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Our small group of die-hards. Met at "Bean Around the World" in the ParkGate Mall (Mt Seymour Parkway and Mt Seymour Road)at 7:30 and by about 8:30 we were up the hill geared up and on the trail. This year, there was an unusually large early dump of snow on the local hills in November, which was followed by a regime of milder weather and heavy percipitation. For the last couple of weeks however, it's been cold and dry. The cold temperatures caused a freeze of the wet snow layer. So, off trail backcountry conditions were far from ideal for snow shoe and ski travel. It was also clear that we'd have a little difficulty burying transcievers and using probes for our planned avi rescue practice searches. Despite the adverse conditions (a snowshoer tragically slid to his death from Goat mountain and 2 others were evacuated by helicopter from this area of Mount Seymour last weekend) we decided to take the winter trail and head for Brockon Point. After all, we were here and could at least get a bit of excercise. It didn't take long to get to Brockton, though there were a few steep parts along the trail where one us removed skis to kick steps up the steeper portions of the trail cause skins weren't grabbing. (the steep bits of the trail to Brockton appear to have reasonable run-outs) Shortly beyond Brockton we re-evaluated the situation and decided that indeed the ascent route beyond and around pump peak could expose us to some significant hazard in the case of a slip. We turned around headed back to the ski area boundry and enjoyed a fine run down on the groomed slopes which were in fine condition. Seymour's a great place to go for quick access to some frequently good sub-alpine terrain. While the avalanche hazard is very low current icy conditions don't appear to warrant out-of-bounds ski touring (or snowshoeing) on those local trails with significant exposure in the event of a slip or fall. Those of us who did go got out had a little excercise and had occasion to locate lost gear, make minor repairs, buy replacesment stuff and generally prepare our gear for more trips in the coming season. A good day.
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