I’ll be the first to admit I don’t love Winter. I long for extended Summers, nights where the sun sets well after 10 pm, where I can hike and explore to my hearts content. I’ve escaped Canadian winter’s for a few years but unfortunately for my sun loving self, visa regulations had me back in Canada & apparently one heck of a snowy winter in Vancouver. I’m no stranger to cold & snowy temps being from Montreal & calling Jasper, Alberta home for a few years, but moved to Vancouver in the hopes the snow & cold would bypass me. This year that was not the case & man was I ever bummed. Until…I found a way to enjoy winter!
Yep this Summer loving girl has found herself a great winter activity to get out and explore even when the only white in sight is that of snow and not sandy beaches. SNOWSHOEING! I’m sure this activity might be familiar & maybe a favourite to any number of you out there, but I myself had never done it. That changed New Years day 2017 when I was part of an awesome gang of ladies who took on the New Year braving the cold, making new friends & trying something new with BC Adventure Girls!
Now I am by no means an expert and have only been a few times since the start of the year, but it has definitely become a new favourite activity of mine. My love of hiking has been restored even when the trails are full of fresh powder. And I’m going to give you a little run down of Mount Seymour here in BC & it’s endless snowshoeing trails.
While there are a fair amount of trails located at Vancouver’s Mt. Seymour it’s best to have a look at their website before heading up to make sure there are no weather advisories or closure notices. And if you find yourself without snowshoes, the rentals up at the mountain are great, as is the staff up there. They’ll be able to give you the run down of the trail map & help you decide which is best for you & your group.
On New Years Day we were lucky enough to have an amazing guide who took us through the trails all while giving us a lesson in the Top 10 of what to bring when you head out hiking or snowshoeing. We did the Flower Lake loop and the views were able to take in some incredible views. Is it just me or do all the snow covered trees look like something straight out of a Dr.Suess book?!
Not seen on the trail map above, are the trails that cruise around the mountain to the left of the Mt. Seymour Rentals Shop. A trail I’ve actually tried to hike in the summer (we got fogged out sadly) but was lucky enough to finally get up a few weeks back when I had a friend visit me in Vancouver, Dog Mountain. When you get up to Seymour & situated, head of towards the Mystery Peak chair lift and take the first left trail you see and you’ll be on your way to some incredible trails & an even better view at the top! With minimal elevation gain, and only 5 km return this trail is great for most. I would suggest poles if you have them and if it’s just snowed as it was something I wish I had for the last stretch of trail. But for the most part, pack your essentials, layer up, grab your adventure buddy & head off! The first bit of trail through the trees has lots of openings letting the sun shine in & gives you awesome photo op spots along the way. Follow the orange tipped bamboo posts until you reach First Lake, which in winter obviously become slightly invisible due to the snow but there is a sign post there. It’s a huge clearing and you’ll be able to see some red tipped poles leading left and up, that’s where you’re headed. From there it’s a bit more of an incline at times, and when you finally reach the steepest part of the trail, you’re nearly there! 10 minutes to a breathtaking view (you can do it!). You’ll be glad you kept going when you finally reach the top and are gifted with views like this…
While I may not love the snow or enjoy winter, the fact that I’ve found one thing that gets me out of the house and moving during the long months (Come on Canada, can’t you just make it 50/50 summer & winter?) is something I’m grateful for. Being able to get outside and back into my “happy place” (aka nature) is what is keeping me going until spring comes along. So if you’re like me and have a distaste for the cold white powder, maybe your minds will be changed once you have snowshoes strapped to your feet & a killer view within reach!