In his element | Geoff Croll makes tracks on Cypress Mountain
For British Pacific Properties president Geoff Croll, snowshoeing is one more way to take to the hills
I was born and raised in West Vancouver, and I’ve been playing on the North Shore Mountains all my life—from hiking to skiing to mountain biking and trail running. Snowshoeing’s just another activity on the hillside. My first memories of snowshoeing are of a Scout group 40 years ago going up Hollyburn with these big, wooden, heavy showshoes. Now you have these super-lightweight snowshoes that you just strap on like very lightweight trail shoes. You can walk, you can run, so it’s a great way to get exercise, to get fresh air.
You don’t need as much equipment as you do for skiing. You don’t need to take lessons. You just need a pair of snowshoes, and off you go. This winter I hope to get out a couple of times a month—if we go to Whistler for a weekend, we’ll go skiing one day, and the other day we’ll go snowshoeing on the other side of the valley. I usually go with my wife. Our three daughters are very much in the outdoors as well, so we have snowshoes and headlamps for everybody.
If you go at night, it’s magical, with the light from the headlamps darting through the trees and reflecting off the snow. You can go snowshoeing at Mount Seymour, you can go at Hollyburn—you can have a fondue dinner at Hollyburn Lodge. We often go on the Trans Canada Trail in West Vancouver as well—the snow’s lower.
It can be a casual walk or it can be a super-intense cardiovascular workout, depending what you want to do or who you’re going with. But most of all, it’s getting out in the fresh air and out in nature and away from the stress and the busyness of our lives in the city.
Warrior SpotlightGeoff Croll, who joined British Pacific Properties 11 years ago, became president of the real estate development firm in 2014. BPP’s latest project on West Vancouver land owned by the Guinness brewing family since 1931—the first was the British Properties—is Cypress Village. The mixed-use community will give more people access to the mountain and introduce them to snowshoeing, Croll says.