Category Archives: Exploration

Tree hunting, charting, and mapping trails

Mick Bailey – Hunting Giants in British Columbia

Hi readers! This week I thought I’d share this interview I did recently with Greg from Terra Mano. It’s the subject this week of his Stories from the Mountain feature. Telling my own story behind the adventures is not something I tend to do, so this was fun. Read on, for the story behind the stories!  

Continue reading Mick Bailey – Hunting Giants in British Columbia

The Heart of Owl and Talon Creek

It was the spring of 2004, and I was poring over an old Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) map when four simple words caught my eye: Owl and Talon Creek. The name alone sounded intriguing enough, but there was also a grove of trees there called the Pipe Organ Firs. Recently, I’d had the chance to meet Ralf Kelman, perhaps  British Columbia’s most established tree hunter, and he had told me about Continue reading The Heart of Owl and Talon Creek

Finding Norvan’s Castle

 

It conjures up the grandest of images, like, say, the sturdiest of stone castles standing high on a bluff above the crashing waves of the North Sea, seemingly indestructible. While that may be fun to imagine, how many among you would have thought the name actually referred to a tree? Set deep within the forests of Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, Norvan’s Castle is, by volume, the fourth largest Western Hemlock on the planet. Its nine and a half foot diameter at breast height also makes it the widest one on record! The three trees that are of larger volume are all found south of the border on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula.

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Hiking the Dreamweaver Trail

I’ll call him “A”, and ultimately, it was his vision. His brainchild was to build a unique trail joining several challenging obstacles on the east side of Mosquito Creek Canyon to connect with a substantial log crossing on Mosquito Creek. From there, a serpentine path would twist its way Continue reading Hiking the Dreamweaver Trail

The Magic of the Blue Cedar Grove

The Blue Cedar Grove. It’s a title that stirs the imagination, kind of like The Golden Spruce, I remember thinking, when I first read the words. I never did remember to ask Ralf Kelman exactly why he’d chosen such a name Continue reading The Magic of the Blue Cedar Grove

Living on the Edge: The Forgotten Forest, Part Four

Late in May of 2007, Chris and I decided it was high time to explore the Wickenden Creek Valley above the 400 m elevation. While we were uncertain as to what route to forge, we ended up figuring we’d just fly by the seat of our pants and just choose a random direction Continue reading Living on the Edge: The Forgotten Forest, Part Four

The Story of The Survivor

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The Survivor makes a powerful first impression. It’s one of the more unique trees that I have known

In a cool, quiet, forest glade in the North Shore Mountains sits a most venerable tree. Surrounded by a healthy stand of Pacific Silver Fir, this Western Red Cedar makes a daunting first impression. As you approach it from the south, the first thing you notice is the gaping wedge that has been cut from the trunk that almost resembles a mouth, of sorts. The many burls and aged trunk bely its centuries of growth, and its top thrives brilliantly, likely well into a seventh century of growth Continue reading The Story of The Survivor

The Heart of Wickenden: The Forgotten Forest, Part Three

The spring of 2007 was to feature a lot of sunny weather, so I was able to make several more forays into the wilderness west of Lynn Creek. The next trek, near the end of April, was with Doug. For a variety of reasons Continue reading The Heart of Wickenden: The Forgotten Forest, Part Three

Into the Mystic: The Forgotten Forest, Part Two

Only a few pages of the 2007 calendar were to turn before favourable spring weather had us thinking about a return to Kennedy Creek. It was the first day of April when Chris and I began our early day hiking along the Cedar Mills Trail in Lynn Headwaters Park. The idea, this time, was simply to try and cover some ground we hadn’t the first time. Would we be April fools? Continue reading Into the Mystic: The Forgotten Forest, Part Two

The Giants of Kennedy Creek: The Forgotten Forest, Part One

In these days of public outcry over the destruction of British Columbia’s remaining old growth forests, it is no small twist of irony that one of the last bastions of remaining giants is relatively close to the metropolis of Vancouver. Tucked away in what is still a remote corner of the North Shore Mountains is the Kennedy Creek Valley Continue reading The Giants of Kennedy Creek: The Forgotten Forest, Part One