Grouse Ascent 2015 No. 7

15 07 2015

Route: Grouse Grind

Time: 1:17:46

Number 2 offspring wanted to do the Grind this week instead of our usual BCMC. I was 22 minutes faster than last week’s BCMC time, but I have to say that the Grind was nowhere near as busy as I expected and the recent humidity had been solved by the recent – if brief – rain.

That makes 38 recorded ascents for a total of 32,414 metres. Only 2 more to go for Mt. Aconcogua 🙂

Here’s the whole list:

  1. Mt. Kosciusko, Australia – 7300 feet, 2228 metres – 3 grinds
  2. Vinson Massif, Antactica – 16050 feet, 4892 metres – 6 grinds but need 9 total ( 3 from No.1 above plus the 6 for Vinson)
  3. Mt. Elbrus, Europe – 18510 feet, 5642 metres – 7 grinds, 16 total
  4. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa – 19341 feet, 5895 metres – 7 grinds, 23 total
  5. Mt. McKinley, North America – 20320 feet, 6194 metres – 8 grinds, 31 total
  6. Mt. Aconcogua, South America – 22841 feet, 6961 metres – 9 grinds, 40 total
  7. Mt. Everest, Asia – 29029 feet, 8848 metres – 11 grinds, 51 total




Grouse Ascent 2015 No. 6

10 07 2015

Route: BCMC Trail

Time: 01:39.42

Hardly a stellar time, but an improvement on last week. Still hot and humid – can’t wait for a break in the weather. The smoke from local forest fires is still hanging in the air, but thankfully not noticeable once you’re on the hike and in the trees. The biggest effect was the total lack of view once you’d finished. Normally the lodge offers spectacular views over the surrounding North Shore Mountains and down over Vancouver. This time though – 18% grey everywhere you looked!

I was joined by a friend from work who shot off ahead along with my daughter. I prefer to hike in my own little bubble thinking thoughts, so this wasn’t an issue. I was surprised though when I came across him higher up the trail. It was his first time on the BCMC and had been left behind by my nimble daughter and then taken a wrong turn. He claimed he’d wandered the hillside for 20 minutes before regaining the trail, but I noticed that he failed to pull significantly ahead for the rest of the hike. 😉

Anyway, it was definitely more of a struggle in the humidity, and the easy parking suggested that most people prefered to wait it out until cooler days return.

So – 37 (recorded) ascents for a total of 31,561 metres or 103,547 feet





Grouse Ascent 2015 No. 3

18 06 2015

Route: BCMC Trail

Time: 1:29:15

I was joined by my second offspring this time. The theory being that her fit and youthful physique would somehow encourage me to faster things. Well it did… by 15 seconds. 😦 Those of you who have seen “Run Fat Boy Run” might suggest she equip herself with a spatula next time. The ground was tinder dry compared to last time, but the massive damage from erosion is still plain to see, with exposed roots and deep gouges into the soft peat. It seems that the management company that run the chalet at the top have changed their supplier for baked goods, and my favourite treat of a chai tea latte (extra hot) and a fruit scone had to be modified to substitute a tripleberry crumble slice. The current fruit scones I think are supplied by Home Depot’s building division. The crumble was not much better as it was really just granola, and not crumble per se. Just to top it off, I seemed to have sliced my leg on some errant stump or other on the way up. I wouldn’t say I was focused or “in the zone” or anything, but it is true that I didn’t notice the damage until we’d stopped, at which point it began to sting like buggery. (Though I use the word metaphorically and not from a personal data-point).

QE got an owie

QE got an owie

That’s 34 officially timed ascents (several others were unofficial, out of season – round the fence, etc). That’s the equivalent of 29,002 metres or 95,151 feet (but unfortunately not both). Another 6 to go before I’ve done “Mt. Aconcogua”. Here’s the whole list:

  1. Mt. Kosciusko, Australia – 7300 feet, 2228 metres – 3 grinds
  2. Vinson Massif, Antactica – 16050 feet, 4892 metres – 6 grinds but need 9 total ( 3 from No.1 above plus the 6 for Vinson)
  3. Mt. Elbrus, Europe – 18510 feet, 5642 metres – 7 grinds, 16 total
  4. Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa – 19341 feet, 5895 metres – 7 grinds, 23 total
  5. Mt. McKinley, North America – 20320 feet, 6194 metres – 8 grinds, 31 total
  6. Mt. Aconcogua, South America – 22841 feet, 6961 metres – 9 grinds, 40 total
  7. Mt. Everest, Asia – 29029 feet, 8848 metres – 11 grinds, 51 total




