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.
Google Earth & Elevation Profiles
Directions from Vancouver:
The below trail map is found at the trailhead for Dog Mountain, off of the main Mt. Seymour trail.
This hike is a short and sweet one. From the parking lot, I followed the Mt. Seymour trail and almost immediately peeled off (left) for Dog Mountain. The route was well marked and easy to follow with a well packed trail. With the recent cold temperatures we’ve had, snowshoes weren’t absolutely necessary – microspikes would have been fine. And on that note, snowshoes likely are not needed unless you’re heading up after a big snowfall, before the crowds have compacted the snow down.
I followed the trail through a snowy forest with minor bumps. First, the trail trended east, before swinging north and gaining some elevation.
After slightly over 1 km, I reached First Lake. The snow had buried most of the junction signs and all of the bridges.
The first signed junction was for a loop option around Dinkey Peak – this is worth the <1km detour on your way back. However, I ignored this junction today and continued towards Dog Mountain. Beyond First Lake, the trail meandered through the trees again, and gained & lost some more elevation as it dropped in and out of little stream gullies.
Temperatures were sub zero most of the day. I continuously sipped water from my water bladder to keep it from freezing. This worked well enough and I didn’t have much trouble drinking. A lot of the Dog Mountain trail is covered by tall trees with minimal sunlight getting through (it was on this trip at least), keeping the area even cooler. I packed an extra bottle of water in case I couldn’t access the hose.
One final small, steep section and I was on the last stretch of the Suicide Bluffs ridge, which lead to Dog Mountain.
Initially, I avoided the summit of Dog Mountain and made my way to the western viewpoints which showcased the peaks of Lynn Valley; including Lynn Peak and Needles.
From there, I made my way to the popular Dog Mountain viewpoint and continued past; I lost a tiny bit of elevation to the right of the viewpoint, and found a small outcrop with nice views. I stopped here and enjoyed the views to myself.
After an extended break on the summit, I retraced my steps and headed back to the parking lot. On the way back, the sun came up a little higher on the horizon and made for a warm snowshoe back.
I may have had some site issues today. My blood sugars were a little higher than normal and I did not reduce my basal by 50%. I fell into an old habit of avoiding snacks to maintain stable blood sugars – this wasn’t too big a deal because of the short trip duration, but it would have cost me a lot of energy on a longer snowshoe.
The 10(+6) Essentials
2L of water (bladder + water bottle)
Camera + tripod
– Hope you’re enjoying the winter season! Stay safe out there :).