Smoke cleared, temperatures cooled and we’re back on the trail!
Big White Summit
We fell in love with Big White last winter, spending a few nights on the hill, and getting out in the snow. We planned to go up for a day trip in the summer, but between a busy July and smokey August, we didn’t get there until the last weekend they were open. It was September 1st, forecasted temperatures in the valley were 20+, and we anticipated the hill to be 12-14C. It was 7C when we got to the village and colder when we got to the top of the lift. We did the quick 1km hike to the summit, marvelled at the view – that sun against the grey clouds! – and then headed back down for a warm lunch inside.
This is the first mountain I climbed in the Okanagan, over 8 years ago! I met two new friends shortly after moving here and they invited me for an early morning hike. My east coast upbringing assumed it would be a meandering walk. It was not. I nearly died. I was feeling restless this year, with the start of school and me not working, so I took off up the hill on the first day to just be. It was exactly the workout I needed. I missed my students and co-workers, but the freedom to come and go from work this year is right for our family and it gives me more time for solo hikes like this.
Bear Creek Falls
The other highlight to me not working as much – random days off with Matt! His work ebbs and flows. Sometimes it’s gruelling overtime for weeks, but then he’ll have opportunities to take a few days off midweek. When I’m working full time I have absolutely no flexibility in my schedule so we often missed each other on those days home. This time we jumped at the chance to get out and explore a new place while Rhys was at daycare. Bear Creek Falls is a gorgeous loop with crazy views down into the canyon.
My only birthday request was a day outside with my boys so we checked two things off the list – hike Fintry Falls and a drive along the scenic Westside Road. The stairs. My legs. Rhys loves stairs so this did not disappoint for him. I had to pause a few times with the excuse off taking pictures. 100% worth it though. We hiked a bit beyond the end of the marked trail, but turned around at the sight of bear scat. No thanks. Not today.
Trepanier off 6th Avenue
This trail is literally out our backdoor. We need to spend many more evenings out there. Easy trail with amazing views and it gets us outside without much planning. Rhys with those homemade binoculars has my heart. He is developing a passion for being Trail Leader (a.k.a. “The Boss”), but I love following him and hearing him repeat the things he’s learned this summer.
Isobel Lake – Kamloops
Knowing that winter chain up starts October 1st, and seeing that September 29th was sunny in a 3 hour radius, we high-tailed it out of the OKanagan for a day trip to Kamloops. I proposed an adventure toward Revelstoke, but Matt countered with this hike in the backcountry and I couldn’t say no. It was stunning. The sun on the water and the forest blanketed in the colours of fall. It is at the top of our list for camping next summer!
October is already rolling in cold and wet, but have a few more hikes on the list if we can grab some sunny days! After that, we’re switching to snow shoes!