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It’s that time of year again, when we choose the most perfect moments and reflect on them, hold on to them, to validate to ourselves that they were something special. We choose these memories because they are the way things should have been, would have been, had it not been for, well, life. In these snapshots, the moments are unwarped and golden. The views and sensations are in fine detail: wildflowers dancing in the breeze, rainfall streaming down my face, legs overrun by a burning sensation from pushing myself hard, and hills being conquered until there’s nothing left to ascend. The finest detail, though, is in how I felt: I was laughing, we were sore and tired and relaxed at the same time, and we were always dreaming about the next adventure.

I learned many lessons throughout the year, including Twenty Things Only Adventurers Would Know, but the most important of all is attributed to what the mountains taught me:

For a wild place, where anything can happen, I never feel more in control than when I’m in the mountains.

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Last updated: December 20, 2016

Everyone has their own method to the madness of trip planning – some plan extensively, some don’t see the value in planning, and some may not know how or where to start. There is an abundance of information available online to help you decide where to go, when to go, how to pack, and more. I can’t comment on the accuracy of the sites out there, but I do have several go-to sites I like to check out for local updates and area-specific conditions before heading out. Personally, Ryan & I have dozens of links and webcams we pull up when making plans – especially during periods when weather can be marginal. And this was pretty much how we came up with the idea of creating this post – instead of googling different things for different areas, we decided to create a one-stop shop of links and resources for various adventure needs.
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Trip date: December 15, 2016

I just wrapped up the semester last week with final exams, and I’ve been hitting the mountains every day (all two of them) since. I’ve been warming up my legs for bigger winter trips later in the season, so far so good.

Stats

Area: Mount Seymour Provincial Park, North Vancouver, BC.
Objective: Dog Mountain

Cumulative elevation gain: 296m
Round trip distance: 4.9km
Trail type: Out-and-back
Nearby hikes: Mystery Lake, Dinkey Peak, First Pump, Tim Jones Peak
Good to Know: This trail is well marked and populated all year round. Dog mountain is “one of the least technically difficult summits in BC, if not the world” – as per bivouac.com.
Mt. Seymour road is a Class A Highway and requires winter tires in good condition or chains between October 1 – April 30.
Winter parking designations are in effect during peak times (P1 and lower P5 for snowshoers and backcountry users), more info can be found on the Mount Seymour site.

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