Saturday, July 9, 2011

Baden-Powell Trail: Northshore

Baden Powell entrance to the hike in Deep Cove

Despite all the news lately about bears in the North Shore, I embarked on my very first overnight hiking expedition. The Baden-Powell trail is not meant to be done as one continuous hike but as a series of smaller ones. It is 42 km/ 25 miles, some trails are easy to moderate, but there are areas that are considered advance. I would have really liked to finish the entire thing, but due to time constraints, it is just not possible. We parked our car in Deep Cove, and loaded with our overnight gear of tent, sleeping bags, food and change of clothes, we begin. It's a pretty easy/moderate beginning. It must have started to rain about 3-4 hours into the hike, initially we put on our plastic ponchos, but it got so hot because you are sweating so much, so we were wet from the rain, and we were wet from the inside of our ponchos from sweat. I figured I couldn't be wetter anyways, so I just took off the plastic poncho and just wrapped my pack with it (it would be nice to have dry tent and sleeping bags). Our first stop was Lynn Canyon, it's only 12 km from Deep Cove, but it takes about 5 hours because of the difficulty of the terrain.We continued our hike for 3 more hours after that. The one thing I really disliked about this particular trail are the neighbourhood areas, I felt like a derelict with my wet hair and my huge backpack walking through the neighbourhood of Lynn Valley. We soon found our trail in the bushes again but I just didn't have much energy to go on, we set up camp. It was pretty early in the evening, but I was just exhausted plus there are mosquitoes a plenty -- so we went to bed early after eating our yummy jerky and boiled eggs. It was really nice of mother nature to entertain us with a show of thunder and lightning.

The next day, we woke up thankfully sans rain. We were grateful to have change of dry clothes. Our destination was Grouse Mountain. Wow, this day started out hard right away. Continuously and endlessly uphill. Ugghhh!! Some of the areas were just rocks and ravines, with logs to cross over. Up down, up down with our heavy backpacks. The scariest part for me is being thrown off balance with my pack, I'm just not used to it yet. I just didn't want to end up toppling back like a turtle on the steep areas. It was just before noon when we got to Grouse Mountain. Thank God for the Starbucks there.

We then walked to Cleveland Damn after and decided to end our hike there. This is where we will start our next hike in order to finish the entire thing. The trail here will take us to Cypress, through the Black Mountain area, then to Horseshoe bay. This part of the hike is supposed to be the hardest and steepest! Yikes, can't wait.

We then take the bus back to Deep Cove to get our car. We reward ourselves with fish and chips and a very cold one each.