Most of my smaller trips do not get their own trip report, despite how wonderful they may have been. As a result, I will dedicate this post to all the wonderful trips I embarked on in 2016, with 1-3 photos per outing and a short description.
While putting this together, I was reminded how wonderful life is and how important these trips are to me to keep me sane. I am currently a 4th year PhD Candidate who is involved in far too many committees (President of VOC, Coordinator of Let's Talk Science MEED program, full time TA, research assistant outside of my thesis, BioTAP mentor, climbing gym instructor, etc.). As a result, I tend to work 50-80 hour weeks Monday to Friday, and these weekend trips help re-energize me. Next year, I intend to reduce the number of extra-curricular commitments I have so that I can focus on my thesis and personal adventures and growth. There are only 52 weekends in a year, which is not enough time to do all the things I want to do, but I try to make the best of it!
January was a month of mostly skiing for me in 2016: day trips and overnight hut trips! Before the skiing began, however, I brought in the new year ice climbing with Jake in Canmore, Alberta (full trip report here).
On January 9th, I had a nice day of skiing at Red Heather with Jake, Julie and Kevin.
On January 10th, I hiked to St. Mark's Summit with Shell, Tim and a bunch of other great people on a bluebird sky day. Gorgeous!
Photo above taken on Tim Howard's camera.
The following weekend I went up to Brew Hut with the VOC for Burns N Turns, with Julie, Tim, Claire, Dylan, Tom, Ian and many other wonderful people.
Brew Hut: It was some very cold winter camping.
I hurt my knee and Tom had to carry down my pack for me to the logging road (he carried it first 5/12 km down)... thanks Tom! Photo by Bill Schmygol.
In the last weekend of January, Tim, Ian and I went skiing at Hollyburn. Unfortunately my ski broke on the way down and Ian carried my skis down while I ran down the mountain.
February was kick started with a day of skiing at Cypress with Shell, on a rainy but wonderful day.
Afterward, February had a sudden transition to climbing for me with the dry, low snow year! It was kick-started with my trip to Red Rocks (full trip report here) with a bunch of friends, including Jake and Manu.
We even had a one-day detour to Zion National Park, which was unbelievably beautiful and I must go back!
Upon return, on February 27th, I even managed to sneak in some Squamish climbing with Tim, Shell, Jake, Angela and David!
March was dedicated mostly to field work for my PhD on the beautiful Sidney Island.
Seablush, Plectritis congesta, my study organism in its young stage.
I did get one more day of skiing at Red Heather on March 5th, however, with Julie, Liz and Scott.
During this time (some time in January to March), we also had a wonderful foster cat named Mary (from VOKRA).
On March 25-28th, I went down to Smith Rock with the VOC for some climbing. Some of the wonderful people I climbed with that weekend included Roseanna and Liz, but also so many others!
April and May 2016
In April and May, I spent a lot of time climbing in Squamish with multiple climbing partners, and camping along the Squamish River Valley. These months are grouped together because this is pretty much all I did. I really worked on trying to improve my lead head game at this time (on both trad and sport), and develop my skills. I spent many of these weekends with Shell and/or Julie. I sometimes also wore weird costumes.
In the middle of May, I went up the Chief (Butt Light, trad 5.9) with two of my lab mates: one who is an amazing climber and one who does not climb often at all. A superb day out!
Merle seconding up the 5.9 pitch.
Me, Merle and Kate (our fearless leader) from left to right.
Some time in April or May, I also managed to dislocate my finger in dodgeball which caused some pain while climbing the rest of the month.
Throughout April and May, I did a lot of work in my experimental plots/common garden at UBC, measuring plants. At the beginning of May, I passed my comprehensive exam. For the rest of May, I spent most of my time doing field work in Totem Field or on Sidney Island, this time with field assistants.
My common garden experiment with seablush.
I came into June with a lot of excitement, but injured my knee right at the beginning. I managed to get another weekend of climbing in, including attempting Europa with Manu (to re-unite the Red Rocks duo; trad 5.8, did first 4 pitches), and Star Chek with Julie for our joint birthday's (our birthdays are 4 days apart; sport 5.9, 4 pitches).
Trad leading in Murrin Park, Aviary staff party, with my friend Katie belaying me.
Seconding up Europa, the extremely overgrown sandbagged climb. Photo by: Anthony Yan, who was also on the route.
Julie seconding the first 5.8 pitch of Star Chek.
Because of my knee injury, much of June was pretty quiet. I was originally suppose to do the North Coast Trail and the Nootka Trail with my best bud Jake, but we had to turn the trip into a canoe trip (June 19-22) instead because of my knee. Roseanna came along, and we had a fantastic time (read full trip report here)!
Because the portaging went okay for me, I began hiking again, first with Diez Vistas with my friends Liz, Jake, Tom and Caleb.
Jake and I decided to do the Juan de Fuca on the July long weekend (July 1-3) by hitch hiking out. We only wanted to do the first 32 km, which made for a leisurely two days (20 odd kilometers the first day, and 12ish the second day). We then chilled at Sombrio Beach, slack lined, played ukulele and had a bunch of fun. This trip deserves more than just 3 pictures. The wonderful people we slack-lined with gave us a ride back to the ferry, and I ran into the guy at Climb Base 5 just a week ago (January 2016)!
Trying to get picked up (hitch hiking) while playing uke. Photo by Jake Jones.
From July 6-13, I went to St. John's Newfoundland for the Canadian Society of Ecology and Evolution Conference. While there, I was exposed to a lot of really cool research, and also got to hike part of the East Coast Trail.
On July 23, I went on a VOC trip to attempt Tricouni with Liz and a bunch of others. As we neared the summit, the fog came in and no one summitted.
Liz and me at the lake. Photo by Heather Filyk.
On July 25th, I went climbing outdoors for the first time since my knee injury and checked out Copper Cove with my friend Tom. This area has a stunning view up Howe Sound!
For the last weekend of July and into September, Leon, Forbes, Julien and me headed to Quadra Island to check out the climbing scene. The area is relatively new, so climbs tend to be quite dirty and rock can still pull off. We had a lot of fun, especially for me to finally get back on rock after my injury, but I re-injured my knee and was out again for most of August.