October 02, 2009 | Tips from Travellers >
North Vancouver, Hiking
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My vision of a casual trek in the woods seemed further and further away as I slogged behind my hiking buddies. The speed demon of the two (increasingly distant) figures up the steep slope had been enjoying a period of unemployment. Turns out that not working, while bad for the wallet, is great for developing thighs of steel on weekday hikes.
In between heaving for air and dodging rocks dislodged from the boys above, I took a second to look behind me and had one of those “I can’t believe I’m in BC” moments. I felt like I’d wandered into a Lord of the Rings flick, complete with misty clouds, thick conifers, freshly sprouting spring grasses, and jutting boulders.
In actuality, though, I was an area called Hanes Valley beyond Grouse Mountain. It’s an interesting, challenging and rewarding hike that takes you from well-travelled trails to complete wilderness in the space of a few hours. The full day hike ends at the peak of Grouse, which means we finished our day in the woods with lumberjacks, poutine and a blissfully effortless tram ride back down to the city.