Document type : vocene
Date : 2005-11-14
Description : VOCene 10
Content :
VOCene #10 2005/2006-November 14, 2005

The second week with snow has arrived and by all accounts it sounds like, although wet, it continues to fall. As I write this I am distracted by the bright yellow maple leaves set in the background of my distant window. The cold air is taking its toll, and it will not belong before the trees are bare and the ground covered in one of natures most subtle blankets. Winter, although not yet arrived, appears to be all around us. With a little luck and some continued praising to ULLR it will, like this 10th installment of the VOCENE, be fat.
In this VOCene:


1. Wed. Night Slideshow: NOVEMBER 16th 7pm. A Month in Morocco: Jbel Toubkal, Sahara, Marrakesh and more…by Corey Sine

2. End of Term Social December 6, 2005 7pm


1.	The Dec. social is happening: tickets on Sale Soon. Presentation by Conor Reynolds.

2.	Rooms Available for Rent DEC 1st

3.	Online Petition for Meager Creek Access

4.	Discounts at Canada West Mountain School

5.	Jeremy Frimer’s Guide Book: Climbs and Treks in the Huayhuash Cordillera of Peru. Are available through the VOC clubroom. Cost 25.00 dollars.

1.	Hanes Valley Hike by Andrew McGechaen  
2.	Mountain Lake Hut by Richard So
3.	Elfin Lakes by A.Krystil Koethler, Trish Stathers Sandra Nicol
4.	Black Tusk Meadows by Scott Nelson


   1.	Ring of Fire Bicycle tour slideshow 
2.	Monthly Meeting Alpine Club of Canada
3.	The Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival 
4.	The Canadian Avalanche Centre Presents Columbia Brewery Backcountry Avalanche Workshop


1.	Wednesday the 16th of NOVEMBER 7PM Clubroom

A Month in Morocco: Jbel Toubkal, Sahara, Marrakesh and more
Who: Corey Sine
I'll be putting on a 35mm slideshow about my time spent in North Africa last spring. I went to the country and did do some trekking (Jbel Toubkal being N. Africa's highest peak) but most of my time spent there was spent pursuing my hobby of photography. 

So if you'd like to see a bit of Africa through a photographer's eyes, how red the sand of the Sahara is, the multi-colored souks of Marrakesh, the striking architecture of Essouaria, the moon-scape harshness of the Hammada, some faces from the High Atlas mountains, the grandest of the Kasbas, and generally get my take on a country I'd recommend highly to anyone wanting to go, then please come!

There will, of course, be many stories involving arachniphobia, bribing officials, the insanity of Moroccan taxi drivers, etc. Popcorn is guaranteed.

2. End of term social is scheduled for December 6, 2005, at the sub in the Party Room. Tickets on Sale early next week, it will be a measly 5 clams, and will involve some type of food, slideshow, potential door prizes, and lots of fun. Conor Reynolds will be presenting a climbing slideshow. Title to come soon.

1.	The December Social is happening. December 6th 2005 at 7pm. Climbing Presentation by Conor Reynolds. Tickets on Sale soon.
2.	Rooms Available for Rent
	Sublet for one month, available December 1st:

We're moving out, so our large, bright 1 bedroom ground level suite is available for a one month sublet. Great staging post for skiing trips! Located at 2nd and Balaclava, it's very
close to UBC (#4 bus) and there are lots of great shops and restaurants around. It will be unfurnished, so you will need a sleeping bag (but fridge and cooker and coin-laundry are included!).Phone Conor and Rebecca at 604-742-2048 if you are interested (or email PS - Our upstairs neighbors will also have a bedroom in shared suite to rent from January 1st onwards (with possible December 1st move-in date) - nice place and people (outdoor types), wood floors etc.

3.	Online Petition for Meager Creek Access 
	The Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC) of the University of British Columbia owns and operates a backcountry hut (The Julian Harrison Hut) in the mountains above the headwaters of Meager Creek, a tributary of the upper Lillooet River. Additionally The Lill'wat First Nation operates facilities at the Meager Creek hot springs. Access to both of these facilities was cut off in October 2003 when a flood washed out the Bridge over Meager Creek. Access is further restricted from mid November to March when the Lillooet Main road is gated at the Hurley River Road turnoff. 