Grouse Ascent 2015 No. 1

18 03 2015

Route: BCMC Trail

Time: 1:25 (unofficial – GG timer not available)

Bunked off work a bit early and got there dead on 5pm. Car-park was empty. So much so, they’d fenced off the overflow car-park altogether. The resort must really be hurting by insisting that the Grouse Grind remain closed “due to current conditions”. For Pete’s sake…

Some community-minded soul had wedged open the gate and a couple with the obligatory large dog were warming up and stretching as I arrived. I’ve suffered a lot less leg cramp on runs since a great friend had recommended this stretching nonsense, so I too began my cursory regime of calf stretches – more for show and to fool myself into thinking it helps. At this point a red-coated Grouse Mountain Resort employee stomped over to the gate and slammed it shut. The lady with the hound asked why, and he grumpily pointed at the many yellow placards loudly declaring that the Grouse Grind is still shut due to “current conditions”. Completely unruffled, the couple descended the steps over the little bridge and began to walk the 15m to the end of the fence to enter via the completely un-gated alternative route. Assuming I would also take this route, I continued my stretching as a couple of Asian ladies approached the gate and called to a bloke on the inside who was still performing his own elaborate pre-Grind regime. He happily opened the gate from the inside and all three of us began our hikes. The ladies were indeed doing the Grouse Grind, but I set off on the BCMC Trail via the BP Trail. After about 20 minutes I was over-taken by the couple with the Cerberus wannabe, so I guess they went a really long way around the fence!

The BCMC is always a lot quieter than the rat race up the Grind, but out of season and close to dusk it was delightfully empty.

Around the 3/4 mark there was a definite shift in the temperature and though there was no low cloud and lovely glimpses of the sun reflecting off Howe Sound through the trees, it was definitely a lot cooler. I was glad I had my MEC fleece jumper in my rucksack, though I didn’t need it until I’d actually got to the top. The “current conditions” were absolutely fine. Admittedly the top 1/4 was still pretty wet from snow melt, but it was perfectly safe, and I imagine the Grind was just the same. I totally support areas being closed off for safety concerns, but this seemed to be nothing more than an economic decision. A bad one at that. Closing the main entrance to the Grouse hikes was dissuading people from hiking up and spending cash at the top. Presumably in the mistaken belief that they’d be forced to pay to ride the gondola instead. Nope – they just stay home.

At the top, I had the best laugh yet. Though the impressive looking chain-linked fence and gate at the bottom seem to deter most people from hiking up (those that can’t be bothered to walk the 15m or so to circumvent this stupidity), at the top, they relied on a particularly large yellow “closed” placard and a single hurdle – like the kind you’d use for crowd control at a public event.

Eastern Fence: Barrier

Yup – that should work! No attempt at all to fence off the myriad of other trails that go down the Grouse though. Bizarre. Sadly, its apparent effectiveness goes to show just how unimaginative most Grouse Grinders really are. They do it for “the time” or whatever, not for the joy of hiking the mountain. Let’s face it, if they did… they’d never choose the Grind. It’s got to be the least scenic hike in BC!

The chalet was empty. Probably no more than 20 people in it. They’d even closed off the main restaurant part. It was a bad ski season this last winter, but by unnecessarily keeping the Grouse hikes closed they must be haemorrhaging money. There was no snow anywhere at the top, except bizarrely for a little bit around the ice rink – presumably shipped in from elsewhere for effect. There were puddles on the rink. Temperature was ~12C today.

I was the only one waiting for the gondola down, and they were making the one girl do everything – check people in and ride shotgun up/down. I asked her if it was individual limousine service this evening, but a handful of others arrived before we actually descended. There was even a couple of kids with their mum – they’d apparently just had a skiing lesson, so I guess the snow blowers installed for the 2010 Winter Olympics are being put to good use on at least one of the runs.

I quite enjoyed pretty much having the mountain to myself. It’ll be in contrast to the merciless pounding it’ll receive when the Grind officially opens and the hoi palloi descend in droves.

 





It’s about the journey

9 03 2015

They say it’s about the journey, not the destination. Very philosophical and all, but it’s still a bugger when you set out on a hike and don’t get to where you’re aiming.

Sunday was a lovely day here in BC. Despite losing an hour’s sleep to daylight saving, breakfast was had, the dog was fed, watered and walked, and we were all ready for the offsky pretty well on schedule.

