26 Apr Snowshoeing at First Peak Mt. Seymour.
Three weeks ago, Tanja and I decided to venture out for a snowshoe hike at First Peak Mt. Seymour (officially named First Pump Peak). A few years ago, we’d visited First Peak on an early Summer hike. Strangely enough, I could vividly remember a lot of the scenery along the trail. Usually, my memory abandons me when it comes to remembering any aspect of a hike. But unlike last time, we prepared ourselves way better for this hike. Our physical fitness has improved majorly, and we could rely on our brand new hiking poles (thank you Costco!). They turned out to be an absolute necessity, especially for the final steep stretches of First Peak.
Snowshoeing on the North Shore mountains is always a lot of fun, not in the least because it’s totally free. A few years ago, we bought sets of quality snowshoes, and ever since, we strive to make our money back by doing free snowshoe hikes. And thanks to the provincial park organizations on both Mount Seymour and Cypress mountain, you can. Of course, both mountain resorts offer their own paid snowshoe trails. But if you ask me, provincial park Winter trails are just as good, if not better. The park rangers mark the trails with poles, and signage informs you about the avalanche risk.
As soon as Tanja had parked the car, a bunch of bold ravens who seem to own the ski resort’s parking lot greeted us. Tanja always gets overly excited when she sees (or hears) ravens, and usually responds with her impression of a raven’s call. The ravens were not impressed. I think so far she’s only convinced a seagull to reply, but that may have been a coincidence. Anyways…
Accompanied by beautiful Spring weather, we hit the trail. When we reached the overlook of Dog Mountain, (which we hiked to a few months before), the sun peaked through the clouds in the perfect way to spotlight the scenery. Tanja went crazy with the camera and telling me how perfect the light was. Until it wasn’t, then she went crazy telling me how imperfect the light was.
After the photographic intermezzo, we continued our hike up to the peak. At one point, we noticed a bunch of hikers and snowshoers coming down a slope, walking along an unmarked trail. They told us it was a ‘shortcut’ to First Peak, and although shorter, a little more challenging. Not exactly reassuring when you’re in avalanche area (a few months ago, a person was scooped up and injured by an avalanche near First Peak). So we decided against the shortcut and chose the marked trail instead. Perhaps we were overly cautious, but if you ask me, I don’t gamble when it comes to the mountainous backcountry.
Along the last stretch towards the top, Tanja whipped out the camera a few more times and took all kinds of cool photos of me doing adventurous stuff in the scenery. Sometimes I don’t understand where she gets the energy to do these things when we’re in the middle of climbing a mountain, but I admire her for it. And I love the results.
When we finally reached First Peak (which requires an additional climb on an unmarked trail, otherwise you don’t get the view), the panorama made my day. I remember standing there in Summer a few years ago, feeling like shit because I was totally out of shape. But this time, I felt great. And not just because of the hiking poles :).
First Peak snowshoe photos