Did you know? The western red cedar (Thuja plicata Donn) was adopted as the official tree of B.C. on February 18, 1988
Outdoor Vancouver

Outdoor Vancouver Newsletter. Edition #7

August 29, 2013

Go outside, be happy

I was hiking up Mount Bishop a few weeks ago, and I didn't see another soul for the entire four hours I was heading up and back down the trail. As I climbed the mountain, I gained several vantage points where I could see the Seymour Valley. It sat quiet, flanked by lush, green mountains.  A low cloud cover below me was rolling into the valley from the city, towards Seymour Lake, which feeds the Seymour River that runs through it. I had to wonder 'how many people live in Vancouver will never once climb up to any of these peaks which are so accessible to us? How many of them don't even know (or care) that its even possible to see such magnificent views within a few hours of leaving their front doors?  I suspect it's a very large percentage. 

For a long time I, myself, had no idea it was possible. My parents aren't the outdoorsy type and we never went camping. It wasn't until I hiked The Chief in my early twenties that my eyes were opened to the nature around us living in Vancouver and its 'burbs. It had just never dawned on me that I could get to a trailhead and in a few hours' effort, with no rock climbing experience, summit a mountain and gaze over 360 degree panoramic landscapes, completely in the wild. A few years after I first hiked The Chief I started Outdoor Vancouver in hopes it would encourage others to get outside too. Its no secret that Vancouver is recognized as one of the best cities in the world for outdoor adventures, but its unfortunate so many locals don't take advantage of it.

Its unfortunate, especially considering the mounting evidence that time spent outdoors reduces stress, and increases happiness and wellbeing. This is most recently highlighted in a new study by the David Suzuki Foundation, brought to my attention by an article in Pique Magazine. The article writes, "The foundation asked more than 10,000 Canadians and 250 workplaces to participate in what it called the 30x30 Nature Challenge. Those participating were challenged to get outside for half an hour a day for 30 consecutive days. Trent University Researcher Dr. Elizabeth Nisbet conducted the research initiative. "We found that participation in the 30x30 Nature Challenge almost doubled their time spent outside during the month and reduced their screen time by about 4.5 hours per week," said Nisbet of the spring report. "They reported significant increases in their sense of well-being, feeling more vitality and energy, while feelings of stress, negativity and sleep disturbances were all reduced." 

If you're reading this newsletter, I know I'm preaching to the choir. But we have a few more weeks of good weather to get out hiking, and a long weekend ahead of us. So get outside, go camping, go running, go hiking. And maybe bring along a friend or two who aren't the type you would normally considering asking to join you in the outdoors. Maybe their eyes will be opened too. 

And if you have children - and are interested in the academics of it - I recommend the book 'Last Child in the Woods' by Richard Louv. The book does a great job of going through all the studies done on the positive impact that time spent in nature has on our children and ourselves.

Local Outdoors News
1. Sea to Sky Gondola on track. New 'GrindTrail' route for the hardiest of hikers also planned to open in 2015. @Vancouver Sun
2. Grouse Grind rated one of 10 most dangerous hikes on Earth. @The Province
3. Wurtele and Bromme take Ironman Whistler 2013. @Pique News
4. Two Squamish riders win thirds at Crankworx opener. @Pique News
5. Campbell wins second annual Squamish 50mile race. @The Chief
6. Veteran search and rescue leader says volunteers need more government help. @The Vancouver Sun
7. Snowboarder lost in backcountry on Cypress raises $10,000 for North Shore Search and Rescue @The Vancouver Sun
8. 3 hiking tips you'll never forget. @CBC News
9. Vancouver’s bike lanes have made it a city to watch. @The Globe and Mail
10. Vancouver thief exploits new bike rack weakness. @CTV News
11. GranFondo the don't-miss weekend for cyclists. @Vancouver Sun

Featured Hiking Trail - Mount Bishop

Speaking of Mount Bishop.

Mount Bishop is a hike that had flown under my radar until very recently. Located in Mount Seymour Provincial Park (and also accessible via the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve), it is a very unique and very difficult hike. The trailhead off Spur 4 Road in the LSCR is basically hidden, and I've apparently run/ biked passed it many times before without even knowing. 

I sought out the trail a few weeks ago and have a pretty cool video (I think so anyways), pictures, and a detailed hiking guide if you're looking for something off the beaten path - just be ready for a workout! The URL is here: http://www.outdoorvancouver.ca/featured-hiking-trail-mount-bishop/

Sadly, the summer is winding down. Its hard to believe we only have a few more weeks of hiking at elevation before the snow begins to fall. If you're looking for a hike to do, a full list of guides from the website is here.

Until next month!
Karl

UPCOMING EVENTS

Meet your Maker 50
Sep 1, 2013
RBC GranFrondo Whistler
Sep 7, 2013
5 Peaks Buntzen Lake
Sep 28, 2013

(Click for full events calendar)

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