One of my favourite things about living in the Whistler area is the fact that it only takes about 20 minutes drive to get away from the crowds. Don’t get me wrong, Whistler is awesome. It’s a lot of fun with an incredible amount of things to do in some of the best scenery around but lets not kid ourselves, it can get crowded. That’s where a short sneaky drive north comes in handy.
A couple of weeks ago we headed into the Duffey Lake area and we were planning to do a bit of a hike and a scramble and then chill out for the night. There was an old decommissioned road which, fortunately for us, we could drive a decent way up.
This cut our hiking time down considerably which was good news as it meant we could justify carrying in a couple of extra beers! Crucial! The views were amazing from the get go!
It also meant we had a bit of extra time to scramble up some scree and see some pretty stunning views high about the lake!
It was steep and possibly a little sketchy…
It was incredible being in such isolated and enormous terrain.
During the course of our scramble we dislodged a rock or two and it was impressive and somewhat intimidating to see the path they took down the hill. Definitely a no fall zone!
Scoping out the terrain, I cannot wait to get back here in the winter. Some excellent skiing to be had, that is for sure!
We had a mixture of weather as well. Three seasons that day at least. We had a nice little downpour during dinner. Gave us a good excuse to have some drinks and then in the early hours of the morning the skies cleared which was perfect!
An awesome overnight trip!
Posted in Camping, Hikes, Photography, Travel
Tagged BC, Camping, Canada, Clouds, Duffey Lake, Hiking, Lake, Mountains, nature, Night Sky, night sky photography, outdoors, photography, River, scrambling, Star Trail, Stars, Summer, Sunset, Travel
Well, summer is most certainly here. With the mercury rising above 30°C, things have been getting a little warm, the sun has been doing it’s best to melt everything but that didn’t stop us getting back to Semaphore Lakes (click link for my first trip up there) for our first hike of the season. It’s a good trek to start the season with as it is a fairly mellow trail. It’s only about one hour and a half in, a little steep in parts as the trail rises 300 odd metres in a short distance.
Along the trail there is a beautiful creek, a beautiful forest and as you get closer to the top the trail opens up into a stunning clearing. Once the 300 metres has been conquered an incredible view of the top lake and the main backdrop of the landscape, Locomotive Mountain, burst into view.
My favourite campsite is down by the lower lake. It still offers fantastic views of Locomotive Mountain and is near to amazing little ‘stream rapids’ and views down the valley.
The lower lake is where we camped. It was a short scramble to this view looking down the valley.
There was barely a cloud in the sky so the night time photography was promising. Star trails were at a risk of seeming a bit dull due to the near full moon… …however I think the foreground ended up coming out pretty well.
I spent the rest of the night playing around with the night sky…
Let me know what you think!
Posted in Photography
Tagged BC, Camping, Canada, Hiking, Lake, Mountains, nature, Night Sky, night sky photography, outdoors, photography, River, Star Trail, Stars, Summer, Sunset, Travel, Waterfalls, Whistler
A couple of weeks ago we ventured just south of Whistler to a campsite near Hippy Lake. The campsite was set right by the Cheakamus River amongst some amazingly tall trees. It was a full moon which gave an amazing feeling as the glow shone through behind the trees. It was an absolutely stunning night as you can tell by the shots below. I also tried a new editing technique which I haven’t quite got dialed but I am working on it!
We arrived in time to attempt some ‘flowing river’ shots…
Before heading out for some night shots it was time to fire up the charcoal BBQ…
Then it was time for a wander to see what we could produce…
These next photos were taken just before midnight…
And finally it was back to the campfire for some rest and honey Jack Daniels…
Posted in Camping, Hikes, Photography, Travel
Tagged BC, Camping, Canada, Cheakamus River, Hiking, Lake, Mountains, nature, Night Sky, night sky photography, outdoors, photography, River, Stars, Summer, Whistler
Last Wednesday was the full moon. It was an excellent night to go camping as it was warm, dry and incredibly stunning. We headed to a campsite near Hippy Lake just south of Whistler. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to take a decent star trail as the stars seemed a little faint however, fortunately, it turned out fairly well.
Posted in Camping, Hikes, Photography, Travel
Tagged BC, Bungee, Camping, Canada, Clouds, Hiking, Hippy Lake, Lake, Mountains, nature, Night Sky, night sky photography, outdoors, photography, River, Star Trail, Stars, Summer, Travel, Whistler
Last week we went on a trip to the Duffey Lake area. In one word this place is epic. A lot of absolutely outrageous terrain. It is steep, with lots of tree runs and lots of exposed faces with cliffs, chutes and very serious avalanche possibilities. This year has been a bit worrying in terms of avalanche danger so the purpose of this trip was just to get into the mountains and hang out. We weren’t really chasing epic lines.
As it turns out, it was a good thing we weren’t in search of epic skiing because as we were climbing up to the hut the freezing level quickly over took us.
The map below shows roughly the route we took. The climbing is in yellow and the descent is in red. Obviously most of the terrain is currently covered in snow, however you can get a rough idea.
The climb itself wasn’t too difficult, it followed a road for most of the way that had been nicely packed down by snowmobile traffic. We weren’t in a hurry so we took a little longer than we usually would, however we made it to the hut in time to unload our heavy packs and head up through the trees for a quick lap before dinner.
Heading up for a quick lap before dinner
The snow was quite heavy however we were able to have some fun and play around. You can see the rough line we took in orange on the map above.
We stayed in an awesome hut that had lights (solar), ipod dock, foam mats and more including a disco ball. We ate, drank and played cards well into the night and when we crashed it was almost luxurious how much space there was in the loft.
On the second and final day we took our time packing up and departing, an excellent bacon breakfast was on the menu. We climbed up through the trees once more, stopping several times to look at lines and wish the snow was champagne powder. Next time!
At the top we looked down an avalanche path called Chute 56. On a good day this chute apparently has some incredible skiing, however it is a committing line and we weren’t overly confident in the snow pack so we decided to stick in the trees.
The skiing was heavy but actually pretty fun at the start however below 1500 metres or so it changed drastically into this horrible heavy concrete style snow. We slowly picked our way down, popping into the chute at the very end to link up with the road that would take us back to the main road out to our car.
All in all it was a pretty fun, short adventure and I cannot wait to get back there when the snow is in a better condition.
Posted in Camping, Photography, Skiing
Tagged BC, Camping, Canada, Clouds, Duffey Lake, Hiking, Mountains, nature, outdoors, photography, Ski Touring, skiing, Snow, Steep Creek, Whistler
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted in Camping, Hikes, Photography
Tagged BC, Biking, Camping, Canada, Hiking, Hurley River, Lake, nature, Night Sky, night sky photography, Pemberton, photography, Semaphore Lakes, Star Trail, Stars, Summer, Whistler
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.
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.
Posted in Biking, Camping, Hikes, Photography, Training
Tagged BC, Bike park, Biking, Camping, Canada, downhill, downhill mountain biking, Hiking, Marathon, Marathon Training, Mountain Biking, outdoors, photography, Summer, Whistler, Whistler bike park, Whistler Mountain, Whistler mountain bike park