You can start with your local hikes

Scott Barkemeyer // Shorts Ambassador

For some reason unbeknownst to me, I was asked to write a column about outdoor activities that students can do in the fall and winter, and more importantly, on a student-friendly budget. Little did the editor know that “student-friendly budget” activities eliminate the likes of bungee jumping, sky diving, scuba diving and bobsledding – just a few of my favourites. Thankfully, British Columbia is a beacon of the outdoors and there are lot more activities to choose from.

First and foremost, I need to state that anyone intending to participate in outdoor activities must understand the risks that are involved. Seek out information, education and training for both the activity and the safety gear. Too many people are unprepared when they head outdoors and with the rise of social media, it’s becoming more apparent. Please don’t head out just for an Instagram post. Take pictures, but enjoy the experience and your time in nature.

Be prepared because I can say from experience that it isn’t an enjoyable day when you need to carry an injured friend down the mountain. An overnight stay is a wonderful experience if you’re prepared, but far less enjoyable when unplanned.With that in mind, let’s get you outside. This week’s focus is on hiking

With that in mind, let’s get you outside. This week’s focus is on hiking and, because we live in a mountain paradise, I’m giving you options depending on your fitness levels and time commitments.

Illustration by Annie Chang
Masochist Option

As Mother Nature’s very own Stairmaster, the Grouse Grind is without a doubt one of BC’s best-known hikes. For just $10 for a down lift, it’s affordable on the broke student budget. With the world record clocking in at a little over 27 minutes, and an average completion time of 1.5 hours, where will you stack up? If you don’t see yourself as a grinder (yes, that’s how we refer to ourselves), then there are plenty more alternatives in the area.

An Escape Between Classes

For something closer to Capilano University, especially those with access to a car, Rice Lake can be a quick foray into nature. Enjoy a picturesque walk around the lake. This can be a 30-minute walk or a longer stroll if you stop to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. During my time at CapU, this was one of the escapes that I would constantly use between classes.

For the Weekends

For something longer and more notable, try Lynn Canyon. Enjoy the views from the suspension bridge or if you have more time, you can head up the canyon and hike Lynn Loop for neat little adventure. Norvan Falls or Lynn Peak can be options for four to ve-hour hikes. Get to it either by car or take the 227 from Phibbs Exchange to Lynn Valley Centre. Depending on the season, the duration of the hikes and the general skills required may change, however, there are a variety of options available year-round.

Morning Foray

For a quick morning hike, head over to Deep Cove and hit up Quarry Rock (take the 211 or 212 from Phibbs). It can be a great place to catch the sunrise from, and during winter you won’t even have to wake up early to catch it.

I will be delving into some more of my favourite outdoor activities as this semester goes. Look out for the next entry, it just might be about my current favourite exercise: bouldering.


About the columnist:

Scott Barkemeyer is a graduate of both Capilano University’s School of Business and the now-defunct Mountain Bike Operations program. A proud Albertan, Scott spends his day job working in marketing and his weekends outside. Usually on a mountain.

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