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A look-back at the first six months of our Scouting year….in less than four minutes:


2012 Remembrance Day Parade & Ceremony

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2012 Investiture Ceremony on the Chief

This year we held our Investiture Ceremony of our two new Scouts on the second peak of the Stawamus Chief!

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You might also like this….

Before the two new Scouts could be called forward for investiture in our Troop, we first had to perform a ceremony with their parents.You might like this one….

We call it “Busting the Bubblewrap”.

With their sons at their sides holding the flags, I asked the parents if they were prepared for their sons to join our Troop.  I told them that they would have to acknowledge their acceptance of the challenges that such membership would entail for for their boys.  When they responded in the affirmative, I called upon the senior Patrol Leader to “present the bubblewrap”.  He put an 8 inch square piece of bubblewrap (1 inch sized bubbles) at the feet of each parent.  I then called upon the parents to “Bust the Bubblewrap” to signal their willingness for their boys to become Mountaineer Scouts.  The two parents then stomped out every bubble at their feet.  It was hilarious and the Scouts and parents loved it.

Thanks Robin and Jay for being real sports!

Busting the Bubblewrap!


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Here’s the scrambling section of the Stawamus Chief hike recorded on a head-mounted GoPro camera: 

And here’s some video taken from the summit of the Second Peak of the Chief with my Nikon P7700:


Cheakamus Lake Backpacking Camp

September 29 & 30, 2012:

For our first camp of the year we backpacked into Cheakamus Lake just south of Whistler, B.C.

The lake lies in the valley south of the Spearhead Range (including Whistler Mountain) and north of Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Park Rangers told us that there is now a resident pack of wolves up in the alpine region of Singing Pass and the Spearhead Range.  One day we’ll have to head up there and maybe get to see them for ourselves.

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The Year So Far…

Now that the winter camping season is over, let’s do a quick recap of the year so far:


October:          Alice Lake Orientation Camp  (2 nights)
November:      Joffre Lakes Winter Camp I       (1 night)
January:          Joffre Lakes Winter Camp II      (1 night)
February:        Joffre Lakes Winter Camp III    (2 nights)
March:            Joffre Lakes Winter Camp IV      (1 night)
April:              Joffre Lakes Winter Camp V      (2 nights)


October 2:         Sunday Morning Hike @ Alice Lake
October 11:       Night Hike @ Cypress I
October 16:       Baden-Powell Trail Challenge: Part I – Black Mtn.
October 29:       1st Annual Investiture Ceremony on top the Stawamus Chief (1st peak)
November 8:      Night Hike@ Cypress  II
January 10:        Night Hike @ Cypress III
January 28:        Snowshoe Hike @ Garibaldi Park I  – Recon
February 4:        Snowshoe Hike @ Garibaldi Park II – Red Heather Shelter
February 7:        Night Hike @ Cypress IV
February 18:      Snowshoe Hike near Upper Joffre Lake (+ Scout Investiture)
March 6:             Night Hike @ Cypress V
April 14:             Snowshoe Hike to Upper Joffre Lake & Matier Glacier (+ Leader Investiture)

Special Events:

April 3:                Tour of North Shore Rescue’s Operations Centre
November 11:      West Vancouver Remembrance Day Parade
September 10:     North Shore Candlelight Tribute to Veterans

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

We still have a lot to do before the regular season is over.

We’ve got the North Shore Area Camporee next weekend and then one last regular season camp in June.

After that we’ve got the whole summer to look forward to!

Who wants to climb what mountain?

Let’s bag Black Tusk….and what else?

Remember:  Any registered member of Scouts Canada is welcome to join us on any of our activities!

I’m off to an Alpine Club climbing course this weekend at Smoke Bluffs in Squamish….

Everyone play safe and have fun!

Under the Matier Glacier, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. April 14, 2012

What view will you have from your tent this weekend?

There’s less than 19 hours remaining on the countdown timer on the front page of our website!

This will be our third trip up to Joffre this year.

The BC Highways web camera shows plenty of new snow.  Who’s getting excited?

We will be out of cell phone coverage for the weekend but we’ll post photos and stories as soon as we get back!

Last chance: Anyone else want to join us?

Upper Joffre Lake, Joffre Lake Provincial Park, B.C.

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!

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.

Remembrance Day

November 11, 2011

West Vancouver Remembrance Day Ceremony:

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