K2inCanada's Blog

January 10, 2014

A cold but sunny weekend – Jan 4/5

Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 11:18 PM

I am still working on the big ski trip report, be patient.

This past weekend was one of those “usually” rare cold and sunny winter days in Vancouver – I said “usually rare” since we had way more of those this winter than any winter I remember from before.  But the rain is back with a vengeance since Tuesday and it got warm again.

Cold and sunshine or rain and warm unfortunately doesn’t help our local mountains to get any snow. Cypress hasn’t even opened yet. So we had to do a bit of a drive to find some snow on Saturday – we went to Manning Park – now under new management. They had opened a couple new trails across the highway – “Cascade Lookout” and “Blackwell Peak” – and apparently they are great. It was -8C when we started around 11:30AM. The trail goes up non-stop, not steep but following a switchback road going up the mountain side, wide and “easy”. “Cascade Lookout” just turns into “Blackwall Peak” after the first 8kms. The views along this trail on a sunny day like this are just spectacular. I didn’t think I would make it all the way up – ~14.5km in total – but I just could not resist to see the view around the next corner and the next and the next. I met Jeff half way up Blackwall as he was already returning down, complaining about being cold. I was so nice and warm on my slow climb up in the sunshine and couldn’t image what he was talking about. Since the start of the trail at the resort we had gained around 900m in elevation according to my GPS and it took me 3hrs!! Well I did stop for lots of pictures – see a selection below. Getting to the top is well worth it though. And I figured the way down will be all downhill and pretty quick. Well it was quick, took about 55min, but it was also FREEZING cold. The first 15mins were okay – still near the top and in the sun. But after Cascade Lookout the sun was too low and the trail was in the shade for most of the time and it got unbearably cold. -10C air temperature plus the windchill of going 20-25km an hour dressed for a workout!!! Doesn’t sound so bad but I was in pain and my legs and fingers and face were numb by the time I got to the car. Poor Jeff had already been waiting for me for probably an hour – he must have been even colder since he actually works hard when skiing and sweats a whole lot more than I. Gotta love the heated seats in the Golf in a situation like this! Yes we had the car idling to get warm! We headed over to the pub to sit next to the fireplace and have something to eat. I literately kept shivering for about 30min despite the hot chocolate and a nice bowl of Chili!!! But everything recovered – no permanent frostbite, just feeble coastal skin 🙂

On Sunday I really wanted to go for a paddle – it was +6C in Vancouver. Jeff stayed home nursing his legs. Burnaby Lake was flat calm. I took my K1 out and started paddling. I felt a bit tired as well and the balance seemed to be worse than the last time out but I thought that would get better soon. But it turned worse when I notice the ice covering half the lake near the 500m mark. Well, 70+ year old Cheslav was out in his K1 doing his 15-20km so I could not be chicken now, could I. I kept going and did make it to the dam but it was horrible. On the way back I was bracing more than paddling – felt like year 1 in my boat again. Really frustrating and I was almost ready to give up and go home. But it was such a beautiful day and I decided to do the sensible thing and exchanged my tippy K1 for one of the club’s stable trainer K1 (Tornado). What a difference – I finally paddled some….

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