We’ve been reasonably good at getting a hike in most weekends, and this time it was up to Mrs E. to pick the route. We have several books of local hikes and scrambles, and she picked one pretty much at random from Dawn Hanna’s “Best Hikes and Walks of Southwestern British Columbia”.

Amazon.ca: Best Hikes & Walks of SW BC

Today’s adventure was to be in the environs of Grouse Mountain, a favourite haunt where many pleasant hours have been previously spent. Mosquito Creek Cascades promised to be a reasonably leisurely hike – 8km in total with most of the ascent in the last 1km before the turnaround.

Mosquito Creek route

Mosquito Creek route

Things didn’t start very well with me missing the turning for Burnaby along the highway, and therefore forcing us to go right through the middle of Vancouver. Davie Street offered its usual collection of interest, and we were at the Lion’s Gate bridge before too long. Here I got a little worried because it seemed the entire North Shore was under a low lying blanket of cloud. Thankfully this turned out to be a narrow band over the water itself, and we were soon through to the North side and glorious views of the mountains.

The car-park at Grouse was quite empty, but it didn’t stop some bloke in a Tesla taking my parking spot, despite me clearly indicating my intent. Times must be hard with the lack of snow, because there was actually some chap checking parking tickets on the assembled vehicles. I’d never seen them doing that before.

The recent good weather has made the various routes up the Grouse (including the still officially closed Grind) appealing once more, and some previous community spirited individual had thoughtfully inserted a stick into the self-locking gate so it couldn’t. Self lock, I mean. The gate’s a complete joke, of course. It’s nominally there to prevent people attempting the Grind when it’s dangerous to do so, like after dark, or when there’s snow on the rocky trail. The cynic in me would also point out that it would encourage more people to pay to ride the SkyRide and ski/board at the top. The total lack of snow there though makes the continued closure of the Grind laughable. More to the point, there are many more trails starting here than just the boring though popular Grouse Grind.

Anyway, we started our adventure as per the book, by heading East along the BP trail. This vaguely contours the lower reaches of Grouse with a gentle ascent as it heads further East. As we continued, we passed over two tributaries of MacKay Creek, the second of which looked almost man-made. In a way, I guess it was, since the clear cuts of the past had removed much of the soil stability, so when the heavy rains of 1996 came, the soil was swept away right down to the bedrock, leaving an ugly scar allegedly visible from Vancouver.

A little later we met a few people coming from the opposite direction, and one pair of ladies had a huge panting Bernese Mountain Dog. Despite the women taking a lower trail, the dog approached us on the higher rail, huffing and puffing. The owner apologised for this mountain (of a) dog crowding our path, and the dog quite definitely and distinctly gave me an ice-hockey style shoulder check as it passed!

Pretty soon we came to a gravel path and needed to check the GPS as there were paths converging from all sides. We followed the BP trail down a bit of an old path, past a very West Coast house with an orange steel roof, and down to the creek. There is a substantial bridge over now, but apparently its predecessor was swept away in the 1996 floods. There’s a couple of large green water towers and we headed up the actual climb towards the cascades. We opted for the Cascade Trail, which is slightly to the East of The Old Grouse Mountain Highway. This was a pleasant steady climb, and is joined from the left by the “highway”. Only a couple of hundred metres further, the well marked and wide trail suddenly disappeared. Literally. The hillside looked like it had suffered some major slides. The path to here was following an old iron pipeline, and here it was suspended in the air, as the supporting ground had been washed away.

An alternate path had been marked by some intrepid predecessor with pink surveyor’s tape, and we gamely angled down towards Mosquito Creek itself. After about 100m though, it was pure bushwacking. We still had more than half a kilometre to go, but no clear route to follow. We opted to stop and eat by the creek and call it a day. It was a peaceful little spot, and we soaked in the silence. Right up to the point when we heard a family and dog crashing through the brush on the west bank of the creek. The trail there is supposedly closed now, but I guess it was less closed than the supposedly open trail we’d chosen!

Mosquito Creek

Mosquito Creek

After a pleasant break, we tried to retrace our steps to the maintained path, and noticed that in this direction someone had carved markers into the various fallen logs to try and permanently mark the path. Back up on the main path, we opted to take The Old Grouse Mountain Highway back down to the water towers.

Springboard hole

Springboard hole

This was definitely the steeper route of the two, and there were a couple of huge trees fallen across the path to make life even more interesting. Industrial archaeologists would be interested in the old water pipe exposed in places on the trail. It was used up until storm damage in the 1980s damaged the intake.

After we’d crossed back over the bridge we opted to take the powerline trail back to the Grouse car-park which is a very pleasant easy amble back.

