Monthly Archives: September 2013

Top of the World

A view from above

A view from above

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park certainly has a lot to offer.  A great deal of variety in the trails.  Steep, difficult technical.  Fast and smooth jump trails.  Trails full of wooden bridges.  Even green trails for the first timers.  One incredible trail that opened in 2012 is the Top of the World.

Top of the World

Top of the World

It is a trail that starts at the peak of Whistler Mountain and allows a biker the potential to descend almost 5000 vertical feet to the valley floor.

Entering the 'Top of the World'

Entering the ‘Top of the World’

Some mates and I went up for one epic lap last week.  We stopped at various places on the way down to take some photos.

Top of the World

Top of the World

 

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Semaphore Lakes

Lower Smp Lake

Semaphore Lakes.  Wow.  What a place!  Just under a week ago my girlfriend and I headed up to a hike called Semaphore Lakes.  It was an unbelievable day.  September is trying really hard to hang on to summer.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Semaphore Trail

The trail-head is relatively easy to find.  It is about 50 kilometres beyond Pemberton or roughly an 85 kilometre drive from Whistler.  There is about 23 kilometres of rough forest service road to negotiate so an all wheel drive vehicle is highly recommended.

Semaphore Trail 2

Trail B&W

 

The hike itself is pretty short.  I think it took us about an hour to hike in.  It is pretty steep most of the way, however it’s over quickly so it’s not to strenuous.  There are some beautiful meadows and little ponds along the way.  Once you get to the first, upper and smaller lake the views open up into an incredible panoramic vista.  Truly stunning for all 360 degrees.

We trekked around a bit, trying to decide on a campsite.  Or rather I wasn’t satisfied anywhere until we found the lower of the lakes and it had an amazing flat spot right next to the lake.

Evening shot

It was a perfectly clear night without a cloud in the sky.  I figured it was as good a chance as any to attempt a couple more star trails.  I am pretty happy with the results.

The moon was an incredible waxing gibbous and was in full view as darkness fell.  With the moon, the stars, a campfire and a flask of Honey Jack Daniels and of course great company, I really couldn’t have wished for a better evening.

Campfire moon

Tent Night Sky

The next morning was just as incredible.  We had tactically (accidentally) set up the tent behind a mountain so the sun didn’t hit it until long after sunrise, which meant a little sleep in as it didn’t get too hot.

Tent Sunrise

Warm Lake

Once we finally left, we powered downhill because we had decided to reward ourselves with a visit to the delicious One Mile Eating House in Pemberton.  It was well worth it!

All in all a fantastic hike and camping trip for the effort required.  One of the easier trips I have done, but still as rewarding as any other.  I would definitely recommend this one.

Getting there….

Once again it’s been a little while between posts. I could list all of the excuses however I am pretty good at finding them so it would probably take 3-4 posts to do that, I’ll just apologize once more and get on with it.

It’s been a pretty busy week, lots of work, a bit of biking, struggling through marathon training and a fantastic camping trip. I am still working on the camping photos and I’ll get that post up tomorrow.

In the meantime I will put up a couple of photos I took last week. We had planned to do a full photo day, slowly moving through the park and trying to get some cool shots all over the place. The weather was around 30 degrees Celsius and humid. As a result none of us could really be bothered doing anything. We did struggle through one run before the heat was too much. I was testing out my new camera and was still finding my way around it.

I am hoping we get a couple more sunny days so I can take it back up and shoot properly now I know my way around the camera a little more and the weather has cooled down.

Skilly UWDH

Stay tuned for my post on Semaphore Lakes. A great spot for a hike or an overnight trip.

***Marathon Training Update***

Today was the day for my weekly long run as I continue to prepare for the Seattle Marathon. There was a serious lack of motivation today for a number of reasons. The biggest deterrent was probably the torrential downpour that was occurring outside my window. The next biggest was the fact that I was looking at a 20.9 km battle. A text from my fellow marathoner pointing out that “…a marathon in Seattle, in December, is probably going to be very wet…” got me up on my feet and I when I realized that 20.9km wasn’t even half the distance I was training to run I figured I had better get myself out the door and into the elements.

In the end it wasn’t to bad, the rain kept me nice and cool. I hit a bit of a wall towards the end of the run but managed to struggle through it. I wish I could say I am looking forward to the long run next week.

Marathon Training

A view I better get used to!

A view I better get used to!

A couple of months ago it was decided that it was a good idea if a friend and I ran the Seattle marathon.  I can’t remember exactly how it came about.  Probably after several beers and well, after that pride kind of stood in the way of backing out.  I am now entering my fifth week of training.  It hasn’t been easy.  It feels like I am making very slow progress, however I have managed to get my long run distance up to 20 km so I am definitely on track.  I just need to keep on top of it.

It is a 16 week training program (prior fitness is apparently assumed) and the big run is on December 1.  It should be a pretty amazing trip as I have never been to Seattle and as a reward for (hopefully) completing the 42.2km mission we plan to buy tickets to our first NFL game.

Training so hard, even the dog can't keep up

Training so hard, even the dog can’t keep up

Great skies to run under in Scone, NSW.

Great skies to run under in Scone, NSW.

One great thing about the training so far is I have had the chance to cover territory with some incredible scenery as a backdrop.  I have run in Sydney & rural NSW in Australia and am currently back in Whistler.  In just over a month I will take the training (not the purpose of the trip) to the UK and Paris.  I’ll be sure to keep taking advantage of the quick 30 second breathers while I snap some Instagram worthy shots.

The closest I ever get to ever going inside a gym

The closest I ever get to ever going inside a gym

Ran past the Anzac Bridge in Sydney a couple of times.  Absolutely stunning

Ran past the Anzac Bridge in Sydney a couple of times. Absolutely stunning

I don't mind running towards this view at all!

I don’t mind running towards this view at all!

And We’re Back…….

The fire started nicely

The fire started nicely

It’s been awhile since my last post.  I must apologize to everyone about that.  With traveling back to Whistler, torrential downpours and pressing university deadlines I haven’t been out and about all that much.  The weather seems to have cleared up, I am back on track with uni and  I have a new camera so I am back in the game and hopefully over the next few days I’ll get out and get some new shots of Whistler.

B& W Bonfire

Before I get back to Whistler though I want to remember my last night in Scone, my hometown.  We had a little bonfire to catch up with many old friends.  Apart from being a little cold it was a great night (the bonfire made the cold bearable).  Lots of beer, food and chat.  So much so, that it was pretty quickly 6am and the sun was rising.

Bonfire swirls

Bonfire stars

Bonfire 4

Bonfire 5

Bonfire 2

Bonfire 3

It was a great way to end a fantastic trip.

Another attempt at a star trail...Hopefully soon I'll nail the technique

Another attempt at a star trail…Hopefully soon I’ll nail the technique

I tried a new technique out here....really tried to emphasize the moon in the background.

I tried a new technique out here….really tried to emphasize the moon in the background.