Monday, May 11, 2009

Conquering DeBecks' Hill - or how a lazy day walk turns into a hiking challenge - Alice Lake Park May 10, 2009

After bike riding on Saturday and with another sunny day forecast I was determined to get out and do some hiking - it was a choice between Teapot Dome at Cultus Lake or DeBeck's Hill at Alice Lake Park - not feeling like a longer drive I chose the latter.

The normal way up DeBeck's is from a trailhead at the far end of the parking lot at Alice Lake Park - it is a 2 KM grind up an old road to a viewpoint with micro-tower and spendid views of the surrounding area and of the Tantalus range to the west - I have done it once before and wanted it more for the views than anything else. The walk up the road was boring and after about 50 minutes I reached the top and that was where my first disappointment occurred - the thin high cloud moving in advance of today's rain was starting to obscure the clear view so the pictures aren't all that clear.

It was while I was up at the top that I found this notice attached to a tree near a shed on the landing and being the adventurer that I am I decided to follow the trail and see where it came out - I was hoping that it might end somewhere along the trail that circles Alice Lake but that was not where it led.

The route was in fairly good shape, was marked with oranges markers and appears to be used somewhat as the path was fairly well defined.

It does provide better views as it hugs the north side of the DeBecks' hill - here you get a good view of the jewel of the area - the massive called Mt Garibaldi.

The route continues to wander through the forest - the trail in places was steep and the ground cover was moss and rock and my footing wasn't that great as I was only wearing my light day hikers - sure glad it wasn't raining as they may be looking for me today because if I had lost my footing I could have injured myself - but I took it easy and where necessary sat on my rear to get down some of the steeper pitches.

You aren't actually that far from civilization as you can hear the traffic buzzing by on the Sea to Sky Highway - after about an hour of delicate hiking I come to a junction and this sign on a tree - it explained a lot about what I just accomplished BUT this junction provided another challenge - the trail went in three directions and by now I was pretty sure where two of them would lead and that was to a new trail that is visible just after you turn off the highway and head for the Alice Lake Park campsite.

But where did the third trail go - it appeared to head uphill but the most important clue for me was the creek that I had just crossed would be the outflow creek from the Lake and I would need to get to the Lake to get back to my truck.

Sure enough after about 5 minutes of hiking up this trail I see the road and follow it back to the campsite and then onto to trailhead parking lot and my truck.

I am still stiff and sore from this hike but it was good exercise - don't know if I would rush back any time soon and it is also unlikely that I would try and hike up the trail.


In others news:

Tomorrow I spend the day working for Elections BC - I expect it to be a long evening what with the vote count and the referundum ballots to count. Assuming that the results are as I think they will be I will head to the Convention Center for the victory party.


Then there is the hockey game tonight - it's win for the Canucks or the season is over - these are two fairly well matched teams so any thing is possible.

Over and out


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