Every Monday at Hillsound Equipment, our team gets together (onsite or as it is now online) to share our personal highlights from the previous weekend. There are a lot of amazing adventures and shenanigans that our staff members get up to throughout the year. Last year we decided to take this discussion from our physical office or as it is now; our virtual office and let the whole world in on the fun. Be safe, go wild!
This past winter brought about skiing, ski touring, hiking [with crampons of course], snowshoeing, 4WD and camping as well as a photo shoot.
Skiing in Whistler, BC, Canada.
Photo credit: Private
There is so much to explore in our own ‘backyard’! Being able to head over to Whistler by car in less than 2 hours is a privilege! Katie [Operations Coordinator], her boyfriend and a group of friends timed blue skies and lots of fresh powder. As many of us knows, the slopes can get pretty busy up there but they were able to find a bit of calm by sticking to the peak runs.
Trip tips from Katie
This may not be something people talk about very often but if you easily get cold, grabbing a pair of hand and foot warmers (here is one example) for the gloves and ski boots is a winner.
Ski touring in Tetrahedron Provincial Park, BC, Canada.
Photo credit: Hamish Elliott
Hamish [Sales & Operations Manager] managed to get an epic ski touring trip in to Tetrahedron Provincial Park and stayed at Mt Steele Cabin before the pandemic became more of a reality here in Canada. Tetrahedron Provincial Park is located on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, just one ferry ride and a 1.5 hour drive from the City of Vancouver. The trip was divided into two nights/three days. On the first day Hamish and his mates skied into Edwards Cabin which took 2.5 hours. Day two was spent working their way up to Mt Steele - took two hours…. taking it easy! The conditions were mainly snowy and cloudy however, the clouds broke eventually and they had the opportunity to ski the slopes above the cabin during the sunset - a truly beautiful experience.
Trip tips from Hamish
It is worth repeating that avalanche safety equipment was essential for this terrain and type of trip. For tracking the runs and evaluating terrain they also used the Gaia GPS app.
Exploring the Canadian Rockies.
Photo credit: Eric Goodwin
Eric [Product Designer] is fairly new to Vancouver but not Canada and took the opportunity to head over to Fairmont Hot Springs over in the Canadian Rockies to catch up with his family and combining it with taking photos and creating video content together with his brother for Hillsound. They managed to visit Panorama, Invermere and Golden and got some amazing footage even though his brother caught a really bad (stubborn) flu.
The highlight for the whole trip was to get over to Fairmont. There were huge blizzards on the day they left and all the Canadian Highways were closed due to heavy snowfall so they decided to go south through Seattle, across to Spokane in Washington State - US, and then back up to British Columbia - Canada. Since they moved on to plan B and reroute their trip, they ended up leaving way later than planned. Everything went smooth for 20 min then they got a flat tire - unbelievable! One gas station visit later, they figured out that there was no issue with the actual tire (what a relief!) - it was the valve that was problem… meaning the regular tire had to go back on. Well, by the US border they had to wait two hours (!), they arrived in Fairmont at 4AM the day after, completely exhausted. The whole trip took them 18 hours - almost double the usual travel time.
Trip tips from Eric:
Do not forget to bring a spare car tire!
Snow walking with crampons up at Cypress Provincial Park, BC, Canada.
Photo credit: Private
As the snow finally covered the mountains up on the North Shore of Vancouver, Yoona [Office Manager] and YooRa [Marketing Manager] were not late to head up to do a day-hike up at Hollyburn trail on Cypress Mountain. As always, their dog [breed: Bichon Frise] Berry took the lead and managed to get her humans in and out and timed it at 5-6 hours. To keep steady and dry both wore the Trail Crampons as well as the Super Armadillo Nano’s. Best part of the trip was the scenic views and watching people (intentionally) sliding down the snowy hills on their bottoms with big smiles on their faces.
Trip tips from Yoona & YooRa:
Bring a BTR Stool so you do not have to sit down in the snow when fixing up your booths or when having a snack / lunch breaks.
Sunset at Elfin Lakes, BC, Canada.
Photo credit: Nathan Klein
Lokki geared up for the crispy weather in the Canadian Rockies.
Photo credit: Private
Being new to Canada, Hanna [Sales & Marketing Coordinator] tries to be out and about as much as possible. Her top two trips so far has been;
- to explore parts of the Canadian Rockies (Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Park) together with her fiancé and their dog (breed: Vizsla), Lokki. They stayed in their rooftop tent as usual and during their visit to Columbia Icefield Campground, Jasper National Park they woke up to their first snow for the season (in September). It was a pain to dismantle the roof-top tent as their fingers went numb but the views of the mountains were amazing and the hot tea that morning tasted better than ever. Another special moment was when they camped at Two Jack Lakeside, Banff National Park and woke up at 2 AM to a howling wolf pack (wish she had recorded that sound!) that was circulating their campground - a very special moment that gave them goosebumps (not so appreciated by their dog though)
- hiking with crampons and snowshoeing up at Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park just before the COVID-19 restrictions came into place. Two days of perfect conditions; clear skies, sun and almost no one else out on the track. They stayed the night at Elfin Lakes Shelter - the shelter wasn’t even half-full.
Trip tips from Hanna:
- Go for a hardshell roof-top tent to avoid hassle with dismantling during rain and snow. Autohome from Italy is a great brand!
- Take time off work and go and explore on weekdays, more options and less crowded! Also, a classic one for staying in huts/shelters; do not forget to bring earplugs to get a good night sleep among snorers.
Note: All of these adventures took place before COVID restrictions came into effect.