Snow Capped Adventures Apr05

Snow Capped Adventures

As with all post vacation energy, it seems as though my body is in need of another rest as soon as I come back from the holiday, usually due to the large amount of adventures Han and I seem to try and squeeze into the time we have available when experiencing our getaways. And so, not wanting to break from tradition, our last few weekends have been action packed as our diaries grumble and creak at the adventures we pen into them. T+16 hours after landing on Canadian soil from Hawaii, we found ourselves in a car with friends and luggage abound on a weekend trip to Manning Park with our running club, Pacific Road Runners (PRR). Every other year the club organise a trip out to this beautiful national BC Park to relax, drink, snow shoe / run / ski (as you see fit) and generate that bonding and club atmosphere that all good clubs seem to exude. Being located roughly in the middle of Vancouver and the Okanagan (3 hours East from Vancouver), nestled cosily in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, and lying directly on Highway 3, Manning Park is not only within easy reach for us Vancouverites, but also a wonderful place to experience some of what outdoor Canada has to offer. Our group were staying in the impressive 36+ bed ‘lodge’, which offered us plentiful space to cook, create, play and relax, and is just a mere 5 minute walk away form the main resort bar, restaurant and swimming pool. We had a wonderful couple of days snow shoeing up and around the main ski resort mountain to Poland Lake, before settling in for some hot tub action, poker tournaments, and beer drinking entertainment. I even managed to find time to throw in a few impromptu balloon modelling workshops. Please specify a Flickr ID for this gallery It was a great post-holiday holiday, and really did recharge the batteries ready for ‘normality’ back in our home town. Thanks a ton to the organising committee of PRR who do such a great job of arranging, booking and coordinating all these things. However next weekend, not wanting to let the constant drip of weekend adventure come to a halt, we hit up with a double dose of adventure; not only had we planned to hike to Elfin Lakes and camp over in a desolate lodge with our good friends David and Julia, but it was also Han’s birthday on the Sunday. Elfin Lakes is located near Squamish, about an hour on the road North to Whistler, and the trail starts at a car park 20mins off the main highway down double dirt tracks. We had researched the trip quite extensively over the previous few weeks as we knew that this was not going to be a simple case of hiking, be welcomed at a cosy warm lodge with our own rooms, before settling in for the night and making the return trip, and thus we felt we were aptly prepared for the weekend. The camping lodge is actually located 11km from the start point, over often steep, dangerous, avalanche risk terrain, and operates on a first come first served basis with 30 wooden bed frames and slats available to hikers. Although the lodge had a couple of gas stoves, you need to take your own rollmats, sleeping bags, food and drink and entertainment on the hike, and thus it was the four of us started off at 8am laden with full backpacks and a small niggling thought of “what happens if we don’t get a bed”. But as trailpeak.com quotes “Few hikes put you in such exceptional terrain so quickly”, and a couple of hours into the hike we had passed enough people to feel relatively comfortable that a bed would be available, and started to really enjoy the snow hike through the winter wonderland that was opening...