Google Earth: Mosquito Creek from Grouse Car-park

Google Earth: Mosquito Creek from Grouse Car-park





New Toys

25 07 2013

It’s Thursday. That’s my night to ascend Grouse Mountain in a vain attempt to lose some weight and perhaps last a few more years. Especially as I can’t find the warranty card – if indeed I ever came with one!

The last couple of weeks I’ve used the longer but less steep “BCMC Trail” rather than the more direct “Grouse Grind“.

A couple of reasons really. For variety – I’ve done the GG plenty of times, and I get bored easily. Mainly though – I don’t like to be jostled when I’m hiking , and the GG is very popular. Now the weather’s hotter (Vancouver hasn’t seen a whiff of rain in 28 days) there are even more Lululemon models traipsing up the GG.

So tonight I did the BCMC trail again, but took along some new toys. I recently bought some “Komperdell Ridgehiker Cork Power Lock” hiking poles, and figured it was time I gave them an airing. Another reason not to do the GG – I’d almost certainly spike one of the many folks who like to barge past – safe in the knowledge that THEIR time up is so much more important than MY time up.

polesMy other recent toy though is much more nerdy.

I recently bought a new GPS. Number 1 offspring asked why I needed a new one, and I had to admit that with the ultimate irony… I’d lost my old one! Perhaps I should invest in a couple of “Tiles“. My new GPS is a Garmin eTrex20, and when coupled with their free download “BaseCamp”, it lets you do all manner of cool map-type things. Just to show off then, I present to you, dear reader, the track I took up Grouse Mountain, as well as a rather embarrassing graph showing how slow I was at some points along the way.

BCMC Trail

BCMC Trail

Elevation in metres for the equally nerdy amongst you.

Speed and Elevation as I progressed up the BCMC

Speed and Elevation as I progressed up the BCMC

According to the RFID timer chip, I did it in 1:34 – almost a full half hour faster than last week, but still 6 minutes slower than the week before. At least I’m consistently inconsistent! 🙂





Depends how you look at it…

20 06 2013

It’s Thursday today.

I’ve tried to do the Grouse Grind regularly on Thursdays, after work. Today was my fifth time this season. Tenth since I paid for the timer chip and started officially recording my ascents last August. The first time I ever got officially timed (last year) I did it in an hour and 20 minutes. Not especially quick but I was quite pleased with it. You may recall that last April I did the Sun Run for the first time, and so by August I was arguably reasonably limber. Well – compared to my former self. The other timings of the year didn’t bear that out though, and on average I was a round 1:30.

If you have the timer chip, your time is displayed on a wide screen monitor at the top of Grouse in the chalet. It’s quite scary to see. There are plenty of people with times in the 30-40 minute range. There are also plenty of names that appear multiple times – meaning the person has ascended the Grouse multiple times that day alone. Last week a name was there TEN times. The slowest time was still less than an hour! It’s only about 3km, but it’s 1,231m high… and there’s a lot of steps. Some natural, some man-made to minimise the erosion.

I began this season reasonably well with an hour and 26. The next couple of times I was within a few seconds at around 1:24. Things were looking up. I might even be getting fitter, and might get back to last year’s all-time best! (I’m also trying to lose some weight and generally try and not die any time soon).

Then came last week. I was 30 minutes slower at 1:56. Weird! A whole half hour slower?! It was really humid though, and the top of the mountain was actually shrouded in cloud. I’m not making excuses you understand… I just couldn’t figure out how I could suddenly be so much slower. I was actually overtaken by the “sweepers” – a couple of super-fit Search and Rescue lads whose role is to amble up the Grind after the gate is locked and nominally nobody else is ascending that day. (In practice people circumvent the fencing, so plenty of people popped out at the top even after I made it up there). I did question the benefit of having sweepers at all if they actually left stragglers (me) behind, but I guess that given the fact that there was no practical way (due to fence hoppers) of telling who the last person actually was, it made no difference.

Anyway tonight it rained. A lot. I ummed and ahhed about whether to go at all. Nominally my son was going to take the SkyRide and wait at the top taking photos until I burst magnificently into the late sunshine out of the woods at the top of the Grind. He bottled out due to the bad weather. Or maybe because his girlfriend made him a better offer. Not sure. It may be a pertinent fact that as I write this at 11:45pm he has yet to come home.

