Where: Cypress Creek - West Vancouver, BC
When: August 23rd, 2010
Who: Me and Jenny
After descending Last Exit for the Lost with Chris last month, I've been dying to get out and do another local canyon around Vancouver. In particular, I wanted to get into Cypress Creek, subject of an amazing collection of Dan Ransom photos in one of Tom's Canyon Raves. I'd heard a lot of good things.
I did the math on the time required, and realized that it would be possible to reach and descend the canyon in the morning, and still make it to work by 2:30 in the afternoon, for an evening shift! I had a free morning on Monday the 23rd, and started looking for a partner. A couple of locals were unable to make it, but Jenny was interested in going and trying it out. There was a chance that a couple people who had done it before might come along, but that didn't work out, so the two of us decided to do it on our own.
We met up at the parking lot at 8:00, and, having only exchanged a couple of emails in the past, chattered away about people and places that we knew in common, folks that we wanted to meet, places we wanted to go, and so on. As we chattered, we packed up our gear. Finally, we hit the trail around 8:30.
It was a short walk through the park, past a viewpoint overlooking the lower falls. After about 20 minutes, we dropped down beside a bridge into the gorge, and began walking up canyon.
After seeing some beautiful narrows, we turned around, put on our helmets, and headed back to the bridge and the top of the first rappel.
The beta told us that there was lots of anchor material on a landing between the first and second rappels, including wedged logs, but they had all washed away. I was not impressed by the available boulders, so I ascended the first rap, and re-rigged it with a longer rope to descend both waterfalls in two stages. That went very smoothly.
After some more boulder hopping and wading, we reached the "Upper Falls". This was a rappel down a beautiful cascade, about 60 feet tall.
Further along, a huge dam, formed from some old growth trees.
Tough to get just how large the dam is, until you get a little perspective:
More boulders, swims and wades:
A little further along, we reach the Lower Falls, and the overlook where we'd posed earlier. We rigged the rappel off the fence, and, with a small audience, rapped down this incredible waterfall.
Jenny on rappel:
After the rap, the high five:
After this, some more beautiful wading and scrambling down the creek.
Eventually, I noticed the time was getting close to when I had to leave for work. We climbed up and out a little side trail. Jenny ran back and grabbed the webbing at the top of the final rappel, and we were back to the cars and on our way only 15 minutes after leaving the creek bed!
All in all, a beautiful canyon, and a great team! It was terrific getting a chance to meet and do a canyon with Jenny, and nice to get into Cypress Creek before the rains hit!
And finally, some video I took on the trip: