Ode to North Shore Search and Rescue

Snowshoeing Photo: Rob Weiss

With headlamps, crampons, climbing rope and first aid kits on hand, the brave volunteers of  North Shore Search and Rescue have become regular fixtures on our local mountains.  These local heroes routinely put their lives at risk to provide help to those injured, lost and sometimes misguided hikers, skiers, and mountain bikers who encounter difficulties while playing in the hills.  Saving lives for over 50 years, our incredible group of rescuers is one of the oldest search and rescue teams in the country.

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Ode to North Shore Search and Rescue

3 Places for a Snowshoe-Fondue Outing in Vancouver

Image sourced from HelloBC

Image sourced from HelloBC

The fresh powder is glistening with moonlight; snowshoes swooshing through new-fallen snow is the only sound. Led by a guide, you work your way through forests of towering hemlock and Douglas fir trees, while the city lights of Vancouver twinkle in the distance, thousands of feet below. Up ahead, a light shines inside a rustic cabin and a you might even catch a hint of chocolate in the mountain air.

Welcome to Vancouver’s unique snowshoe and fondue adventures. All three local mountains offer the chance to explore the alpine scenery after dusk, then warm up in lodges with steaming hot cider and authentic fondue. Continue reading:
3 Places for a Snowshoe-Fondue Outing in Vancouver

Skiing in Vancouver: The mountains are closer than you think

http://www.flickr.com/photos/minay/3484704460/

It’s not easy living in the shadow of North America’s most famous ski resort.  Located two hours north of Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb has been named the best place to ski on the continent by Conde Naste, Outside Magazine and National Geographic.  And during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, billions of viewers around the world admired Whistler’s pristine slopes from their living rooms.

But, what many visitors to Vancouver don’t realize is that there are also great ski runs a lot closer to the city.  In fact, you barely have to leave downtown.  Just minutes from the city center rise three exceptional ski mountains.  With varied terrain and diverse offerings, Grouse, Cypress and Seymour mountains all receive abundant snowfall and attract world-class skiers.  Here’s a peek at what to expect: Continue reading:
Skiing in Vancouver: The mountains are closer than you think

Urban Hiking in Vancouver: Black Mountain

Bowen Lookout Cypress Mountain

Everyone knows that Vancouver is surrounded by stunning, snow-capped mountains.  What many people don’t realize is how close the city truly is to those rugged peaks.

Within a 30-minute drive from downtown, you can access fantastic trails running through pristine alpine terrain.  I call it urban hiking – since you can be back in the city in time for dinner.  During the summer, one of my hands-down favourite hikes – offering big rewards with a minimum of time and effort – is the quick ascent of Black Mountain, one of the peaks of Cypress Mountain.

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Urban Hiking in Vancouver: Black Mountain

North Shore Ski Hills Enjoy Snow Bonanza

Photo Credit: Remy Scalza

What a difference a year makes!  Remember last winter, when snowfall on the North Shore was so paltry that Cypress Mountain had to truck in snow just to keep the slopes covered for Olympic snowboarders and freestyle skiers?

This year the situation on Cypress, as well as on Vancouver’s other local slopes – Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour – is exactly the opposite.   Plentiful snow and cold temperatures have created exceptional skiing conditions.   In place of last year’s slush, meters of dry and powdery snow have fallen.  Runs are packed with skiiers and snowboarders enjoying conditions rarely seen outside the Interior.

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North Shore Ski Hills Enjoy Snow Bonanza