Canada

Don’t miss The Gargoyles on an Elfin Lakes hike

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The Gargoyles in Garibaldi Provincial Park, British Columbia

I’ve hiked to Elfin Lakes at least half a dozen times, but I’ve only recently done the gem of a little add-on hike to The Gargoyles. Elfin Lakes is a popular hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park, near Squamish, British Columbia. The 22 km (14 mile) return hike is a beauty on its own, but for just an extra 2.5 km (from Elfin Lakes) you get into some incredible glaciovolcanic landscapes. In non-scientific lingo, that means bizarre volcanic rock pillars, stark scree slopes, and turquoise-hued, glacially-carved lakes.  A few weeks ago, my friend Morag and I got to explore this otherworldly place called The Gargoyles. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 56 Comments

Hiking Brandywine Meadows and Mountain at Whistler’s Callaghan Valley

 

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Brandywine Meadows

I’m on a hiking roll, and just did another beauty—Brandywine Meadows and Mountain, at Whistler’s Callaghan Valley. This hike has an incredibly high reward-to-effort ratio, particularly if you have a sturdy 4-wheel drive vehicle. An easy walk brings you to a beautiful meadow surrounded by snow-dappled peaks. It’s crisscrossed with gurgling creeks and is currently ablaze in wildflowers—you’ll think you’ve landed on set in The Sound of Music. The trail beyond the meadow, to Brandywine Mountain, is more strenuous, but with so many gorgeous views it doesn’t feel onerous. And, if you don’t make it the whole way (we didn’t), it’s still an enormously satisfying hike. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking | Tags: , , , , | 17 Comments

Hiking Whistler’s Skywalk North Trail

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Skywalk North: Whistler, British Columbia

I’m so excited about a hike I did earlier this week that I’m taking a short break from my Sri Lanka series to tell you about Whistler’s Skywalk North (better known as one of the trails leading to Iceberg Lake). Despite the clouds and the voracious mosquitoes, Skywalk North was amazing and got me motivated to explore more trails of the Skywalk network. My hiking pals (Morag and Eva) and I love a hike with variety and this one gets top marks: The 23 km lollipop route (a loop with a short repeated section at the start and end) travels through cedar forests, alpine meadows, rocky slopes with dramatic views of the Coast Mountains, and a glacial basin with tumbling waterfalls and the turquoise-hued star attraction— Iceberg Lake. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , | 65 Comments

Happy New Year: My Favourite Local Nature Spots with my Favourite People

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Happy New Year!

My best wishes to all my readers, whether you have just celebrated New Year or do so at a different time. I hope you are blessed with happiness and health. Thank you for continuing to read my blog posts. It gives me great pleasure to write about my travel and local adventures. I love that I’ve “gotten to know” many of you and that you’ve inspired me with your passions.  My list of places to go and hikes to do keeps growing thanks to you. I will keep my rambles short for once with a post featuring some of my favourite spots close to home—Vancouver’s North Shore and Sea to Sky corridor—with my favourite people. Continue reading

Categories: British Columbia, Places | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

WINE-der WOMAN at the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon

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Team Wine-der Woman running through the vineyards—C.Helbig

It’s my favourite weekend of the year! It’s filled with belly laughs, outrageous silliness and much wine consumption with great friends. This is our fourth year participating in the Oliver Osoyoos Half Corked Marathon, an annual event that takes place in the vineyards of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley. Named the 2017 Canadian Event of the Year at the Canadian Tourism Awards, the “marathon” is an 18 km (11.2 mile) course that winds its way through bucolic countryside with more than a dozen wine tasting and food sampling stops along the way. There are no prizes for speed, only creativity. After being pushed off the podium last year, we were thrilled to reclaim first prize with our WINE-der WOMAN costume. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Crazy Fun Stuff, Places, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 22 Comments

Winter hike and overnight at Elfin Lakes, Garibaldi Provincial Park

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Elfin Lakes Trail, Garibaldi Provincial Park—C.Helbig

I have raved about this hike in summer and now I’m going to sing its praises in winter. The snowy mountain scenery along the Elfin Lakes trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park, near Squamish, British Columbia, is stunning. Hiking it on a windstill day, under a cerulean sky is pure happiness for me.  It’s still early in 2018, but our hike to Elfin Lakes and overnight at its backcountry shelter may well turn out to be the highlight of my year.  Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , , | 33 Comments

Snowshoeing in Whistler’s Callaghan Valley and Vancouver’s North Shore Mountains

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Snowshoeing in West Vancouver’s Cypress Provincial Park—C.Helbig

There is one silver lining to the incessant rainfall in Vancouver: snow in the mountains, and lots of it! A couple of weeks ago, Whistler had 79 cm  (31 inches) within 24 hours. Our local mountains too, just a 15 minute drive from my rain-soaked abode, have piles of the white stuff. This makes me very happy! During the last few weeks I’ve snowshoed at Whistler’s Callaghan Valley and on the North Shore mountains, in West Vancouver’s Cypress Provincial Park. They were very different experiences, from trailblazing in hip-deep snow to a gentle jaunt in a winter wonderland. Continue reading

Categories: Activities, British Columbia, Canada, Hiking, Places | Tags: , , , , | 27 Comments

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