K2inCanada's Blog

December 2, 2018

Blues at home

Filed under: Canada, Hike, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 6:19 PM

After having to drive to Vernon again last weekend, nobody else has good snow yet, we decided to stay home this weekend. Last weekend’s drive was a bit more snowy than the previous two weekends. And this weekend we saw the first snow in town. So maybe there is hope. Mind you the bit of snow we saw Friday was quite localized around work and I think it was more hail than snow. At least it got me ready for our company Christmas party that evening. The local mountains got a bit more though. Not enough to open any skiing yet but it was a start. Jeff, getting his training in, rollerskied on Saturday while I hiked up Black Mountain. It was a bit slippery on the way down without any crampons or poles but I managed to not fall on mu bum. It was a beautiful day with a mix of sun and clouds and everything coating in fresh white stuff.

Today was even nicer, cold with a high of 7, but not a cloud in the sky. Pretty nice for early December. Apparently Vancouver actually beat Toronto last month in the most hours of sunshine. That’s unheard off :-).

 

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November 23, 2018

Not much snow yet in BC

Filed under: Canada, Ski, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 10:26 PM

We had hoped that either Nickeplate or Sun Peaks would open their ski trails last weekend (Nov 17-18) which would have cut the driving time down by 1-2hrs each way but neither place had enough snow. Hence Jeff and I went back to Sovereign to repeat the last weekend. It was sunnier though and a few more trails were open. Saturday we skied till sunset around Carl Wiley. Started out skating until my foot was too sore and then switched to my skins. Got almost 3hrs of relaxed skiing in and it felt really good. Doing some skating seems to help the balance on the classic skis. The coolest thing was seeing a ermine twice on the trail. Both times the people behind me spotted it. And both times I was too slow to get a picture but I did get a good look at it. So cute! We had dinner at the Irish Pub across from the Econolodge. They had a “Silverstar Weekend Stay” raffle going on if you ordered certain beers. Needless to say, we had a lot of beer that evening.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day. Only a few wispy clouds were in the sky but they only dimmed the sun a bit and didn’t hide it. Made for some awesome into the sun glare pictures I thought. Since doing the same trails over and over again does get boring over time, I dared skiing the lower black trails that I usual avoid because I remember them as deadly steep downhills and awful uphills at the end of the loppet course. Well, they are hilly but not as bad as I remembered :-). Well it must have been a few years since I had done the loppet at Sovereign. Never saw the ermine that day but found some tracks on Montezuma that could belong to a bobcat. Would love to see one of those skiing one day.

Well, it was worth the long drive – again.

November 22, 2018

Nov 13 Paddle

Filed under: Canada, Paddle — K2 in Canada @ 10:27 PM

Not much that needs to be said about this – perfect day for a paddle in the Cove. Still warm enough – just, if you forgot your neoprene socks like Jeff did :-). We still got almost 2hrs in. We figured the fireplace at the Maplewood will thaw out the frozen toes afterwards. Unfortunately, the pub had a new server that day. She was horrible. Slow to serve, forgot to bring the second beer and got the bill wrong after all that. Even the nice fireplace one can sit next to to warm up the cold feet does not make up for that type of service. Sorry Maplewood, I think we need to take a break. It’s skiing time anyhow…

P1240202 (Medium)

November 12, 2018

‘Bout time if you ask Jeff

Filed under: Canada, Ski, Travel — K2 in Canada @ 10:48 AM

Yep, skiing season has started. At least at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, which opened their trails on Nov 5. There is no snow in any of the local mountains other than Manning but not enough to groom trails yet. Nov 23 is their expected opening date.

Anyhow, a 5hrs drive one way never stopped us. So we headed to Vernon Saturday morning and back yesterday afternoon for 2 days of skiing. It’s a long weekend here but we figured we’ll be too sore after 2 days anyhow. We had a full car, as John and Peggy came with us.

The conditions were very good for early season skiing even though they only had about 18kms of trails open. Just meant a lot of loops back and forth to Black Prince Cabin. It was quite busy with Sovereign being the only Nordic Centre open and all the Okanagan ski teams wanting to get on snow. Apparently Larch Hills had brought out 200 kids from Salmon Arm! I saw jackets from NWT and Newfoundland& Labrador! But it never felt too crowded on the trail (at my speed :-)). I classic skied both days on my skin skis. The skis, as always, outperformed the skier but I felt better than expected. Temperatures were fantastic with just below 0C. Sun tried to poke through the clouds here and there both days. Skied for 2 hrs on Saturday. Soaked in the hot tub for 1hr. Ate and drank beer for 3hrs at the Naked Pig meeting up with Peggy and her husband Gerry. Slept for 9hrs. Had breakfast at Denny’s for 1hr. Skied again for 3hrs on Sunday. Drove back for 5hrs. Sounds like a great weekend, does it not?

