Friday, September 30, 2011

UBC Ancient Forest Committee. A return to the Temple of Time Grove of Giants; Seymour Old-growth hike

To visit the largest trees around Vancouver see the online
Vancouver Big Tree Hiking Guide 

One of the Seymour Valley 'Superstumps'. A decomposing legacy of the magnificent trees that once covered much of the Vancouver area. Photo by Ira Sutherland
Free Guided Adventure hike to Seymour Valley's-- Temple of Time Grove of Giants -- Oct 23rd 2011. **No RSVP required

The Seymour Valley, just a 25min drive
from downtown, offers an invaluable escape
from the busy city life.
Photo by Ira Sutherland

Introduction and Background: The mandate of the UBC Ancient forest Committee (AFC) is to raise awareness for the depletion of British Columbia's Ancient Forests and to encourage more sustainable forest management in BC. Essential to this is the preservation of sufficient tracts of old-growth forest to maintain the ecological, cultural, spiritual and economic benefits they offer. With the intention of increasing Vancouverite’s awareness and knowledge of the ancient forests of BC, the AFC offers free guided old-growth hikes to explore the impressive scattered remains of the ‘The Great Vancouver Forest.'

With this purpose and also with the hope of building participants understanding and relationship to nature, the hike will be exploring a stand that contains some of Canada's tallest trees. In contrast, we will then see the enormous stumps left from logging in the Seymour Valley during the 20th century. Much of the valley was felled for timber in the early 1900's so the majority of the hike will be in second-growth forests. The hike will be led by Ira Sutherland, a student of forestry at UBC who is familiar with the hidden old growth stands of Seymour Valley. The hike is open to all members of the public provided that they are in adequate physical condition for a 6 1/2 hour hike, and understand the dificulty level and what they are expected to bring. All participants will be required to sign a waiver before joining the hike.

The AFC supports and collaborates with both the Ancient Forest Alliance and the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. Both of these organizations make vital contributions towards to the longevity and preservation of BC's ancient forests. Donations or contributions in the form of volunteer hours are highly effective ways to help ensure that the benefits of old-growth forests are sustained for future generations.

When: Oct 23, 2011. Leaving at 10AM, returning to the same location at 4:30 PM. Hike is a total of 6 1/2 hours.
The Temple Giant is nearly 90m tall and over 3 m
wide at its base. Photo by Ira Sutherland

Where: **No RSVP required. Just show up! Meeting at the "End of The Line" General Store at the end of Lynn Valley Road in North Vancouver. Plenty of parking is available in the vicinity. If you have extra seats or are looking for a ride try this carpooling spreadsheet. This location is reached directly by public transportation. For transit directions the 'trip planning' application on is quite useful - enter Lynn Valley Regional Park as your destination. We will try to leave sharp at 10 Am so plan on arriving early, there is a coffee shop to take cover in if the weather is cool or wet. And feel free to support the local business!

What will we be doing? The objective of the hike is to explore the "Temple of Time Grove of Giants." Here we find one of the tallest trees in Canada: the Temple Giant at nealry 90m tall, aswell as several other gigantic trees!!! Also, we will be seeing some shockingly large stumps along the way including the Seymour Valley 'Super Stumps.' Interpretation will focus on the valley's logging history and how it eventually became a conservation reserve. Most importantly, each person will experience a full day of hiking through a wild and beautiful rainforest valley complete with scenic views and fascinating ecology. If the salmon are running we will make a short detour to observe an artificially created spawning channel.

Route: We will cross Lynn Creek and follow the Fisherman's Trail along the Seymour River to MidValley Viewpoint, then proceed uphill to the "Temple of Time Grove of Giants." We will spend about 1 1/2 hours in the Temple of Time Grove of Giants and then return along the Seymour Valley parkway. (The reason for meeting at the Lynn Valley side is because it is accessable by public transportation)

Temperate rainforest. The Seymour
Valley receives considerably more
rain than Vancouver so come prepared
 for wet conditions!
Photo by Ira Sutherland
Difficulty Level: Moderate-dificult. The length of this hike is approximately 13 km with an elevation gain of about 300m The majority of it is on relatively flat and easy walking terrain. A small section of it is walking on boardwalks that can be quite slippery. Approximatlely one and half hours of the hike will be "off-road bushwacking" on moderately steep slopes to explore the Temple of Time Grove of Giants. The "off-road bushwacking" within the grove is relatively challenging so some participants may wish to turn back here.

Items Required (things to bring): Lunch, snacks, water (atleast 1 L), rain gear (with hood or a good hat), hiking boots (or your best walking shoes!), appropriate outdoor clothing! (DO NOT WEAR COTTON because cotton is useless when wet) examples of good clothing: fleece, wool socks, anything synthetic, toques (light and warm!) non-cotton long underwear / examples of bad outdoor clothing: cotton jeans, cotton socks, cotton T-shirts. The Seymour Valley recieves at least 50% more rain than downtown Vancouver so that may be a consideration
for planning. The combination of wet and cool October weather
is justification to come a little over prepared!

Please email Ira ( if you would like to be a volunteer

Seymour River. The old-growth forests of Vancouver's North Shore valleys contribute significantly to the quality and quantity of our city's water supply.  The forest's effect on flow moderation and filtration is termed an ecosystem service. Such 'services' are provided for free by nature, though, management practices often discount their value.
Photo by Ira Sutherland

Salmon spawning habitat provided by the forest is another example of an ecosystem service offered by
intact old-growth valleys. In return, the salmon carcasses fertilize the old trees as they
are dragged from the streams into the forest by bears, herons, eagles and other critters.
Photo by Ira Sutherland