A remarkably quiet and blindingly-sunny day in the snow on Mount Seymour. It’s been a while since we were up here in the winter and today I finally realized that it’s my favourite winter North Shore peak. You spend more time above the trees than any of the others and there is terrific variety in the terrain, which means a similar tally of photo opportunities. Mount Seymour has plenty of dramatic landscape features, offers options for exploration (provided you are really careful!), and has superb views all round. Yup – Seymour wins hands down!
The snow was hard packed on the trail and snowshoes weren’t necessary for the most part. Beyond the end of the marked trail, things did get softer and deeper (plenty of postholing, especially on the descent) but we were still fine with boots and microspikes. By the end of the day the snow was soft and slushy. Thankfully most of the snow had melted off the trees so the chances of being snow-bombed by a giant piece of slush had diminished by the end of the day.
I was surprised to find that the winter trail was no longer marked beyond the turn off to Elsay Lake. I don’t know if that’s a permanent change, or if it’s just that the marker poles are being removed as it gets towards the end of the season. There were a couple of temporary signs along the way asking people not to slide down the trail – all to no avail, however, as a couple of sections were smoothed out toboggan runs. Not fun to walk up.
Less dog poop than usual (although it may have been buried by the recent snowfall), but most dogs still unleashed despite clear signage.
As non-paying “guests” we had to park in lot P5, which is just angled parking along the roadside. The downside to this is that you end up with an extra walk to reach the trailhead (though it wasn’t too bad today). Also, because of the presence of a double yellow line (which normally marks the centre of the road), drivers leaving the upper parking lots are often a bit confused as to exactly where to drive. My advice? How about avoid the pedestrians! Oh and slow down, for goodness’ sake. More than a few of those drivers came whizzing down the road leaving not much room for error on anyone’s count.
Lots of ravens today – a couple at First Peak hanging out looking for food scraps, at least a half-dozen more around the parking lot, and a flight of four over Tim Jones peak. We saw a couple of bald eagles too.
I even have a flower sighting to report! :-) Admittedly, it’s from the car – there are a couple of sizeable patches of coltsfoot in full bloom on the south side of the road near the picnic area parking lot. Oh and a few bright yellow skunk cabbage flowers poking up in the ditch. One of our photos showed a hint of a pollen corona around the sun too.
Distance: 8.5 km
Elevation gain: 560 m
Yet to come…