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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Sun reflecting off the ice

As new year begins, many hikers take time to reflect on the past year,2011 and what it was for them. Hikers remember the trails they hiked, the people they have meet, those incredible photos taken and those special memories.

It is now time to plan and prepare for the 2012 season… 1) One of the first things I like to do is review my equipment & its condition, do a complete  inventory and see what is needed to purchase for this year. Looks like it will be a new pair of boots and daypack,  2)  Develop a fitness plan for the winter and spring as well set kilometre goals for 2012.  I know that to stay in shape I need to do so many kilometres each year but I am careful not to become a fitness hiker where I miss those special moments with nature & photos. I have set a lofty goal of 1000 kms in 2012, 3) Improve my photography & creative skills  with the camera and take more 5 stars pictures.

Ice in the brook

And finally, 4) Develop a wish list of a new trails and challenges to explore. These include a) the hike a 100 km  for the Hikers Distance Award at the Hike the Highlands festival,  b) Complete the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge ( hike 3 mountains in one day on Saturday, July 21, 2012,  c) hike Snowdon Mountain, Wales, the last of the UK 3 Peaks Challenge mountains to hike, d) East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Labrador, and e) Cape Chignecto.  Other challenges on my list include Ride for Diabetes in June at Little Bras d”Or, , Cycling the Confederation Trail (300 km) in PEI and doing the Not Since Moses 10k/5k Walk & Run event.

Wow it certainly plans to be a busy year….Have you started planning your schedule for hiking in 2012 ?  I wish all hikers happiness, good health and lots of hiking in 2012.

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Wast Water Lake, Wasdale Head

As we enter Gosforth, Nether Wasdale and then Wasdale Head, I could tell this area was majestic.  The narrow roads, country homes, green grass,  Wast Water Lake and mountains made this a very special place. We decided to check out the start of Scafell Pike hike and get our bearings and the lay of the land. The next day we hiked the mountain. There is an outdoor store next to Wasdale Head Inn in case you need any supplies ie. map, gloves, toque etc.

The Summit - Cold, windy and foggy

The weather had improved from the day before so we were hoping to have a view at the top. The route we took was from 2nd parking lot, over the bridge , Lingmell Gill, Brown Tongue, Hollow Stones and then up to Scafell Pike. The research and planning for the hike was dead on and there were no surprises.  We added an extra layer for the top along with toque & gloves.  Glad we did, it was quite cold & very windy at the summit. A cloud came in during the last section of the hike so we had no view.

A few cows joined the descent of Scafell Pike

My nephew and I did the hike in 4.5 hours and that included all the photo stops along the way which were many. With Ben Nevis & Scafell Pike hiked, only one UK 3 Peaks mountain left – Snowdon to complete. Highly recommended the Strands Inn & Brewery for accommodations in Nether Wasdale as well for  their great food and pub.

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Tenerife Mountain

Tenerife  and Cabot Landing Beach were the featured hikes on Day 4 of the 2011 Hike the Highlands festival. Over 9o plus hikers enjoyed sunny & cool hiking conditions.

North Harbour from Tenerife Mtn.

Tenerife Mountain is a new hike this year in the festival and after today will be regular fixture on the schedule with amazing views on top plus a little adventure getting there.

Cabot Landing Beach, Sugar Loaf

Cabot Landing Beach hike was a perfect way ending the day with  walking in the sand, getting your feet wet and enjoying some amazing views of mountains and surf. It was a great day for pictures.

Today’s hikes are Beulach Ban Falls and Roberts Mountain. It seems the hikes just keep getting better.

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Bull Moose on Le vieux chemin du Cap Rouge

The 75th Anniversary Cape Breton Highlands National Park in 2011 has provided hikers with a new challenge – hike  75 km from May to October. It also provides you with a wonderful opportunity to see the whole park,  its great scenery, wildlife and plants. And of course to get in shape for more events such as CB Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge and 8th Annual Hike the Highlands festival in September.

Hikers are required to keep track of your trails hiked and dates, record them on paper, signed it and pass it into the Parks Canada Cheticamp or Ingonish Visitor Information Centre where you will receive some 75th Anniversary prizes. Note: Hikers can only hike each trail once.  Be sure to take your camera with you and take lots of pictures.  Below are just a few of the pictures I took while completing the 75 km hiking challenge.

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Getting an early start to hiking season is what most hikers want but it forces us to hike in wet spring like conditions and in snow sometimes. Here are some tips to start the season off early:

1)  Crossing streams – With melting snow and milder conditions, streams are higher this time of the year and  more of them.  Tips –  a) wear gaiters – gore-tex are the best, waterproof hiking boots (gore-tex) , wool socks – plus take an extra pair. b) Use poles to cross streams & walk softly on rocks.  I learned how important poles were in Scotland hiking the West Highland Way and crossing so many streams, c) Make sure your hip belt and chest straps are on to avoid your daypack to sway.  d) Double bag your camera gear with dry bags or ziplock bags.

A stream on Red Island Hiking Trail

2) Hiking in snow on trails – Tips – a) hike with gaiters on, waterproof hiking boots and wool socks. b) take your trekking poles and use them. Don’t forget your baskets….

3) Take an extra jacket –  Important to dress in layers this time of the year. It is colder and you do not want to get chills.  Make sure you have a base layer, mid-layer and jacket  a) wear your jacket when you stop for snacks, lunch and water breaks…. you do not want to get cold…take short breaks and keep moving.

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Snowshoeing is being coming a popular winter sport in the Cape Breton Highlands

Lets face it no one likes getting up in the dark to leave for work or coming home in the dark..In means for the first part of the winter, being outdoors can only happen on Saturday and Sunday.  

Here are some helpful tips to get rid of the winter blues and stay in shape – 1) walk during the day, at lunch time, in your office building, take the stairs, 2) buy some exercise equipment for your home, or join a gym or take an exercise class.  Watch for deals and gradually build up your home gym. 3) The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (18-64yrs old)  require at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week.  Some useful fitness equipment I found good are – stepper, rower, home gym (weight machine) , stationary bike, elliptical trainer and trendmill ( don’t have this one) .  4) For weekends – enjoy snowshoeing with poles, x-country skiing,  downhill skiing, skating , hockey, are great winter activities as well walking.

Take your camera and share your winter memories & experiences with family and friends.  It is important to stay fit over the winter so you can be ready for the upcoming hiking season. I am planning for a great season …are you ?

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Marie on Salmon Pool hiking trail, Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Marie Stradeski, a friend and volunteer of Hike the Highlands Festival has left Cape Breton Highlands National Park and is heading for the Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia.  Marie was Heritage Presentation Officer III at Cape Breton Highlands National Park for the past 6 years.

She played an important role in helping the festival grow and develop to where it is today. Specifically in guide training and evening presentations.  The Hike the Highlands Festival team would like to acknowledge and thank Marie  for her many important contributions to the festival and wish her well in her new adventure.

Below is a short video that Marie made of her Cape Breton adventures. Hope you enjoy hiking, sea kayaking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in BC.

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