The BC forest service is currently not planning on rebuilding the bridge. The mountaineering community has started a petition to restore access to this amazing backcountry area. Please sign the petition online at:

Also please forward to all those who might be interested in backcountry access issues.

VOC Alumnus and Shit Disturber.


4.	Discounts at Canada West Mountain School
I would like to remind your members that they are eligible for discounts on all course, trips and customized programs with Canada West Mountain School We have a history of providing Avalanche Training courses to the VOC since the late 1980's, as well as individual training to many members. For our scheduled programs we will offer a discount of 10% up to a maximum of $25 off per course for any active VOC member. If a group of members gets together and wants a private course or trip, we will usually be able to offer even better discounts, depending on the numbers. 


Brian Jones

Canada West Mountain School
Vancouver 604.878.7007
Squamish 604.815.3451
Toll free in North America 1.888.892.2266
Fax 604.876.7047


1.	Hanes Valley Hike by Andrew McGechaen  
Two people went on a hike in Hanes Valley. The hike started at Lynn Headwaters Park and ended at the Grouse Mountain Gondola. Both the start and finish points were accessible by bus. The hike totaled 17km with a high point of 1425m. The hike lasted about 7 hours. It was reasonably well marked. The first segment of it was flat and forested and, we completed it quickly. We waded cautiously across a rapid knee-deep crossing of Norvan Creek, and we then hiked to the saddle of Crown Pass, and the second segment thereafter was mountainous and snowy. The rocky and slippery terrain made for much slower progress. No injuries occurred in spite of the hazard of slipping from snow-covered boulders or steep terrain. We eventually passed Little Goat Mountain and Dam Mountain to reach Grouse Mountain from where we traveled via the gondola to the bus stop.
There was continuous heavy rain for the duration of the entire hike. All our clothes soon became soaked through, even if they were waterproof. The trail was frequently covered in puddles or streams of flowing water, and the snow on the mountainous terrain became slushy and slippery. In spite of our wet clothes we avoided being cold thanks to the heat developed by the physical exertion of hiking and to the stillness of the wind.
	The area was very scenic, with stone mountain faces displaying tall waterfalls. The trail offered a variety of terrain, and I believe that the marked trails in the area may offer some good candidates for future day-hikes. Both the other hiker and I felt a sense of satisfaction at completing this challenging hike.
2.	Mountain Lake Hut by Richard So
 Trip Report:
I would say that this was a beginner+ trip. 
We met at the Furry Creek turnoff, and proceeded towards the locked gate. Scott W. was driving a 2WD, so he stopped about 2km's past the gate, and waited to be ferried up. We were curious if there was actually snow, but eventually we drove until there was too much snow to keep driving, about 700m. The first part of the route followed a snow covered road, which was flat and easy-going. The snow cover wasn't great. The next section involved crossing multiple small creeks, which generally required the removal of skis. After that, there was a lot of head-level trees with small branches to go through. Eventually we started switch backing up another deactivated road slowly. Mutiny was proposed by Chris M at the top, and confirmed when we realized that we couldn't find the flagging any more. It was around 2pm, and we were still far from the hut. Bram, Martin, Jay, and Ellen decided to use their tents and stay up there for the night, while the rest of us skied back down. 

The skiing down was very interesting, due to the very interesting terrain! The first part involved shin-deep powder in open roads, though the views were non-existent due to the weather. 
It was actually ok here, and the two snowboarders were having fun. I took lots of falls after taking off my skins, and soon realized it'll be more fun with them on. Skiing down through the small trees wasn't that much fun, but interesting. Eventually we got down to the first road, minus Scott and Sandra, who were waiting for Danny, who wasn't feeling good today. My car ended up leaving at 630pm from the parking spot. 

It was a wet day, and we were mostly soaked. The approach would be easier if there was more snow, and if the branches were trimmed off. Maybe another time.

3.	A.Elfin Lakes Hut Trip Reports by Trish Stathers and Krystil Koethler
Krystil’s Version:
	T-Money, S-Diddy, D-Diddy, A-Unit, and K-Dawg, went up towards Elfin Lakes on Friday Morning. The snow was quite good and we were even required to park at the middle parking lot. 
When we were nearly at the hut I remember thinking; "wow, what a great trip, super easy, close, fun, and really really beginner friendly, I'm going to totally recommend this trip to all beginners out there." This was part-way through our scenic detour (translation = we got a slight wee bit lost. Lost on a VOC trip you ask? Never, just checking out the area. Side note; the poles are not in to mark the trail yet). Luckily we ran into Rich and Graham who were keen enough to bring a map and GPS. (Thanks again guys)! 

