Over the hill and through the snow

The sun is officially out of its hibernation in Vancouver! After one of the gloomiest springs ever the sun has come out bright for over a week straight – including the long weekend! My fiancée and I of course could not resist heading to the north shore for a hike. As many local hikers have been, we were fooled by the sunshine and forgot that the mountains are still going to be snowy. Luckily we pack plenty of water, snacks, safety supplies, and our hiking boots, so we felt okay to carry on with our hike of Eagle Bluffs.

For anyone thinking about an early spring hike after a long cold winter, below is a look at what we had to trudge through there and back. It is warm enough out for short sleeves but slippery and slow the whole way.


With that said, the views on this day were fantastic! The bright green trees against the white snow made for great colours to go with the clear blue skies and far off visibility of nearby mountains. Below shown is the view from Black Mountain peak looking west towards the sunshine coast, with a ferry leaving from horseshoe bay in view.


The main viewpoint of the Eagle Bluffs hike is a stony clearing on the south edge of Cypress mountain. Due to the openness of this area and the recent sunshine, the viewpoint was actually free of snow, which made it feel much more like summer. Quite the relief after the long hike! The view from up here is amazing. You can see Vancouver and all the east suburbs in one direction, all the way around to a similar westward view as is available at the Black Mountain peak. Joining us at the Eagle Bluffs viewpoint was, appropriately, a family of four eagles flying up and down the mountain side! You can see at least one prominently in the photo below.


Again below is a shot from the viewpoint looking towards the edge of Vancouver and open blue water.


To cap off the story of this hike I thought I would add one last photo from the day after our Eagle Bluffs hike. We went to Jericho beach for a day of relaxing with friends and enjoyed the opposite view – looking back from the water up at the face of the mountains. You can almost make out Jericho beach as the light brown beach in the centre-left of the photo above, although I do not think it is possible to pick out the Eagle bluffs viewpoint on the mountain when looking from the beach.


Truly a Sea-to-Sky weekend of activities in Vancouver.






Shoulder Season = Waterfall Season

My fiancee and have taken most of the past month off from hiking and snowshoeing because April is when the temperature begins to rise and the snow melts most of the local hiking trails into a muddy mess. However, the run off of melted snow travelling down the mountains makes early spring the best time of year to check out local waterfalls. We resolved to go for one hike in April, and chose the Big Cedar and Kennedy Falls trail in Lynn Canyon of the Vancouver north shore mountains.

The trail was indeed a muddy trek that required some waterproof hiking boots. We would repeatedly go up and down a series of small hills and often walk straight through some small streams. Being down in the canyon meant no panoramic views from a mountain peak, but the quiet ambience of the forest and the fresh air is always worth a hike as well. In terms of alternatives to panoramic photos, this hike had more opportunities to capture the busy and complex layers of the forest.


As the name of the hike suggests, there is a rather old and large cedar tree in the middle of the hike. As with most massive trees it was too large to catch in one photo, but you can extrapolate from the thickness of the trunk relative to the trees nearby. This tree also had some interesting shapes and colour sets to it compared to the rest of the trees. Truly a unique tree in the forest.


Finally, we reached the waterfall. As planned, it was roaring due to the snow melt during April. Not as we planned, the breeze coming off of the cold mountain water was frigid! We grabbed a couple of pictures before we froze with the few layers that we wore, and then headed home.


The scale is difficult to grasp from this shot, but the water below is far out of reach from where I am standing, and straight across from the top of my head would only reach 1/3 the way up the rock that splits the waterfall.