Anyway – I got decidedly wet on the Grind. It’s a tough call for appropriate clothing. You want to travel light, typically in running gear with rugged trainers, contrary to the usual scout “be prepared” preference I’d have – carrying a 75l rucksack with stuff that would allow me to live comfortably on the mountain for a week no matter what happened. I tend to actually carry a small day sack – primarily to hold a 1l water bottle and leave my hands free. I also carry a lightweight fleece jumper in case I meet a nasty accident and have to wait for an extended period waiting for the embarrassing rescue that hopefully would arrive eventually.

(When hiking or going into the back-country ALWAYS tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back in contact. Nobody plans to have an accident…).

Today though – I half expected it’d still be raining, so I also took my super lightweight running shell. It’s not really that waterproof, but it cuts the wind and helps keep you warm if you need it.

And a cap. I’m not big on caps, but I wear glasses. Glasses are really good at correcting faulty vision… unless they steam up or get rained on (I wore contacts for many years purely to avoid steamed up glasses when I transitioned from wet dales hikes in Yorkshire to the “prize” of a pub at the end). A cheap peaked cap does wonders to keep the bulk of the “liquid sunshine” – as we call it Vancouver – off your glasses. I set off in reasonable time (i.e. I wasn’t caught up by the sweepers this week), but by the half-way mark, I was already at an hour, and it was obvious that I’d be logging another poor time. And this started me thinking of an earlier conversation I’d had about the psychology of challenges.

Many years ago, I was a Venture Scout Leader in the UK. I took a group of teenagers on a challenge hike – 40 miles overnight around the moors around Sheffield. The route passed various TV aerial masts, and was called The Masters Hike. It snowed. A couple of the teens wanted to drop out and despite my cajoling them through one more checkpoint, they finally quit. I exited the event at the same checkpoint. As we waited the 10 minutes or so for the “body wagon” – a long wheelbase Landy – to pick us up with the other folk exiting at that checkpoint, I got my second breath. Too late – I was already marked as “out”.

It was a huge lesson to me. I was about 25 at the time, and I vowed I would never quit such an event again purely on “mental grounds”. After that I went on to do many other challenge hikes including “Endurance 80” – an 80km (50mi), 24hr hike through the night. Glad to see that one’s still going strong.

So every time I start up the Grind, I have these little arguments in my head.

“Are you mad?

Eh?

Are you mad? You’re nearly 50!

So?

You’re pre-diabetic and have a heart problem.

Again – so?

Well this is just asking for trouble. You’ve barely started and you’re panting.

It’s good for you. It’s called “cardio”. The doctor said I should do more of it…”

And so it goes on – often all the way up to the halfway mark, at which juncture I point out to myself that even if I were to give in, it’s as far to the start as it is to the end, so I might as well continue. But behind it all is the memory of that terrible feeling I had as a young pup when I gave in for no other reason than a weak mental moment.

And so I keep going.

One. More. Step.

That’s one closer to the end. Well – do it again then!

And so on. Despite often sounding like Thomas the Tank Engine when I finally emerge at the top, I am rarely achy or physically exhausted. It’s way more a mental challenge than a physical one.

And the point of all this diatribe, you might ask?  Having taken 1:50 tonight, I initially thought “You’re getting old. Slowing down. Everyone passed you. You’re last”.

But then I thought:

“Yes. But I finished. That’s 10 Grouse Grinds since I started logging them. Probably about 15 altogether. All these people were faster than me today. But what about all those who are at home watching TV? Or who caught the SkyRide up to the top? How many of them have even done it once?”

And I smiled. And I ordered my usual cup of tea and fruit scone in the café. And I felt smug as I rode the SkyRide back down… 20 years the senior of everyone else who was muddy and in shorts.

I hope to keep winning the arguments with myself.





Grouse II

26 05 2013

I like to do the Grouse Grind after work on Thursdays. Nothing obsessive you understand (Moi?!). But being as last Thursday was my Geburtstag, I gave myself the night off. By last night I was feeling slothlike. I’m doing some charity 5km race next Sunday, so I had to “get out there” and went for a run around the local environs. Today looked a bit rainy so I figured the Grind would be quieter, and drove over to the North Shore to partake in the madness.

Wrong! It was heaving. I smiled at myself clucking at some BMW driver trying to drive against the relentless flow of arriving grinders. Plainly a newb and unaware that the other way (hinted at by the Exit sign) was the way out. I gave him a disapproving look, which as a BMW owner he was plainly unaccustomed to.

Fortune smiled upon me and someone was leaving just as I cruised past. Some deft reversing and the trusty steed was parked.

