Archive:Winter Longhike 2016

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This is the sign up and organization page for an old trip. It already happened. Please do not sign up for it.


Main article: Winter Longhike

NOTE: This page was copied and mostly updated from a previous trip, if a date is really weird ignore it here!


Winter Longhike is coming up!

This is an introductory trip for winter camping. We'll be a large group of keen people that want to experience a totally new face of the white backcountry.

We'll be having great fun and learning new skills such as building our very own snow shelter (or if you're ambitious enough, a snow castle). There will be a prize for the most elaborate snow-cave :D

Other activities likely to happen include (but are not limited to):

  • Backcountry food cook-off
  • Sing-alongs
  • Great skiing on Sunday but don't expect to use the groomed slopes if you didn't buy a lift ticket.


This is an easy and über-beginner friendly trip and if you've never seen snow you're more than welcome to join. This trip is also, ski-, snowboard-, and snowshoe-friendly.

Although beginner friendly and relatively easy, do not under estimate Winter Longhike - it is still a trip to a backcountry location where your survival depends on your actions and equipment. Due to the massive size of the group you will not be micro-managed - you are responsible for your own safety and actions this especially includes asking for help. If you have some common sense and can follow simple instructions this should not be a problem. There will be plenty of experienced people around that will be happy to help you if you ask them, but there won't be assigned instructors.

You should form smaller sub groups (easiest is with the rest of the people in your car) and look out for each other; this will be sorted out at the pre-trip meeting so have no fear.

This trip can be found on the Trip Agenda here

The Plan

The general plan is for everybody who arrives on time to hike in together on Saturday morning. Once we reach the camp area you will gather together with your snow cave group, select a suitable site, and start constructing your snow shelter. Experienced people will be on hand to offer advice and encouragement. If you've never done it before, building a snow shelter will take longer than you thought it would - basically all day. Hopefully before dark, though, it should be complete. The group will dig a massive snow-kitchen, so we can all gather together to cook, eat, drink, sing and generally be merry and have a good time. At some point you'll get tired and go to bed, testing out that snow cave you dug earlier in the day. The route in and the area around camp will be selected such that if you stick to these areas you are exposed to minimal avalanche terrain.

On Sunday, what you do is up to you and your group. Many people will go skiing in the backcountry, which involves navigation and terrain evaluation. Some will go hiking or snowshoeing, which also involves terrain evaluation (but you're probably less tempted to venture out onto steep slopes since there's no reason to). Many will sleep in, some will go home early and some will go home late. Sunday is up to you, but before you leave, help clean up the area, remove any trace of humanity, and help collapse the snow caves.

Possible Itinerary


  • 8:45am: Arrive at Mt.Seymour Resort parking lot.
  • 9:00am: Depart trailhead towards campsite.
  • 10:00am: Arrive at campsite. Head out with your sub-group and start scouting a location for your snow cave!
  • 5:00pm: Regroup around dinner area in preparation for dinner.
  • 5:30pm: Begin making dinner/hang out/shenanigans begin.
  • 6:00pm: Begin shenanigans!


  • 9:00am: Wake up/breakfast.
  • 10:00am: Do any activity decided on by your group (skiing, snowshoeing, more snowcave building, etc).
  • 4:30pm: Depart campsite for parking lot.
  • 5:30pm: Arrive at parking lot/regroup/debrief. Decide on a potential meet-up location for dinner/brewskies!

Pre-trip Meeting

Date: Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Location: ESB 2012 MAP
Time: 7:00pm - 8:00pm

You really should come to the pre trip meeting. At the pre-trip we will be covering some winter camping basics and arranging rides. You will also have the opportunity to interact with other VOCers and arrange snowcave groups and food groups at the pre-trip... If you absolutely can't make it, find somebody to represent you and make sure they have enough information to do so!

If you've sorted all this stuff out on your own that's fine, but let the event organizer know (by email) that you'll be coming and with whom you'll share your car.

  • Note: This is all basically up to your driver, but we will be encouraging the pre-pay system for this trip. In order to ensure drivers are fairly and appropriately reimbursed even with flaky passengers, we are asking all passengers to bring the money for their driver to the pre-trip meeting. This will avoid the need to split up costs at the end of the trip and drivers won't have to worry about driving up with an empty car if their passengers bail. Check out this page to get an idea of the costs of taking a car on a VOC trip. The exact amount to be paid will be up to the discretion of each driver. Count on something like $10 per passenger, since we're driving some distance.

Important Considerations

This is the sort of stuff we will go over at the pre-trip, written down here because everybody knows it's hard to pay attention when somebody talks at you for half an hour.

