el nino in British Columbia: if you can’t ride them, climb them

It was the last weekend in November, and I had just returned from an epic backpacking adventure in Hawaii. I had barely taken a moment to breathe before Stef and I were standing on a porch in Burnaby, drinking beers with friends when we saw the little white stuff fall from the sky and accumulate on the ground. We cheered out of excitement (literally) and called it an early night in prep for our first day on Cypress mountain.


Riding up the lift, Howe sound in our view, amped on life, we made a pact that this would be the winter of riding. To solidify this, we all bought gold cards to Cypress mountain – with goals of riding at least once per week for the entire season.


Fast forward.


It’s February, 13 degrees Celsius, and we’re working up a sweat hiking up Mount Seymour in a t-shirt. The crew of ladies I’d assembled for Monday night ladies night riding at Seymour has dissolved, yet we were not going to shy away from our tall, strong friends that tower beside us in the north shore.


Now, I don’t know much about El Nino. In fact someone just had to recently explain it to me again. All I know is it means warm weather, which is what we’ve clearly been experiencing. I’m not too bummed about the warmth, but it’s tricked me, because I was previously so stoked on getting my board a little wet on the mountain this winter.


I have always loved to hike. The thought of being able to climb something to go somewhere to see something – yes, please. I have no problem working a little hard to get a view that can only be earned through sweat, tears and sometimes curse words. Tripping on roots, and falling down on slippery ice patches is all part of the fun, and can sometimes be rewarding if you’re looking at it with the right perspective.


Almost every weekend lately I’ve been ripping up to Whistler. I love that place. It’s a gem. However, in doing so I haven’t spent much time learning about this rad neighborhood I call home. I preach North Vancouver, but haven’t spent much time here. I need to put my money when my mouth is. So, this weekend I spent trudging through the muddy mountains of the north shore, in search of epicness that I know lives there.


Our results? We found some sweet views, had some big laughs (and big falls) and we even found the snow line. (way, way up high.)


There’s no price tag you can put on adventures with friends, but in this case it’s actually quite a small one. Going on adventures and bouncing around the tops of mountains costs very, very little in dollars, but is priceless in value. My hikes often include beers, which takes the tab up a bit, but for the most part you just need a bit of food, h20 and a good attitude.


For the entire day on Saturday and Sunday we blazed trails on both Seymour and Cypress. Laughing along the way, and coming up with new ideas and business ventures. All of my best thinking happens when my feet are moving in the wild. Somehow the fresh air brings clarity and peace that no other formula can.


Waking up and walking down to Lonsdale Quay, grabbing a coffee and sandwich, meeting friends and jetting up to Cypress mountain was an excellent way to spend a Sunday. Sure, I had initially thought in the middle of February I’d be riding down Cypress on my board, climbing up with my feet wasn’t half bad at all.


So- if you can’t ride them, climb them. Why not.


I still have faith though. Since December my board’s been chilling in my car, ready to go at the drop of a snowflake, and I’m still holding out for that one last dump.


A girl can dream, right?





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