Monday, May 23, 2016

St. Mark's Summit

Longest hike of the season so far – this time with a group of friends to St. Mark's Summit, at Cypress Mountain on the North Shore. This trail is a 4-hour (11 km) there-and-back that starts at the Cypress Bowl ski lodge parking lot. It's is fairly technical climb in parts, with a lot of exposed roots, steep sections (elevation gain is 460 metres), and some slippery snow in parts near the top that require patience and a humble attitude because you WILL fall on your face and/or butt at least once. But the view from the top makes it all worth it. (Or so I've heard... but even without a view, the mist is pretty magical.)

Also, the wildlife you get to interact with at the peak is pretty fantastic. We hand fed whisky jacks and tiny chipmunks, both of which were happy to land/crawl onto our hands and enjoy some free cashews and seeds. 

My recommendation is to go early in the day because it's a popular trail that seems to get busy by the afternoon. We passed a lot of people going up as we were heading down the mountain around 1 p.m.

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