Back from PJ 2011

18 07 2011

Wow – what an incredible week of fun!

 

Lots of photos and one good video…

 

Here’s the video – Mountain Biking on the first day of PJ:

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Camping at Manning Park with the Scouts

1 02 2010

I haven’t posted about our Scout camp at Manning Park for a couple of reasons.  Unfortunately I still can’t really post about all the fun we had that weekend. Hopefully that will soon come to an end and you’ll get to hear all the interesting times that we had while there.  In the mean time, I have a few pictures from our camp.  There are many others, but you know you me – I’m going to start with the Birds 🙂

1) Sitting in the tree – considering coming down
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2) Moments later this guy would be down eating from a hand.
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3) Is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?
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4) Looking for food
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5) Escaping with the goods
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6) Not everyone was so happy with them landing 😉
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7) One of our Venturers posing with a new found friend
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I’ll have some pictures of actual camp life up later, but the birds are always high on my list. I hope you enjoyed them!





Backpacking into Alder Flats

5 10 2009

It has been a number of years since I led our Scouts into a backpacking trip. I was afraid that I’d forget something or that I wouldn’t have them correctly prepared.  I was pretty stressed getting ready for this trip.  October trips in the Vancouver area usually mean tarps and rain – attempting to avoid a complete drenching.  I was pretty leary about backpacking.

It turns out that I was over concerned.  The weather turned out to be spectacular and most importantly DRY.  Even the ones that didn’t quite have all their gear packed correctly, that would have spelled misery in bad weather, managed to keep it all together.

We were destined for “Alder Flats”, an area that is open and, unsurprisingly, full of alders.  The campsite is along the trail to the peak for Golden Ears (a 12 hour round trip, big elevation gain, hike).  The site was about 5.5 km in and about 250m elevation gain.

The beginning of the hike (about the first 3km) are quite smooth and easy as you hike along what was once an old logging road which is now overgrown to leave only a narrow trail in places and slightly wider one in others.  After 3km things started to get more technical as you had to navigate rocks, hike up flowing creek beds and avoid slipping on the eternally wet tree roots.  It was muddy in places and it was fun to watch the kids try to hop over and avoid puddles despite the fact that they had good waterproof boots.  I kept telling them to just keep their stride and not to keep trying to hop and manoeuvre around everything all the time as it would only tire them out.

As we approached our destination the spirits of my hiking Scouts started to flag.  They were wearing out.  This was the first time that they had hiked, having to carry everything on their backs. Their hips and shoulders were tired.  When we crossed the last creek, I knew our campsite would be close.  We came across some flat openings in the fir trees near a creek and decided to settle there even though it wasn’t officially “Alder Flats”.  It turns out that the actual location we had wanted was about 100m further up.  The flats, themselves, didn’t have easy access to clean flowing water so I’m glad we camped where we did.  We made it up to the site in about 2.5 hours.  Our camping location was actually 49.36282N, 122.46951W

Upon arrival they all set up their tents and looked after all their necessities of camping.  I won’t bore you with all the details but they had fun, learned a lot (like the fact that 1kg of pepperoni is more than enough for 3 people!) and that if you actually pack well all your belongings can fit in your backpack.

On Sunday we went up to the boulder field by Alder Flats and spent some time for Scouts’ Own and enjoyed the beautiful view of Edge Peak.  We hiked back down after that – it only took 2 hours.  I think they were motivated to get off the trail 🙂

Good Hiking Scouts!  Here are a couple of pictures from Sunday Morning:

 

Edge Peak:
Scouts Marpole hiking GoldenEars camping backpacking BC Canada

40th Marpole Scouts with Edge Peak in the Background:
Scouts Marpole hiking GoldenEars camping backpacking BC Canada





We rode the KVR August 11-16, 2009

20 08 2009

The 40th Marpole Scouts and 28th Kitsilano Scouts went out to the Okanagan for a 4 day bike ride on the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR) trail spanning 200km.

