Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Whistler Mountaineer at Brandywine Falls July 19, 2009

A little over a week ago I took a drive up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler to check out the status of the highway improvement project which is mostly finished and to stop at a couple of the scenic attractions along the way - My first stop was a Brandywine Falls where I did the short five minute walk to the Falls - the water was flowing pretty good as you see in these two photos.

Returning back to the trailhead I thought I heard a train engine - figured it would just be a CN freight but lo and behold it was the Whistler Mountaineer heading north to Whistler - it slows to a crawl at the Falls and with lots of people on the trail - the conductor actually called out for us to wave and say hi to the people on the train which we did. The photos tell the rest of the story.

After the train left I walked a short walk into Swim Lake and then back to the truck and lunch at Whistler - drove into the Olympic Winter Park in the Callaghan Valley on the way back - tried to reach both Callaghan and Madegley Lakes but wasn't in the mood to nurse the truck over some of the potholes and water bars so instead settled on checking out Alexander Falls and then home.

A light show to remember - July 25, 2009

Saturday night was our second fireworks competition night with South Africa - a new participant providing the entertainment - but Mother Nature must have been a little jealous as she decided to put on a show as well - the weather has been hot and humid and a thunderstorm was a possibility but we got more than a few clasps of thunder, sheets of lightning and some heavy rain.

We got one of the most intense storms seen in this part of the country in living memory - some how they were able to have the fireworks while the storm raged.

I started with a little light rain just as I was walking from from dinner at Moxies on Davie and intensified as the evening progressed - it also created a rather spectacular looking sunset - the thick black clouds, a setting sun radiating off the downtown towers - first photo below and then I went out to our rooftop terrace to catch the rest of the sunset - pictures were taken without a tripod so they aren't the best but hopefully they do convey a small sense of what the scene was like on Saturday night.

Oh the fireworks was great too - one of the other owners brought a radio out onto the deck so we could enjoy the music that accompanies the fireworks.
Next show is scheduled for 10PM tomorrow night - it will be the last one that I will be able to watch as I will be leaving for Banff and the Skyliners hiking trip later in the week.

Hike to Cabin Lake and Black Mountain Summit July 25, 2009

Needing to get in some quality hiking before I head for the Rockies in a week's time and also having a couple of other events on tap for today I decide to head over to Cypress Provincial Park and do the Cabin Lake - Black Mountain summit trail - the trail to the top has been altered by ski resort expansion - it is now a much shorter but steeper trail - it only took me about 45 minutes to reach the lake - the trail is hard surface gravel and is well marked - only met a couple of other hikers coming down - it was still early in the day when I started - about 9:30AM but already the temperature was well in the high 20's - one couple remarked about looking out for the skinny dippers at the Lake - the lake is popular with the pure au naturel types - except there wasn't anybody at the Lake.

You get some great views on the way up - across to the Bowl to Strachan, the Lions and up Howe Sound and the massif of Garibaldi at Squamish.

The lake itself is quite charming and peaceful - the opposite shore is where the naturalists usually sun tan - judging by the amount of people I met while hiking down the trail I am sure that some where going to do just that.

After you reach the Lake it is only a short five minute walk to the Summit of Black Mt - here there are more great views in all directions - from Black you can continue west across a short plateau to Eagle Bluffs and then down to Horseshoe Bay - you can also loop around Black Mt and rejoin the new trail just before Cabin Lake. I opted to return the same way.

Yes there is a bit of a flower show on the Mountain - it is alpine terrain after all - here's a few of the flowers that I noticed on the hike.

I was finished up and off the mountain before noon - had a quick lunch at McDonalds at Park Royal and then home to take in event #2 for the day. The Granville Street Party and a preview of the new Vancouver Center Rapid Transit station and one of the new trains that will run on that line.
Later in the evening it was supper with Jim and then home for the fireworks and quite the show it was. In addition to the regular fireworks mother nature presented us with one of the most spectacular thunder and lightning shows seen in these parts in years.
More on than in a separate post.