Explore BC: Mount Strachan x North Shore
After several months of settling into my new job, I often felt like there was something of an empty void in my life. A few moments of quick introspection made me realize it was the creative aspect of my life: writing, photo-taking, blogging, and all of that good stuff. As a result, I opened up my laptop on the recently assembled IKEA PS Secretary desk that took me all Sunday to put together, pulled up the ol' blog, and began to write again.
Looking at these pictures makes me desperately wish that it was summer again. On days like this, I could go hiking with a good friend for almost an entire day and lose ourselves (not literally, we would always be prepared with saved maps and GPS) in nature. While there were many hikes that were less than spectacular in terms of weather or view, our hike up Mount Strachan was probably one of our favourite adventures over the past summer. The weather was superb, the views divine, and the hike was difficult enough to make it interesting (without becoming an all-consuming toughness that made you want to quit multiple times).
After beginning the hike at the usual spot on Cypress Ski Hill, we would eventually diverge from the usual path to St. Mark's Summit in order to begin the scramble up Christmas Gully towards Mount Strachan. This intermediate trail is 10.5 km as a round-trip, requires about 5.5 hours to complete, and can easily get a hiker lost if you're not extremely careful about your next few steps. The scramble itself was quite fun-- the rocky terrain made you really feel like you were on another planet and the path was relatively easy to follow. However, once we left the scramble, the path became extremely hard to find and we often took a wrong turn into some random area (while climbing at a steep angle).
However, the cardio and the path-finding exertion was very much worth the effort when we finally ascended to the summit! The sweeping views of the Howe Sound, Garibaldi Provincial Park, and many other backcountry mountains were breathtaking; we spent equal parts taking photos of the views and sitting in quiet awe of them.
Lovely Eva exploring more of the first summit (there are two).
After finishing our little lunch on top of the first summit overlooking the Howe Sound and Garibaldi Provincial Park, we continued climbing up to the second summit (which we found to be less spectacular than its sister summit). While the climb up the mountain was relatively short and interesting, the climb down (which was an entirely different trail) was disappointingly long, winding, and ill-maintained (we got whipped by many overgrown branches). We did, however, see the remnants of a historic plane crash that occurred the day after the John F. Kennedy assassination in 1963.
Therefore, while the climb downwards was long-winded and annoying, Eva and I give this hike a huge thumbs up! The views were incredible and the trail\s difficulty level was far from the hardest hike that we've encountered (Crown Mountain, Black Tusk, and Brunswick Mountain).
Summer, please come back.