The Sun is Out and I’m Happy: Snowshoeing Al’s Habrich Trail, Squamish B.C.


Al’s Habrich Trail, accessed from the Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola—C.Helbig

Vancouver is a beautiful place, but it rains a lot. We haven’t broken any records this season, but it has felt particularly wet and gloomy. Although I’ve lived here for almost 16 years, I continue to be amazed at how a single sunny day—even a half-day— after a seemingly endless stretch of rain can put me in a state of bliss. And it only gets better if I get to spend the day in the mountains, where our sea level rain has fallen in great heaps of brilliant white. It all came together—a perfect “I’m so happy to be alive” kind of day on Al’s Habrich backcountry trail, accessed from the Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola.


A perfect bluebird day on Al’s Habrich Trail—C.Helbig

I’ve enjoyed Al’s Habrich trail in summer, but this was my first time doing it in winter (technically spring) and it was every bit as spectacular, maybe more so. It’s not promoted as an official snowshoeing route so it doesn’t get much traffic. Another great thing about this trail, winter or summer, is that it doesn’t take long to get to the views. It’s just 1-2 km of steady uphill through the forest before the trail opens up to a ridge with wide-open mountain and ocean panoramas. The entire 12 km return trip is amazing, but this a route where you can turn around after 3-4 km and feel intensely satisfied.


Looking down to Howe Sound from Al’s Habrich trail, Squamish, B.C.—C.Helbig


Looking up to the peaks from Al’s Habrich trail—C.Helbig


A perfect blanket of snow—C.Helbig

That’s it! Just a short happy post from a great day in the sun and snow. I’m thinking this day will sustain me through the next spell of gloomy weather!

For more information about activities at the Squamish Sea to Sky Gondola, check out my earlier posts on hiking/walking trails and snowshoeing the Shannon Basin Loop.

I’ll be back soon with more of my Spain series.

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “The Sun is Out and I’m Happy: Snowshoeing Al’s Habrich Trail, Squamish B.C.

  1. Wojtek

    Thanks for the post. Is there avalanche hazard along the route?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Fall Colours: Hiking Skyline Ridge Trail, Sea to Sky Gondola | Writes of Passage

  3. Your photography never disappoints Caroline!! I never tire of looking at snow covered mountain peaks like the photo “Looking down to Howe Sound…” And the one where the sun beams are streaming down is stunning!


  4. Your photos of sun and snow are so beautiful. I can almost feel the crisp fresh mountain air and the views are spectacular. I love the evergreen trees and the dark emerald green against the snowscape. I don’t know how to ski, but you certainly make it seem very appealing and a great way to exercise in the cold winter months. I completely agree that having sun on a very cold day makes all the difference to whether the cold is tolerable or not. I hope you have plenty more blissful days before the winter is over!


    • Thanks Peta, appreciate your kind words. The photos don’t do the day justice. I wish I’d had my good camera with me. There’s sun in the forecast and still plenty of snow in the mountains—we plan to take advantage of this. Your posts from exotic Sri Lanka are a pleasure to read and warm me up!


  5. Beautiful photos. How wonderful t be up in the mountains. I so know what you mean about how even a half day of sunshine can completely change your mood during Vancouver’s winter. I remember one year it rained pretty much non stop from October through May – that’s 8 months of rain. It was brutal.


    • Thanks Alison! I can’t imagine 8 months of gloom. Fingers crossed, there is lots of sun in the forecast after a rainy Easter Sunday. Hope you’re having a nice holiday weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Caroline,

    LOL not being accustomed the snow I had to double check what snow shoeing was. I had a vague picture in my head of something like tennis racket contraptions under your shoes. Think that image has surfaced from watching Daniel Boone when I was a kid! I can see snow shoes have changed a bit.

    Snowshoeing – according to my two minute google search – anyone can do it. Maybe, but it looks like it gives you a pretty good work out and uses certain muscle. If you weren’t used to doing it you would have fairly sore muscles after I suspect.

    On it being cold and white with beautiful snow, my daughter spent 4 months on an university exchange at Guelph University near Toronto. She loved it and was there over the winter. I had a range of Canadian cities weather on my weather app on my phone at the time and wow it was cold. So having such beautiful, stunning snowy vistas is the flip side of putting up the bitter cold. At least you can rug up, there is a limit to how much you can strip off in our Australian heat. Louise


    • My apologies Louise…I should not have assumed everyone is familiar with snowshoeing (living in my Canadian bubble). I should have added a photo showing the snowshoes. If you’re interested, there are some photos of snowshoeing in action on my post from Feb 3. Your google search is correct…anyone can do it if they know how to walk! It can take a teensy bit of getting used to because it’s a bit awkward especially on narrow/uneven trails with lots of snow. It is a good workout and a really nice way to enjoy our winters.

      As I was writing the post, I thought that readers from sunnier parts of the world might think I’m a complete nut bar to be so obsessed with the sun/warmth. It’s a very Canadian thing to complain about the weather (snow/rain/gloom/cold). And then there’s almost a euphoria when the sun comes out after a bad stretch…people are friendlier, chattier, happier. Hopefully one of these days I’ll get to experience Australia’s weather!

      Guelph is a great spot. My son will be going to Waterloo University next year which is only about 20 miles from Quelph.

      Thanks for your interest/comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brian Foster

    Sure is a beautiful part of the world. We may get tired of the snow at times but when presented like this, it has unmatched majesty. Deep snow to walk through.


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