Anyhow, the hut was not too crowded, and the snow was awesome. Visibility this morning was quite poor due to the wicked intense snowfall, so we high-tailed it to the Brew Pub. All in all $ (1 bling), (which is actually pretty good on the bling scale; $= quite good times had by all and totally worth going, $$= very good and even amazing, $$$= totally wicked awesome and sweet and could hardly be any better, a galaxy = really couldn't be any better (galaxies hardly get given out and need to be saved for those truly perfect trips)).

Only one question was left un-answered; Tyler dude, where were you? We missed you. Hope your business went well in Hope.
Oh yeah, just to keep in mind for future long weekends; today while we were skiing out there were a bazillion people skiing in, tonight's going to be a cozy one in that hut.

b.Trish’s Version:
	IT was Al and the girls (Dani, Sarah, K-dawg and me) in the pissing with rain Friday morning driving up, it was a bit demotivating til we ran into heaps and heaps of snow on the Diamondhead road. Woot! 
We strapped the skis on from the car, and by the time we were at red heather were drenched with sweat and super warm snow. A casual lunch let us get toasty warm and happy dry at the hut before *ahem* creating a diversion trail up the hill to elfin to shake off the 12 or so extra folks who thought they'd crash our party. I hope nobody's still out there...
Somehow they switched north and moved a couple of ridges on us and I was about ready to call it a brew pub at 2 or 3pm but we ran into Homie G and the Truman show who possessed with them a pimp gps and map ninja skills. Happy hour was gin and tonics and a little Canadian. Cheers for that, Kdawg this is how we roll...
There were about 16 of us at the hut that night out of a potential many more, and despite the synchronized log sawing' was a beautifully warm cozy fun night. I never leave this hut without good memories and a little hanta virus. Man you should see Sarah's heels, she is one badass hard woman! Dani even made it back to Van for work at MEC at 3pm by hitchhiking! amazing.
Thanks guys!!:)
Cerise weekend after next anyone?

C.Sandra’s Trip Report
Sandra Nicol:
Another trip report, from a different perspective...
We had a pretty good time, although very damp, and learned a few things
about group management (at least, I did). Scott and I did find the trail
for future reference, but by then it was too late to continue toward the
hut without committing ourselves to skiing an avalanche slope regardless
of its condition, and traveling through unfamiliar terrain in the dark.
So we went down, practicing turning in heavy snow with a pack on (and
getting up in heavy snow with a pack on). We even got a bit of beautiful
night skiing in (few things are quieter or more pretty). The BCMC has
been building a trail and fixing up the hut, but I'll suggest to them
that the next step to take is removal of alder on the road and better
winter marking for the forest section of the trail.

4. Black Tusk Meadows
Scott Nelson:
After failing to get to mountain lake in a blizzard on Friday and taking
Saturday to dry out, Sandra and I headed for Black Tusk Meadows on

Some new snow overnight fell all the way down to highway 99, but we were
easily able to drive to the parking lot. We hiked quickly up the trail,
put on skis after 3km and were at Taylor meadows after 2.5 hours. We met
 snowshoers coming down from Taylor meadows who were the only other
people we saw all day. 

From Taylor meadows, we crossed Taylor creek on the bridge and followed a day old filled in snowshoe track towards Black Tusk for a bit, and
hen broke off when the track headed too far east. The clouds were
hovering just above the tree line, so we set our sights on the top of the
trees. A quick pit on the way up revealed good stability. We managed two
runs from the tree line down to the meadows in very nice powder, with
good visibility and even some sunny breaks. 

Time did not allow for a third run, so we glided back down our skin
track and set off back down the trail. We skied down the trail as far as
we felt comfortable, and then walked the last 4.5km back to the car. The
sun went down as we hit the bottom of the endless switchbacks, so we had
to pull out the headlamps for the final march back to the car.
Altogether a fabulous, long day.

Snowpit data, for those who are interested. The preserved surface hoar
layer 10cm down could become an issue as more snow falls on top of it.

