TR: My 2016 Adventures in Review

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 2016

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 2016

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 2016

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.

June 2016

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.

July 2016

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.


Me leading up a 5.7 warm up.

August 2016

At the beginning of august, I drove to ALberta to visit family and catch the wedding of a friend from high school. On the way, my dad met me in Winlaw and we had a day of paddling Slocan Lake on August 3rd.

On August 4th, I met up with my friend Pawel in Nelson and we hiked to Monica Meadows.

While in Alberta, my mom and I hiked to Wall Lake in Waterton National Park.


A stop over at Forum Falls on the way to Wall Lake.

When I returned from Alberta, I organized a VOC trip to Watersprite Lake August 13-14 for some scrambling. This region was gorgeous!

From August 20-26, I then went to the Bugaboos with Carly, Natalie, Jeff and Artem. Bugaboo Provincial Park is by far one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! Full trip report here.

Me climbing back down to Natalie on Pigeon Spire. Photo by Artem Babaian.

For the last weekend in August (a long weekend), Nicole, Merle, Kurt and I hiked the Cape Scott Trail and part of the North Coast Trail. Absolutely stunning!

September 2016

Not a whole lot happened in September this year while I rested my knee and dove back into the busy world of TAing and my thesis. I made it out to Squamish once with Lianne, Julie and Leon. It rained a lot this month.

Lianne making her way up a 5.10b.

October 2016

I worked every day in October except October 9th and Thanksgiving Day. On October 9th, Dmitri, Birgit, Ross and I went to Illia Meadows and summitted Jim Kelly Mountain.

On Thanksgiving, Shell, Nicole and I went climbing in Squamish on a beautiful dry day. To top it off, we rocked onesies. They seemed to be appreciated ;)

In the middle of October, I TAed the grasslands field course again and had a wonderful time in the Okanagan (this was my third year TAing the course). This was the rainiest year ever for the course as it rained parts of every day, and tended to rain hard.

Photo by Suzie Lavallee.

November 2016

November was another slow month for adventures. I did one wonderful day hike to Eagle Bluffs with Leon, Steffen, Bear and Roseanna.


My only other outing this month was Remembrance Day Long Weekend in Skaha with Lianne, Julie, Shell, Monica, JP and Kathy.

Photo by Lianne McRadu.

In November and early December, me and Kevin K. hosted two Onesie Wednesday nights at the Aviary. Such fun! Nicole Barrette was our photographer.

Photo by Nicole Barrette.

December 2016

On December 4th, I made it to Red Heather for the first time in the season, but only on snowshoes, with skiing to happen in January.

On December 17th, I got a day of sea kayaking in with my friend Dave, in his beautifully hand-crafted sea kayaks (the one I was in was actually hand crafted by a friend of his).

Throughout November and December, I was fostering 5 beautiful kittens and their lovely mother.

And that concludes the major adventures of 2016! 2017 has already been a year full of amazing adventures and I intend for this to continue! Writing this post has made me inspired to look back on other previous years, but also to plan amazing adventures moving forward. Stay tuned to see what 2017 has in store!

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