We are pretty excited as the first dump of the season has arrived up on the local hills. Actually, we’re pretty happy to get any snow at all considering where we live. Vancouver, British Columbia, is right on the Pacific coast of Canada on the 49th parallel just north of Seattle. The city itself is at sea level, and the 3 local mountains have alpine/nordic areas all starting around 3700 feet.
All in all, it’s a really moderate climate. The freezing level goes up and down all winter long making for a wide variety of opportunities and conditions. It’s not unusual to head for higher elevations starting at 3700 in the rain, and eventually hitting snow. With all this in mind, we tend to watch the weather very carefully and plan our expeditions as best we can. The 3 local mountains are all within about 30 minutes of the downtown core. It’s a pretty deluxe situation even if the conditions change frequently. It’s not like we have to burn a day just to get skunked.
So we guess you’re wondering what the Magic Tree has to do with all of this? The trees on the Coastal Mountains are predominantly evergreens, but there are a number of the “leafy” variety. Many years ago, we heard about a particular tree that predicts when the first snow will come. It’s surrounded by evergreens, so it’s not hard to spot when it’s prognosticating. Believe it or not, this tree knows what it is doing. Every year, we keep a watchful eye on this Magic Tree. As soon as the leaves turn yellow, there is a prediction of snow within the next 2 weeks. Sure enough, the Magic Tree as it’s become known by locals in these parts, came through again!
Brent and Dorian
Day Hiking Ambassadors