There has already been snow falling at Whistler and on the locals. The temperature is dropping, and I’ve already donned a toque and my winter gloves to bike to work! It’s time to start thinking about the winter snowboard/skiing season, and to start getting the gear ready for backcountry touring. The last few years I’ve spent more time gaining confidence, skills and knowledge about touring in the backcountry. It’s not something to take lightly. But, when all goes well, it can be a great workout and a beautiful experience.
To make it most enjoyable, knowledge and safety are key. I highly recommend, at minimum, taking an Avalanche Safety Course. I took one provided by Canada West Mountain School 3 years ago and learned a lot.
Dave Norona, local world-renown adventure athlete, has posted a great video about backcountry gear and safety. It’s a great intro if your new, or refresher if you’re seasoned.
Hiking up past Red Heather Hut, Squamish with my bro
View of Squamish Valley from Credit Line
Kelly, a fellow mountain biker, and myself headed up to Squamish yesterday to go for a long cross-country mountain bike ride and to enjoy the sunshine. Kelly had downloaded the Squamish Trail Map app (discussed in last blog post) to her iPhone so we could test it out. We road up through Wunderland, White Rabbit, Cheshire Kitten, then crossed over to the Brohm Lake trails. After that, we headed back across the road and up to Cat Lake. We pulled out the iPhone on the climb up to Cat Lake and it showed us exactly where we were on the trail map. We then bombed down Cheshire Cat, a super fun and fast downhill xc trail. After the Cat Lake loop, we headed into the Alice Lake trails on our way to Credit Line. We again pulled out the iPhone at the end of Tracks from Hell where there are a few trails linking together, causing a bit of confusion if you don’t know the trails that well. The app pegged us again exactly where we were on the map, and helped us find our way up to Credit Line. After Credit Line, another fast downhill xc trail, we turned left onto Jacks Trail which took us down to Brakentrail and back to the Bean and Republic Bicycles in Brakendale. It was a great day, and after playing around with the app some more, I’d highly recommend it if you are not that familiar with trails in Squamish and carry a smartphone.
Kelly & KJ - All smiles on Credit Line, Squamish