Most of the hike was uneventful, but I do so enjoy catching up and over-taking the young bucks and buckesses that regularly storm past me earlier on the trail. They can usually be found gasping at the side of the path, or in the case of the less well brought up – right in the middle of the path.

By the half-way mark, I was feeling in a groove and quite fluid in my stride. There’s an artsy seating bench at the half-way mark which I have overheard several people mistake for a mountain biking “stage”. It seems to not occur to people that mountain biking and Grouse Grinders would be a disastrous mix. Anyway, as I arrived, the bench was covered with a handful of 20-somethings trying to catch their breath. I was a bit peeved that they weren’t offering their seats to the various ladies that were pausing to also catch their breath. I was itching for one of them to offer me a place, so I could rebuff them with sarcastic comments about how they needed the rest more than me. Alas they were all too rude to offer their elders a seat, and I stood to quaff from my water bottle. They all set off just as I was ready, but I passed them only two switch-backs later.

It was quite a trip in all though. I saw TWO babes in arms on the trail. One being breast-fed at about the 3/4 mark. The other was plainly not happy about proceedings and was clearly audible from way off.

Just as I got to the top, there was someone blocking most of the trail having a rest. I was about to make some comment when I noticed that they had a prosthetic leg. I was completely knackered by then, and I can’t imagine the extra effort and bodily stresses it must make to do the route with a prosthetic limb. Kudos!

Despite it feeling really humid, and me being convinced I’d done a shoddy time, I was actually 2 minutes faster than last week at 1:24.

English: Part of the Grouse Grind in Vancouver...

Part of the Grouse Grind in Vancouver BC, showing part of the hiking path. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My one over-riding impression though was about how much perfume and/or cologne people seem to think appropriate for a hike in the woods. It was overpowering at times. Somehow it seemed so out of place with the scenery – but then again, so in keeping with all the “look at me” attire that the typical walker was wearing. I wonder if Lululemon would be in business still if the Grouse Grind were to close.





Snow joke

31 03 2013

Yesterday, my son joined me for another trip up The Snow Shoe Grind, up Grouse mountain. This is actually a hike up to the top of Dam Mountain, and despite having achieved the summit all but one of the 8 or so times I tried (I was on a timetable the first time I attempted it), I’d never seen the supposedly amazing views from the top. Despite the many adverts and photos, I’d also never seen “The Eye of the Wind” turbine up Grouse, except from a long distance, like driving over the Lions’ Gate Bridge.

But yesterday was a lovely day. Mid to high teens easily. We walked in T-shirts. The snow was terrible – like a snow cone mostly, and even like slushy porridge near the chalet where it was less protected from the sun. I think this will be the last snowshoe trip of the season. It was just too hard going in the slush. Even at the top, where arguably it should be coldest.

The view, however was amazing. We could see all the way to White Rock. We could see Washington State’s Mount Baker. And we could see the wind turbine!

A lovely day out “bonding” with the boy too. Topped off with the traditional London Fog tea latte, and a fruit scone when we got back to the chalet. (He had chicken strips and chips). In places the snow was down to the tarmac, and the timing post for the SSG was poking out a good metre, rather than being buried under the snow like in previous times earlier in the season.

But you know what this means? The regular Grouse Grind is hovering just over the horizon!

The view from Dam Mountain... with labels

The view from Dam Mountain… with labels





Pancake Day!

12 02 2013

Busy, busy weekend.

Snowshoe Grind Mountain Run on Saturday; Callaghan Valley “Grand Day Out” snowshoeing on Sunday; Snowshoe Grind up Grouse Mountain again yesterday (in the low cloud – very slow going) because Number Two Child wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It was Family Day in BC, and Grouse Mountain had made most things half price. Despite initial appearances, I was assured the offer was available to non-Asian families. It was a pleasure to see so many recent immigrants like myself enjoying what Greater Vancouver has to offer.

Callaghan Valley: Olympic ski jumps.

Callaghan Valley: Olympic ski jumps.

Callaghan Valley: Now that's a mushroom!

Callaghan Valley: Now that’s a mushroom!

Callaghan Valley shelter: View of Black Tusk

Callaghan Valley shelter: View of Black Tusk

After all that (no blisters though – that’s good!) I lost the princely total of 2lb. That’s nigh on a kilogram, so I’ll take it thank-you very much.

All that just to say that today is Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Day! We like them thin and large – crepe style. Not thick and spongy, North American style. Either way… they’re not exactly conducive to weight loss, so I think I’ll treat this year’s Pancake Day as a spectator sport.

Enjoy yours!