Things to do beforehand in the city

  • Find/form a smaller sub-group that will look out for each other (easy to do at the pre-trip).
  • Tell somebody about your plans - you will not be micro-managed on this trip. If you didn't come home, would anybody notice? If you don't really know anybody in the city this person can even be the trip organizer(s) - but you have to let him/her know explicitly to look out for you.
  • Double check you have everything on the gear list. See below.
  • Read over the winter camping basics
  • Check over the snow shelter instructions, and think about what kind of shelter you're going to build.
  • Figure out how you're getting there. Driving time (excluding passenger pickup) should be about 2 hours.
  • Read over (maybe even print out?) the hiking directions - you should know where you're going even if you don't plan on navigating. Sometimes things don't go as planned. Maps are good, and not expensive.

Things to do on the trip

  • Park in the correct area, making sure to be off the road and not blocking any other traffic.
  • Look after your sub-group, and yourself
  • Have fun

Environmental considerations and courtesy

  • We are a very large group. This fact alone can sometimes piss people off. Help the VOC to look good in the eyes of the outdoor community - be ridiculously nice and friendly to anyone and everyone you encounter (VOC, other backcountry users).
  • Pack out all waste. With a large group sometimes it's easy to forget about your garbage. Take responsibility for that piece of garbage you see lying on the ground, even if it's not yours, and keep our mountains clean. All waste means human waste, too - bring a poo bag to pack out with you.
  • Dirty stuff happens downhill from camp. This includes peeing, using poo bags and scraping out your pot (but large food leftovers get packed out). Snow uphill from camp will be melted for drinking water.
  • Collapse all snow caves before you leave. After a few snowfalls nobody will be able to tell you hollowed out that hillside. If somebody falls through later in the season they could easily hurt themselves and break an ankle far from help (that would be bad). Igloos are not quite as dangerous, since they don't tend to look like hills.


Mt.Seymour Provincial Park

Driving Directions to Mt.Seymour Resort
Google Maps Link


Please Park in Lot 1, the first parking lot before the resort area. Mt.Seymour maintains a trail from the parking lot to the trailhead, therefore skinning/snowshoeing from the cars will be possible. For further information see Mt.Seymour's Winter Parking Designations.


You should arrange to be at the parking lot for 8:45am on Saturday, or preferably even earlier to avoid parking problems.

Return time on Sunday is negotiable with your driver.

Equipment List



  • burly overcontainer for your poo bag (pack it in - pack it out!)
  • toilet paper
  • garbage bags (2-3)
  • cup, bowl, spoon, knife
  • lunch, snacks, breakfast, dinner contribution (in winter you will need 2500-3500 calories per day, fat-rich stuff keeps you warm)
  • toothbrush, etc.
  • sunscreen and sunglasses (we can hope, right?)
  • water bottle (1L)
  • headlamp (with batteries!)
  • gas money for your driver
  • camera if you want
  • whistle
  • lighter
  • map, compass (if you plan on navigating, maybe only on Sunday)
  • pack fit all items


  • sleeping pad, or two, if you have them.
  • sleeping bag (rated for winter, or 3 season if you sleep warm)


In winter especially, none of your clothing should be made out of cotton. Anything synthetic is safe. Just remember, Cotton Kills.

  • warm jacket (fleece or down)
  • warm pants (fleece or thick long underwear)
  • long underwear
  • layers (fleece or wool sweaters)
  • toque (warm hat)
  • mitts (2 pairs, or a set of waterproof shells)
  • warm socks (2 pairs, wool/wool mix)
  • waterproof jacket (goretex or coated nylon)
  • waterproof pants (goretex or coated nylon)
  • gaiters
  • good waterproof boots (wax them before the trip) or ski boots
  • insulated booties (optional, for lounging)


  • skis and skins if skiing, or snowshoes, or even just boots if you can't get skis or snowshoes
  • skis might not be recommended unless you are good, because you aren't supposed to ski the groomed stuff unless you bought a lift ticket (and you didn't). and skiing the trail is gnarly.
  • ski poles (useful even if you only bring boots)

If you want to go skiing on Sunday before heading out to the cars, make sure to bring:

  • avalanche transceiver
  • shovel
  • probe
  • you don't need avalanche gear to ski down to the car, but you might want to do practice rescues.
  • note you are not allowed to ski down the groomers to the car unless you bought a lift ticket.
  • goggles and helmet if that's your thing

Small Group

3-4 people per group, organized at trip meeting along with car groups

  • shovels (1-2)
  • probe (to find trees before you dig the cave)
  • stove + fuel + lighter (you'd be surprised how often one of these stays home). If using white gas, for each person bring 150 mL.
  • pots
  • these items are to be shared in your small group

Big Group


  • first aid kits (2)
  • song books (4)
  • snow saw
  • maps, compass, etc

Instructor Signup

Instructors are a critical component to the success of Winter Longhike. If you have experience winter camping, and feel confident and competent at building and designing snow caves, then we HIGHLY recommend that you instruct the snow cave building component of this trip. Without you, beginner-friendly trips like this one would never be able to happen. Thanks so much in advance!!