Posts Tagged 'Cypress Provincial Park'

9-Foot diameter igloo on Hollyburn Moutain

As the twenties decade approached, one of our old group championed the idea of making another igloo. The plan became to head into the forest about 9:30 AM on January 5, 2020, to build a 9-foot inside diameter igloo. We’ve done this before, but the weather, the quality of the snow, and the people assembled make each igloo unique. Because it involves several hours of teamwork, these events are somehow memorable.

9-foot diameter Igloo on Hollyburn Mountain built on 2020jan5 with the Icebox from Grandshelters
Site of 9-foot inside diameter igloo
with the entrance below the foundation of the igloo
click to see this panorama full size

It had been a wet week at sea level, but above 3000 feet in Cypress Bowl Provincial Park, above West Vancouver, BC, Canada, there was lots of new damp snow. This made for easy construction using the tool called The Icebox — a system that uses a plastic slipform for building the blocks of snow on the wall of the igloo.

We have been making igloos this way since our first one on January 23, 2000. More details about the new one are at the hikers’ forum, ClubTread. That post is part of a thread about several igloos we’ve made going back to the year 2006. The thread also includes some time-lapse movies of the construction process and a map of the location. Except for one day of rain, the temperatures up there have remained cold, and a huge amount of snow has fallen during the past two weeks. I would love a report on current condition of the igloo. If you plan to go, read that Clubtread post, and take a shovel.

A marvellous cold wet spring (2017)

By late morning, Wednesday May 17, There was blue sky over Horseshoe Bay, and we thought we could see fresh snow on the local mountains. We took the rest of the day off and headed up the hill to ski. As we drove into Cypress Bowl we noted that there was plowed fresh snow along the side of the road. We parked at the top of the public paved road (3010 ft.) and marvelled at the recent dump of new snow.

Fresh Snow at ev. 3000 ft in Cypress Provincial Park parking lot

As we skinned up Mount Strachan the fresh snow became deeper. There were a few day-old tracks so the dump of snow arrived a couple of days ago.

We quickly climbed into a dense cloud. By the time we reached the summit ridge, the clouds had thinned and occasionally we glimpsed the disk of the sun.

With my ski pole, I measured the depth of the fresh snow: 16-inches!

16 inches of fresh snow on the summit ridge of Mount Stachan - May 17, 2017

This has been an unusual spring. The local temperatures have remained cold and we’ve had lots of precipitation. The size of the snowpack up on our hills is awesome.

The drone pictures and commentary in this Clubtread forum thread provide an interesting perspective of the current snow the conditions high up on Mt. Strachan: North Shore Cornices.

A rainy day on the hill

We have hills, and we have snow. A little rain is no excuse for a backcountry skier not to ski. So, today we went to the local hill (during the Olympics they called it Cypress Mountain, but it is really Mt. Strachan). The good news is the commercial operation is closed for the season (at last). We were prepared for rain, so we had a good time. There is not much to say, but this is a web log — so this is really to log the conditions as of early May, 2010. This is a very short clip…

At the parking lot, about 3000 ft., the lower mountain looks like there is not much snow up there. Actually we found a good route up. By 3500 ft. there was lots of snow, and even a thin layer of fresh snow. Above 4000 ft the rain had turned to graupel and it was rattling off my Gore-tex. In cloud and snow there is not much to photograph… so there is only a tiny video clip taken at 4650 ft.

Fresh Snow on Hollyburn Mountain

It is wet spring day at sea level, but above 3,000 ft. in Cypress Provincial Park it is lovely, snowing, and winter. (Earlier today, 2010 March 13).

The advantage of skiing on a local hill is that we still had time for lunch: a bowl of soup at Pho 993, and then dessert at Thomas Haas Patisserie (double baked almond croissant and an excellent Caffè Americano.)


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