November 7, 2018

Mixed Bag of a Weekend

Filed under: Canada, Hike, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 10:13 PM

Fall – torrential downpour one day and beautiful sunny skies the next. Last Saturday was a lazy day. It rained! Only went for my hike in the morning and was surprised to still see 10 other cars in the parking lot on Seymour. Well beats the sunny days when you can hardly get a spot up there. Anyhow, less cars means less people so a great day for Dog Mountain. It’s not much of an elevation change but the wet and muddy trail still had its challenges and going was slower than I expected. A few people on the trail but overall pretty quiet. A day for mushroom watching and not views :-).

 

In the afternoon we went looking at a slide in camper for our Tacoma but even the fold-able ones will get us close to the payload. How would we be able to take our boats? More thinking is needed, although the campers were nice. Simple AND they had a furnace. Yeah, getting old … I know.

Sunday was a total switch in weather. Blue sky and sunshine till the late afternoon – which came earlier because of the time change. I wish we could stay in daylight savings time all year. It was still dark when I rode into work in the AMthe last two days! Anyhow, went for a walk in the morning while Jeff did his ski erg indoors. We skipped the fishing since the rivers were all washed out after the heavy rain this past week. Last week was the Fall edition of Bike to Work Week  and we always host a pancake breakfast at work on one of the days in the AM – Nov 1 this time. I think this was the first time ever that it was rainy heavy the whole time. I was dressed up in full rain gear carrying pancakes from the grill outside into the lunch area (dressed up a day too late for Halloween :-)) Mind you, we needed the rain after a beautiful but pretty dry October. Back to Sunday, I managed to convinces Jeff to go for a paddle in the afternoon. It was a bit windy, although the forecasted 50km/hr never materialized. Nevertheless, our 2hr paddle felt harder than it should have and we both were sore for a couple of days. Why!?

 

October 28, 2018

Should have been perfect …

Filed under: Canada, Fishing — K2 in Canada @ 9:58 PM

Today should have been perfect conditions for Coho fishing. Jeff let me sleep in till 6AM this morning. It had rained all night but we got a break when we loaded the fishing stuff into the car. The rain caught up with us again half way. The river was pretty sogged in when we arrived and one person was already fishing close to Jeff’s spot but we are able to get in no problem. We arrived at the same time as Jeff’s buddy Gary and of course both of them knew the guy fishing near THE spot. Apparently Gary had been hooking into Coho a lot the last couple days. So I was excited to get into some fish despite the heavy rain and on and off wind. Mind you the wind was from our back and helped my casting which really sucked today. But the fish did not cooperate at all! And without catching any fish I quickly got cold out there with my leaky waders. Saw Jeff catch a nice chrome Chum and buddy Gary caught a nice hatchery Coho. I hooked into one Chum but it came off right away. I only lasted for 3hrs until I started shivering badly and decided to hide out in the car. It wasn’t really that cold but somehow I got chilled. Luckily I had brought my fleece blanket and book and tea … what else would you do on a rainy Sunday but curl up under a blanket and read and nap :-). Jeff of course fished till 3PM. The weather improved near the end and I went for a bit of a walk. The sun even tried to break through here and there and one could see the snow-capped mountains in the background. Even a stormy fall day can be beautiful.

October 27, 2018

Had Company Today

Filed under: Canada, Hike, Kayak — K2 in Canada @ 9:59 PM

One last dry day. It started out nice and sunny and I managed to get my friend and former paddling and now swimming buddy Krista out for the usual Saturday morning hike I do while Jeff rollerskis the road. Originally, I was supposed to join her for Crossfit but it was booked out and I really was looking forward to some fresh air after yet another week of hardly seeing daylight rather than sweaty gym. We went to Mt Seymour. It was a bit cooler than the previous weekends but we warmed up quickly on the way up. Krista easily kept pace on the way up and we went to the view point just past Brockton Point and then returned via Mystery Lake. The trail was quite a bit wetter and we were slow to come down on slippery rocks and roots and mud. Great hike though, it was nice to have someone to talk to for a change. Really about time to start our winter swim sessions again :-).

Since we started a bit earlier today I was able to even hit the river for an afternoon paddle. It was no longer sunny but overcast but I managed to finish my 90min 3-bridges paddle just before the rain started.

Ladner Fall Classics

Filed under: Bears, Bike, Canada, Kayak, Racing — K2 in Canada @ 9:11 PM

Well, last Sunday should have been a fishing day but we decided to do a short kayak race in Ladner instead. The water levels at Jeff’s favourite Coho spot were really low and the nice bright sun seems to spook the fish. We did the Ladner race, put of by fellow paddlers Matt and Chris, before but that was in January – it was cold and wet and just plain miserable. Given that this race was held on Oct 21st it should have been cold and wet and plain miserable but it wasn’t. Bright sunshine and perfect temps around 15C.

