November 2014 with Elena, Judith, Lyn, Bill N, and Nancy
Following last week’s cold and wet excursion to Mount Seymour, I felt that this year’s hiking season shouldn’t end with a whimper so I wanted to get one more hike in if we had another good weekend of weather. Most high country areas around seem to be snowed in now, but I decided that Mount Strachan at Cypress Provincial Park would be a good choice.
We walked up the Collins ski run to the top of the Lions chair and the base of the Sky Chair. Nearby is a new memorial plaque in memory of the Royal Canadian Navy plane T-33 which crashed there in 1963. Much of the wreckage has respectfully been left where it lies strewed through the forest.
At this point, we picked up the trail that comes up from the Baden-Powell trail between Cypress Bowl and Hollyburn. There are a few rough trails that wind through the crash site, but we eventually picked up on the correct one and headed for the south summit. Despite it being November, this is where I managed to zip off my pant legs and hike in shorts for the rest of the day, for probably the very last time this year.
We reached the summit at 11am, just in time for elevenses which we had sitting looking east toward the Grouse Mountain peaks, Seymour, Coliseum Mountain, Burwell, Golden Ears and many others which we couldn’t name. Looking this direction we also avoided looking at the Sky Chair which terminates at the south summit, and contemplated how it would have looked if a full lodge with restaurants etc had been built there (as was the plan several years ago – thanks to Friends of Cypress and other groups for preventing that from happening).
We then continued along the rocky plateau on the south summit, down to the col between the south and north summits, and up to the north. No ski lifts here. Lunch and more views in all directions, including a full frontal closeup view of The Lions.
We’d had the hike up mostly to ourselves, but this is where faster and later starting hikers started catching up with us. Included was one woman in flourescent yellow rubber boots. Good traction (and visibility) but maybe not ankle support, especially on some of the rocky areas we went up and down. A few people had come up to the col from the Howe Sound Crest trail via Strachan Meadows, and were relieved when we told them they could go back via the south summit. It appears that trail is one that, having hiked up it, not many want to hike back down.
We went back to the south summit and decided to walk down the road rather than the trail. Somewhere on the way down we bypassed the easy Collins run that we came up on, and found ourselves hiking down the steeper Horizon and Rainbow runs. It was interesting picking our way down the steep slopes but we’re good at things like that.
This was not a sunset, as it began at 1:00pm. But some really nice colour in the sky over Vancouver Island.
And some nice colour still remaining in this hardhack shrub.
Thanks Elena for the group photo.