Cypress Provincial Park – Geology Hike

Cypress Provincial Park – Geology Hike

Trip report by Leader DavidCook 

On August 5, 2018, fifteen members participated in this field trip, organized jointly by Nature Vancouver and Friends of Cypress Provincial Park. We walked part way up the Collins Ski Run keeping faithfully to my self-guiding field trip of Cypress geology. A PDF copy is available HERE.

The intent was to continue on to the first peak of Mt Strachan as had been done in the past where there is an interesting glacial pavement displaying the Bowen Island Group of volcanics and of course views of Howe Sound. However, the heart rate monitoring medications that I take prevented me from continuing and we aborted the hike halfway at Stop 11. By that time the geology of the area had been explained to everyone’s satisfaction and we returned.

One of the highlights of the day were the many occurrences of iron bacteria contamination that can be seen throughout the Cypress Bowl ski area. The iron has been liberated from oxidized pyrite which has been exposed during construction of the ski runs. The iron oxide and the bacteria that feed upon it enter the drainage and ultimately leak into the wetland. It is unsightly, scars the slopes and covers the vegetation in the wetland but so far as we can tell has no significant impact on the ecology.

Iron bacteria in the drainage which is common throughout Cypress Bowl. The Collins Ski Run can be seen in the background. Photo by David Cook
Iron bacteria in the Cypress Creek wetland. Photo by David Cook
Hiking group looking north from downhill ski area towards Mt Strachan. Photo by Bill Kinkaid
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