But the race was not till the afternoon and so Jeff decided why not do a “quick” mountain bike ride up Grouse Mountain following the access road. How hard can that be? And we get to watch the bears at the top. I was actually thinking this could be fun. Well, we told super biking fit buddy John about our idea. He had been up there many times and said it was easy and he knew a good spot to meet somewhere at a mall since there is no parking near the top. Unfortunately that mall was at the bottom of a big hill up Mountain Highway. So by the time we made it to the start of the back road I was already sweating bullets. And all those cars with mountain bikes drove by us while I was struggling up that big hill! Turns out there was a perfectly fine parking lot! It was full by the time we got there but given the amount of cars that had past me grinding up the road that wasn’t a surprise. I am sure we would have gotten a spot if we drove right up rather than riding up and adding another 20min to our ride. Anyhow, I made it, but I was grumpy. So the guys, who were must faster than I anyhow, took off and said – see you at the top. I had just enough time to yell that I would turn around at the 2hr mark … before I lost sight of them. I know Jeff was hoping that when I see bears my grumpiness would go away … he knew I’d be grumpy all the way up. The trail, well gravel road, through the forest wasn’t steep but it goes up the whole time. I actually thought I can do this no problem as I got to the top of Mount Fromme. I even passed a few people slower than I – downhill bikers, what can I say. It went almost flat for a bit but when I turned the corner I saw Grouse way above me on the other side of this big valley. I was barely half way! Even lost a bit of elevation as the road wound its way along the valley further and further AWAY from the  final destination. Well at least it did not drop too much. Riding up the other side to the top of Grouse almost killed me. Up and up it went and each turn I thought I got to be almost there … but nope. I was ready to turn around but still had 10 min to go before the 2hrs were up.  Now, I did not want to be a quitter and I told myself to at least ride up for two hours before turning around. I made it to the top with a minute to spare. Jeff was wrong, I was still grumpy even when I saw the bears. Jeff was smart, he stayed away for a few more minutes while poor John got the worst of my venting. Sorry John! Only got to watched the bears for about 5min before it was time to head back down so that we could get ready for our afternoon race. What on earth had I been thinking….! The way down of course was much faster but my wrist got pretty sore. Apparently Mt Fromme has some nice downhill trail for the not so experienced mountain bikers but I just wanted to get off the mountain.

We had an hour rest before we had to load the boats and drive to Ladner Slough. The usual suspects showed up and we had ourselves a good race with Shane and Chris and Connor in the front pack. But the 10km felt much harder than they should have. Apparently I do use my legs when I paddle since I could feel them complaining after the morning bike ride. Well, Shane and Connor were on their 2nd race of the day too so none of us was going too crazy. Jeff protected the inside line on the last lap almost driving poor Connor into the pleasure boats as we passed the marina. Poor Connor, he is still young and doesn’t yet know all the dirty tricks :-). We won the sprint to the finish line by a hair over Chris and Shane and Connor in 51:34, beating our January time by almost 5min. The nice weather sure helped. The best part thought was the pub afterwards with good food and beer in great company.

October 20, 2018

Just another day in paradise

Filed under: Canada, Hike — K2 in Canada @ 6:23 PM

Which I shared with another 100 hikers but that could not taint the good feeling being out in the mountains on a beautiful sunny and warm October day. It should be raining by now but I am going to enjoy the sun as long as it lasts. Hiked up to 1st Peak today on Seymour Mountain. It’s a long time since I did it last in the summer and I was surprised that it only took 2hrs return. Could have been faster with less people on the trail :-). I felt it though afterwards and skipped my paddle. Or maybe I felt the 2 beer I had for lunch? Either way, resting for race day tomorrow.

 

October 15, 2018

More sun than fish

Filed under: Animals, Canada, Fishing — K2 in Canada @ 10:21 PM

What a beautiful sunny day on the river yesterday. The only thing I dislike is the getting up at 5:30AM. It started out a bit windy which made us fish the west side first so that we had the wind at out back. I would have been miserable trying to cast into a strong headwind. The water levels were extremely low. We did a lot of walking but didn’t get into any fish. Saw the sea otters again swimming and lots of eagles sitting in the trees getting ready for the salmon feast. And Jeff got into a sockeye of all salmon just as the wind died down.

So we crossed over to our usual side – via a bridge, not swimming. There was at least a bit more activity than we had seen all morning. But I could not touch a fish. Not even Goldies. Interestingly, I saw a lot of bees float by me. Tried to rescue the first but there were so many … floating downstream in the river and sitting on the beach “eating mud?”. Is that how a worker bees life ends – drown with a belly full of “rocks”? Jeff got into a spot with his buddy Gary and company and they seemed to be hooking fish but not many made it to the beach. Lots of Chum around. At least I didn’t see many caught as I fell asleep leaning against a big boulder on the shore in the sun for an hour – it was awesome :-). When I woke up again I did not want to crowd in the boys so I walked some ways up river and fished another of our usual spot for a while where there were fish showing. Again no luck but my casting is getting better and better. Right at the end of the day, Gary and company had long left, I saw Jeff finally land a nice clean Coho. And it was a hatchery one. I joined him for a bit and hooked into a couple Chum, the 2nd one took my fly. I had enough after 8 hrs on the river as the sun was about to disappear behind the hills. Jeff would have stayed till dark I am sure but I had beer and ribs at the Gilnetter Pub on my mind :-).

 

We had fresh BBQ salmon tonight – fabulous!

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