Dog Mountain, 31 Dec 2009

Two years ago we attempted to snowshoe to the summit of Mt Seymour and celebrate the New Year there. Our plans went awry as we were not allowed to drive up to the parking lot after 10 pm and we got there at 11. We turned around and parked up at Third Beach in Stanley Park and saw in the New Year with our feet in the surf.

This year we opted to bring in the New Year at home, but we still wanted some snow time. We floated the idea past a few friends and a plan was formed to snowshoe Dog Mountain early in the evening. The weather cooperated sufficiently with only a little light drizzly sleet, and by 5.45 pm the seven of us – Dawn, Jo, Rob, Jennifer, Victor, Maria and I – were ready to set off.

The low cloud and mist coupled with the bright lights on the ski runs meant that we didn’t even need headlamps for much of the trip. The trail was easy to follow, the snow was hard-packed with a light dusting of a couple of inches off trail. We reached First Lake within 25 minutes, passing a couple of groups returning and wishing them all Happy New Year as we went. First Lake was mostly frozen over with a few inches of snow covering it. The bridge over the outlet creek was still visible.

Dog Mountain snowshoe, 31 Dec 2009

We walked around the lake and noticed someone had set up a tent and looked to be planning to see in 2010 in the mountains. (We didn’t envy them that judging by the heavy rain later in the evening.) We plodded on, following the trail up, around and down. We passed more groups heading back, occasionally startling them as we were travelling without headlamps. I was surprised to see that not all the creeks were covered over. The trees were decorated with just the right amount of snow and we all enjoyed our own little winter wonderland.

Soon we reached Dog Mountain and emerged from the trees to be greeted by a cold howling wind, driving the sleet into our faces. Vancouver was a blur before us, due to the mist. It was as if we were looking through a steamed-up window, everything was out of focus. We paused long enough to grab a couple of group photos and enjoy some gingerbread cookies.

We headed back to First Lake, when Dawn suggested we try a long exposure photo using headlamps to write `2010′ in the air. We set up the camera and Dawn, Maria, Victor and Jennifer worked out how they were going to write backwards. The 1 and 0s were easy, the 2 a little harder, but the end result worked spectacularly well.

Dog Mountain snowshoe, 31 Dec 2009

Within 20 minutes we were back at the cars and ready to drive home for hot chili and more to see in the New Year.

Happy New Year and welcome to 2010!

Distance: 5 km
Elevation gain: 50 m
Photos on Flickr

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