Project Paddle: Day 4 (‘Triple Crown’: Browning Lake)

Sunday, March 20, 12022 HE

Project Paddle is my attempt to circumnavigate some select lakes in the Vancouver area. You can read about the backstory and relevant details here. And here are the stories of the lakes I have already completed: Day 1 (Burnaby Lake)Day 2 (Deer Lake), Day 3 (Səl̓ilw̓ət (Indian Arm) to Sasamat Lake), and the start of Day 4 (‘Triple Crown’: Brohm Lake) and Day 4 (‘Triple Crown’: Cat Lake). You can see the remaining lakes I plan to circumnavigate here.

Browning Lake was the third lake on my ‘Triple Crown’ triumvirate (see my float plan). Brohm Lake was the first, and Cat Lake was the second. Browning Lake is often mistakenly called Murrin Lake since it is in the eponymous provincial park. And while it is hardly a noteworthy circumference, I included it for nostalgia. In university, my summer job was working on the grounds crew at Furry Creek Golf and Country Club so I would often stop for a swim after work on my way home.

Browning Lake

Rationale: I grew up in Squamish swimming here, so there is some retrograde nostalgia there. A chance to reconnect to my roots.
Estimated Travel Distance: 59 km
Estimated Area: 0.02 km²
Estimated Circumference: 0.6 km

I strapped my board back onto the Outback. It needed to be secure, as I would be hitting full highway speeds. As I made my way back along the forest service road, the rain began. It was wet out, and I found myself thinking of stargazing and wondering about the myths of Cassiopeia and Andromeda.

The merge onto the highway was interesting. It was raining hard now. To go south, you are at the bottom of a hill with a steady flow of traffic travelling southbound from Whistler. But this time, I needed to contend with the traffic heading north to Whistler. Again, I merged without incident to myself or my board.

On arrival at Browning Lake, the rain had let up some. I quickly reattached my fins and leash. With the rain and knowing this would be a super short paddle, I decided to put on my bare Exowear hood. I picked this up after the super cold (for Vancouver) artic outflow last Christmas season. I did a paddle on December 27 in sub -10° C temperature and realized that I needed warmer winter paddling gear. I picked up the hood and some thicker gloves from the Dive Locker. I planned to play around with some SUP freestyle moves post-circumnavigation, and there was a high probability that I was falling in. So I decided I should be warm in preparation.

I launched into wet conditions at the northeast corner of the lake.

Launch spot.

Travelling along the northern lakeshore, I was flooded with childhood memories of beach picnics. Eating hotdogs and swimming off of the submerged rock.

Below is the view northeast from the southwest corner of the lake.

Looking across Browning Lake.

The eastern lakeshore was nostalgic too. There is a spot on this side of the lake where I would swim post-work. There are a few big rocks that are perfect to dive off. But you do have to tolerate the traffic noise. My teenage/young-adult self was much more tolerant of such things.

It was a fast trip around the lake. Geo Tracker recorded my distance as 0.64 kilometres. Again, spot on with my estimate of 0.6 kilometres.

I landed at my launch site and stopped my GPS recording. Three up, three down!

Now, time for some freestyle fun. I made my way back to the southwest corner of the lake. The water was the calmest there.

I practiced step-back turns (aka. pivot turns), crossbow 180s, and nose side 360s. And a new trick manoeuvre that I have down in calm conditions is a nosedive 180 sweep turn.

More fun stuff to work on as the weather gets warmer!

Below is a recap of my route created on Relive and recorded with Geo Tracker. It looks like a much more formidable paddle, but keep in mind it was less than a kilometre. If the video below doesn’t work, here is a link to the video on Relive’s site.

Here are the map and statistics of my paddle from Geo Tracker.

Next stop, another lower mainland lake…

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