Aspect: SSE 
Slope: 28 degrees 
Elevation: 1850m 
Temperature: ? (~-5)
Sky: Overcast 
Wind: light from S
Date: November 13/05 Sunday

0cm surface
10cm CT Easy 2 (POP) on Surface hoar (probably formed evening Nov 12)
20cm CT Moderate 16 on new snow interface
--K - rain crust from Wednesday Nov 9/05
45cm CT Hard 30+ failed below ice crust (not a clean break)
120cm ground

1. Ring of Fire Ring of Fire Bicycle tour slideshow.
Tuesday November 15, 2005 at 19:30

"Cycling the Pacific Ring of Fire", "volcano-hopping" by mountain bike
around the globe's largest ocean is an expedition of epic proportions
undertaken by Canadian adventurers Janick Lemieux and Pierre Bouchard. 

Come and meet them as they share their tales and discoveries gathered during the second stage of this ambitious "cyclo-volcanic" quest: 11,000 kilometres and 18 months astride their mounts from Patagonia to Indonesia via the South
Seas' fabled isles of paradise and fire! 

As part of Pedal Magazine " Cycling the Pacific Ring of Fire part 2: a
mariner's journey! " pan-Canadian series, the two globetrotters on wheels will stop over in Vancouver to present their inspirational and captivating expedition account at the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre Auditorium (1100Chestnut Street) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 at 19:30. Admission: $15.
Tickets are available at MEC stores. Info: (604)872-7858.

2.NOVEMBER Alpine Club of CANADA Meeting
The November 2005 Echoes is available at

The November meeting of the Vancouver Section will be

Tuesday, November 22 at 7:00 pm at Van Dusen Gardens West 37th and Oak
Street Vancouver

This will be the Annual Meeting and Pot-Luck

Bring a pot-luck dish for others to enjoy.

Slide Show: "Climbing on Mount Logan with Rescue at 18,000 ft" by Linda

Linda will share her experience on Mount Logan in May 2005 weathering a
severe storm at 5500 meters 

and the rescue of three North Shore Rescue team members on the summit

3. Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour comes to Vancouver on Dec. 1,2,3, 2005

 Hot on the heels of the largest, and one of the most prestigious, mountain festivals in the world, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has hit the road, with stops planned in more than 250 communities and 25 countries across the globe.

 This year’s tour features a collection of the most inspiring and thought-provoking active, environmental, and adventure mountain films. Traveling from remote landscapes and cultures to up close and personal with adrenaline-packed action sports, the 2005/2006 World Tour is an exhilarating and provocative exploration of the mountain world.

Vancouver, at the Ridge Theatre (3131 Arbutus) on Dec. 1,2,3 at 7:00pm.

 For tickets and information contact (604) 623-FILM and MEC

4.The Canadian Avalanche Centre Presents
Columbia Brewery Backcountry Avalanche Workshop

Follow this link for details:,15,3,Documents

Vancouver: Saturday Nov 19th,
Ridge Theatre 3131 Arbutus
9:00am - 4:30pm

This workshop is for you! You’re a backcountry skier, boarder, sledder or climber. Mountain adventure is important in your life and you want to enjoy your sport for many years to come. You’ve taken an avalanche course, or read some of the books, and you know that you owe it to yourself, your friends and your family to ensure your avalanche knowledge is as up to date as your mountain equipment.

These events provide an early season avalanche safety primer to help you start your winter right. This is an opportunity to get together with avalanche experts who will share their insights, introduce new ideas and tools, and help active winter travelers like you learn more about snow safety.

This year’s workshop theme is:
Outsmart the Dragon: Avalanche Risk in a Changing World

Learn from leading Canadian and US avalanche researchers and experts including:
Jill Fredston: author of the new book Snowstruck: In the Grip of Avalanches and co-director of the Alaska Mountain Safety Center
$40 General Admission, $20 Students; (Student ID required upon admission)

Tickets are available at Mountain Equipment Co-op stores in Vancouver & North Vancouver; Ridge Theatre Box Office, online at, by phone at 250.837.2435, and at the door.

For more information visit or call 250.837.2435

Quote of the Week:  "Powder snow skiing is not fun.  It's life, fully lived, life lived in a blaze of reality."  ~Dolores LaChapelle
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UBC Varsity Outdoor Club
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