We left Vancouver on August 11th with 11 youth and 7 adults.  4 of us were going to ride and we had 3 support drivers.  We headed out with 2 minivans, a Toyota Tundra and an F350 1ton cargo van.  We had 15 bikes to rack, 18 backpacks and all the assorted group gear and food. We were loaded to the hilt! 

The ride along Highway 3 is actually quite pleasant in the day in the middle of summer, even if it’s long.  It took us about 7 hours to reach our starting point for the ride, Kettle River Provincial Park.    It was warm.  At 1800 it was still 26C.  It was shaping up to be a typical, hot, Okanagan ride.

The plan was to get up at 0600 every day so that we could be on the trail before 0800.   That kind of fell apart by the last day.

km’s cycled each day:

  • Kettle River Provincial Park->Beaverdell: 46km  (FLAT)
  • Beaverdell->Pear Lake: 59km (1% uphill)
  • Pear Lake->end of Myra Canyon Trestles: 26km (followed by “rescue”) (FLAT)
  • Chute Lake->Penticton: 47km (2% downhill)

The weather was comfortably cool most days except on day 3 it was 10C, raining and we all ended up mildly hypothermic…Geesh – the OKANAGAN isn’t supposed to be like that!  It’s supposed to be 35C and sweltering.  Cursed weather!

It’s hard to take a lot of pictures while cycling, but I did manage a few.  Those will come later.  I also brought the little SD780is – not to take pictures (stills SUCK, but for it’s HD video!)  Here’s a quick video I put together from the last part of the ride (from Chute Lake to Penticton)

At least the last day was fun! 😉

We stayed in Penticton on the last night and dined on real food before heading home on the Sunday via the Coquihalla. The drive was fast – just slowed down when we hit the usual traffic coming into the Port Mann.

It sure felt good to get home and hang up our gear 🙂

Tonight we head back to our Scout Hall and fold up the tents that have been drying out.   Another GREAT summer expedition under our belts.

Here’s a pano of “Summit Lake” –  a private lake near Hydraulic Lake along the KVR.  Beautiful lake with a little gazebo along it:

Summit Lake along the KVR

Summit Lake along the KVR





Hiking the Stawamus Chief

27 04 2009

40th Marpole Scouts - on top of the Stawamus Chief

On Sunday, our Scout Troop went for a hike up the Stawamus Chief in Squamish BC.  The weather was perfect.  At the beginning of the hike, the temperature was around 12C and it promised to be a sunny day for the whole hike.  We had 8 scouts, 2 cubs, 5 parents, a friend and myself head up.  We lost one parent early due to the extreme start (it’s a really steep uphill to start) but the rest of us all soldiered up and even the few that looked like they were going to die at the beginning came through with flying colours!  The peak elevation is 620m so the elevation gain is almost 600m.  What an incredible view!!!

We hung up at the top of the mountain for about 1 hour and then hiked down the “east trail” via the  gully and it was a fun technical root hop.  Lots of little scrapes and scratches to help the kids remember the hike!  A great start to the warm weather!

For all the pictures, head over to:

http://www.slacker.ca/brian/webpics/showpix.aspx?20090426Chief

 

Enjoy the view!

 





Sea Nettles

23 03 2009
 
We slept over at the Vancouver Aquarium with our Cubs on Saturday night.  It was a LOT of fun.  You get the opportunity to shoot sometimes without the hassle of all the people milling about.
 
One series…
 
Sea Nettles at the Vancouver Aquarium

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They are mesmerizing to watch floating!

 





More OOB fun!

16 02 2009

I found myself on Friday looking for more images to make “OOB” or Out of Bounds.  Some just seem to be more suited to the idea than others.

I did, finally, find this one.  It has a nice double feeling… With the OOB Scouts looking for their way (perhaps back in bounds?):

My latest fun:

OOB SteinValley Scouts BC Canada

 

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