With the weather looking pleasant we decided today would be a good day for a hike. We first thought to return to Brothers Creek, to see what it looked like when you aren’t up to your waist in snow but given that it’s a good four hours or so, Jeff suggested Dog Mountain instead.
Dog Mountain is billed as an easy hike and the roundtrip would only take us about two hours. The reward at the end is a spectacular view of the Lower Mainland. We piled into the truck with water bottles and granola bars at the ready and arrived in the early afternoon at the ski area atop Mount Seymour. The place was fairly brimming with people off to touch nature while it wasn’t snowed under.
We set off sans the usual walking sticks but an easy hike with minimal elevation gain (estimated at around 25 m on the way in, according to Jeff’s GPS app) shouldn’t require them. As it turned out they would have been a bit handy because while the trail is not treacherous or unduly steep, it does involve a lot of up and down climbing over rocky and root-filled terrain, one of those ‘pick every step’ kind of hikes with only a few respites.
One such respite came a km in at First Lake, a small and positively quaint mountain-top lake with wild grass growing around it. We paused to take in the scenery but forged ahead, as it was only another 1.5 km to get to the scenic vista.
Further along we encountered the remains of last winter’s snow pack. There was enough to make a snowman. We did not do so.
A lot of the trail was rather muddy. Because I have the world’s worst balance I made sure to get my feet as muddy as possible, in particular my right foot. At one point the path consisted of water, mud and a few small strategically-placed rocks to allow relatively dry passage. I took two successful steps and was making the third when my balance shifted backward. To keep from falling I set my right foot down in the mire. It squished nicely.
We both ended up with mud smeared over our calves. I’m not even sure how that happened. I also stepped in some mud on the way back and managed to make it squip over the edge of the trail, flying down and plopping into water below us, a mildly impressive trick I could never pull off again.
And yes, dogs. A number of people–and there were quite a few on the trail–had brought their dogs with them. The bigger ones in particular seemed to handle the rugged terrain quite nicely, what with the four feet and all.
Jeff compared me to a mountain goat when I stood glued to the side of a rock face as I contemplated my next move but I don’t think mountain goats contemplate all that much because they have four legs and a proper sense of balance.
We reached the vista just over an hour into the hike and the view was indeed spectacular, although it was dulled somewhat by fairly thick haze. The people around us were feeding stellar jays straight from the hand. Our food, however, was not for the birds, so we ate it ourselves.
The trip back seemed quicker, as it often does and apart from dinging an ankle on a rock and getting a small cut as a result, we returned to the truck without incident.
Overall it was a fun afternoon, though not quite what I expected in terms of terrain (when I hear that a trail has no or minimal elevation gain I tend to think of it as groomed and civilized, which this one is not). We may return in the winter to snowshoe the whole thing. That ought to be good for a few (dozen( sore muscles.