I had obligations keeping me busy in town this weekend, but I managed to head up to Cypress in the afternoon to take a leg-stretcher to St. Mark's Summit via the southern part of the HSCT.
Google Earth birdseye:
Google Earth 3d:
Having never been hiking at Cypress before, the start of the trail was a bit confusing. Eventually figured out you walk up the paved road/parking lots, past the day lodge, swing right, pass by the bottom of one of the chair lifts, head left along a dirt road, at a big green water tower take the hiking trail leaving on the left, follow that until it joins up with another dirt road, take that left, and follow it until it ends and becomes a hiking trail again. Kind of like this:
The section of trail from here to the Bowen Lookout is in good shape and has seen some serious engineering. No snow.
Swung down to the lookout and took a brief look.
Howe Sound from Bowen Lookout:
The trail dropped down into the Montizambert Creek valley, where the solid snow started (up to then it was only an occasional patch). Probably about 1m of snow where you cross the creek at the back of Strachan.
Trying to do what burnabyhiker does so well:
After this the trail is somewhat confusing, as there aren't too many trail markers and more than one footpaths in the snow wander amongst the trees. I managed to pick the right one though, and was soon climbing out of the little col and onto the knob that is south of St. Mark's.
Google Earth 3d - St. Mark's climb:
The snow soon disappeared again, and the trail became a typical West Coast trail - i.e. steep/switchbacky, tonnes of rocks, roots and streamlets crossing and on the trail.
There was again snow on top of the knob, but the trail was easy to follow.
Video Panorama - Howe Sound from knob south of St. Mark's
Howe Sound from the knob:
No snow in the col between the knob and St. Mark's - actually, the trail was a very nice loamy dirt with few rocks and roots. Snow picked up again climbing St. Mark's, and was probably about 1m or so up there.
The weather was great and sunny, so plenty of pic opportunities to be had.
Video Panorama - Howe Sound from St. Mark's Summit
Howe Sound from St. Mark's:
Sea to Sky and Horseshoe Bay:
The start of Charles Creek:
Google Earth 3d - At St. Mark's:
And back again.