–submitted by John Robertson
The moon was shining, and the pre-dawn night was just beginning to brighten when we set out under the light of headlamps on the White Pine trail, just south of the Nanaimo River. Within 20 minutes, the twilight had brightened enough that headlamps were unnecessary, despite the disappearance of the moon behind a bank of cloud.
We were at our viewpoint in short order. With no moonset to view, we admired the beauty of Crystal Lake, shrouded in mist, then turned and watched the sky brighten to the east. The cold temperatures made us impatient to move, however, so we chose to enjoy the sunrise as we descended towards Timberlands Lake.
By the time we reached the lake’s edge, the sun was up. We took in the view of the mirror calm lake, reflecting the sunlit mountains beyond. Hall, Coronation, Whymper, McKay, and Hooker were all showing fresh overnight snow, lit by the new sun.
We continued on along the Haslam Creek trail, then chose a side path that took us up on a ridge that overlooked the creek valley. Then we turned back towards Timberlands lake, and hit the bush, for a short, but mostly easy loop around the far side of Timberlands Lake.
Then it was back up White Pine trail, for a quick snack at our dawn lookout point. As we ate, we admired the landscape below, and spotted features and possible routes for future explorations. Snacks consumed, we headed back to the cars, and were on our way back home by 9 am. It was a wonderful way to kickstart the day.