By Teresa Thoering
Our day trip to Mount Seymour from Deep Cove started with meeting downtown in the morning. On the bus to Downtown I had time to think about the different understanding about hiking that obviously exist and I already experienced last weekend. I started to hike last year and was quite proud of my longest hike in Switzerland, which was about 800 meters in elevation gain.
Last weekend I joined a group of ladies in their 60’s on their hike to Mount Fromme, I realized what a difference the speed of hiking makes. Getting closer to Downtown I became more and more concerned if it’s a good idea to join this hike: after all this group will be 40 years younger on average. At the same time I told myself that this is a beginner friendly hike and that I double-checked with Reid who organized this trip if this hike is feasible for me.
While waiting for our bus to Deep Cove I was surprised for the first time: Artem brought a flower for each hiker. What a kind gesture but isn’t that a bit exaggerated if you go hiking on a regular basis? It took quite a while till Michaela, Liz, Ayanna and I realized that it was women’s day! Decorated with our little flowers we set off to Deep Cove where we met Pawel and completed our hiking group for this trip.
On our first part of the hike I got quite optimistic about my hiking abilities and forgot all my uncertainties concerning this trip: we took the Baden Powell Trail with its up and over the maze of tree roots, beautiful areas of Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees and small and large wooden bridges till we arrived at the Quarry Rock. There we enjoyed the beautiful view of Indian Arm and the mountains around Belcarra.
Leaving the Baden Powell Trail behind us we followed the Old Buck Trail and I got more and more impressed by the beautiful nature Vancouver’s surrounding area has to offer. After missing one or two intersections we bushwhacked a small part of our way, discovered an old car wreckage and some interesting guys who raced down the street (which we finally rediscovered) with a breathtaking speed on something that looked like skateboards. We wondered how they will ever stop again. Luckily my hiking group wasn’t as fast and reckless as these guys but I slowly began to feel exhausted. And this was the moment I realized why the lady in the tourist office told me and a friend “Sure you can go hiking around Vancouver, but some people get lost.” I’m sure that she was exaggerating but I do agree with her that it isn’t the best idea to go hiking on your own if you can’t even read a hiking map. It seemed difficult enough to find the way if you are familiar with it.
After a great lunch around 1 pm (never had such a good lunch on a hike: one of our more ambitious hikers brought a whole poppy-seed cake! But I’d never went on a day hike where you continue your way to the top after lunch, either.) We went on our way to the Mount Seymour parking lot where most of the hikers seemed to start their hike. Well, we didn’t and that’s how I felt during the last part of our hike. I still hear the gentle and supporting voice in my ear that says “keep going” that helped me to reach the first peak of Mount Seymour, our final goal. And all of a sudden all the pain and questions like “Why am I forcing myself up to a stupid mountain?!” disappeared when facing the breathtaking nature only the mountains have to offer and feeling the great relief and pride when managing your first elevation gain of more than 1400 meters! After another unbelievable great food sharing us decided to shorten our hike back and to hitchhike to Deep Cove from the Parking lot, as it was already around 4pm. What a great idea! Even though the descent wasn’t as challenging as expected, I and my feet were happy that three friendly folks gave us a ride down. Finally we needed to muster the last of our remaining energy to run and catch the bus that took us back downtown, where some of us took in a beer while relaxing and completing this great day.
All in all it was an awesome experience to join and learn to know you and your Canadian way of hiking. But one should be aware that a beginner friendly hike at the VOC doesn’t mean that it’s an easy one, it means that they don’t leave you behind. And the way you do it is unbelievable kind and patient. Thank you guys!