent outdoor gear for Christmas or Hanukkah!

There’s a full moon tonight and the weather forecast is for clear skies.  This is the perfect night for our monthly night hike on Cypress!  I think I will try  out the new trekking poles Santa brought me for Christmas.


You might notice that I’ve changed some of the formatting of our website.

I’ve made the front page a “static page” (it was originally formatted to be the blog page of the site) and I’ve also created a drop down menu for “Our Adventures” to be the new home of all of the photos and stories from our ongoing activities (i.e., I’ve formatted it to be the blog page on the site now).

By clicking on “Our Adventure Blog!” you are presented with the blog format that you are reading now of our activities from today onward.

To access last year’s posts, simply click on the first item in the drop down menu: “Archive: 2011 (Sept.-Dec.)”.   Similarly, to access the previous years’ posts, click the second item in the drop down menu: “Archive: 2010-11“.

As always, this is an ongoing  experiment to learn how to create and run a web site and blog for our group.  There’s going to be a few stumbles along the way but hopefully the end result will be a good resource for the Scouting community.

UPDATE: April 23, 2012 – I’ve now moved all of the original 2011-2012 posts over to the new Blog format so the old “Archive: 2011” item on the drop-down menu has been removed.  Accordingly, please disregard the line starting with “To access last year’s posts…” above.

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