Vancouver, British Columbia/Accessibility

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This is a project to show the difficulty of geohashing in the Vancouver graticule.

Access Bottlenecks[edit]

Doing this project showed me that aside from all the water, there are only a few ways to get anywhere in the graticule that isn't the city. It did cause me to learn about the ones that do exist.

Three Roads[edit]

Outside the Vancouver area in the southeast corner, and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, the whole graticule has three major roads. First, there's highway 99 that enters the graticule at Delta in the southeast corner and runs through Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay. Between Delta and Horseshoe Bay there are cities, so numerous smaller roads, but approaching Horseshoe Bay the land narrows to mountains and sea and the access reduces. Past Horseshoe Bay the highway continues but balances on the face of a cliff from there to where it leaves the graticule just north of Garibaldi in the northeast corner. Even getting access to the water is difficult there, because you can't get over the cliff.

Next, there's highway 101, similarly situated between the mountains and the sea, on the Sunshine Coast and connected to other highways only by ferry. Highway 101 does not give access to any of the land inland of the coast. The only way to get to it is by boat up the inlets.

And finally there's Highway 1/Highway 19 on Vancouver Island. The interior of the Island is also sparsely served.

Choke Points[edit]

I found myself typing the same place names over and over again, realizing that they were the jumping off points to try to get to everything else. The biggest is Horseshoe Bay. You have to go through it to get anywhere to the north, either by the Squamish Highway, by ferry or by water taxi. Once on the Squamish Highway you have to leave your vehicle behind and cross the river by cable (not cable car, a cable strung between towers across the river) or boat. And then most of the mountains have glaciers and constitute technical climbs.

If you go from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale then your last point of civilization is either Earl's Cove or Tuwanek, and you have to kayak/hike the rest of the way.

Nanaimo is another ferry hub, allowing access to many, but not all of the islands.

Except as are very few secondary roads serving anything other than the immediate vicinity of the three highways. That's why we always seem to be going to Horseshoe Bay or Earl's Cove.

An area that didn't arise during the month, but is an important restriction is the watershed around the dams. Restricted.

Explanation of Table Fields[edit]

All distances and times are one-way from Robyn's house, in roughly the middle of Vancouver. Routes are the most efficient Robyn can calculate, with possible alternates when there might be more than one way to approach a point. Driving times include ferry crossings and are from Google Maps. Cycling times allow 20 km/h, or as required by terrain. Walking allows 8 km/h on roads or good trails ranging down to 400 m in an hour in dense bush with poor footing, or less when climbing extremely steep terrain. Kayaking is 3 km/h, which accepts that we aren't very good at kayaking and includes an allowance for launching. Ferry times are not included in water distances, as they are in driving distances and are taken account of in total times.

From last, is the distance from the previous location, were I doing the endurance geohash. Such distance does not allow for getting to and from a safe place to camp between geohashes.

The times for the hikes are taken from Many of them involve time-consuming mountaineering or circuitous routes that make it much further than the straight line distance shown. Some of these look to be only a few kilometres from access roads but experienced hikers at report them as multi-day hikes. In some cases I'm uncertain whether the terrain is that bad or the apparent access roads are unusable. -Robyn 18:08, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

The last column "Comment" is usually an excuse why I did not attempt/reach the geohash. It contains a link to the expedition if anyone went.

Table of Geohashes[edit]

Date Location Description Route Road Water Bush Total travel From last Comment
2009-03-31 Shore of Howe Sound just south of Woodfibre Drive to Britannia Beach, then kayak across 60.9 km 3 km 1 h 39 N/A 40 kt winds
Bike to Britannia Beach then kayak across 3 h 36 N/A
Go all the way around by road/trail (requires fording Squamish River) 71.5 km 300 m 15 km 3 h 45 N/A
2009-04-01 In the water at the north edge of Howe Sound just northeast of Woodfibre and only a few kilometres from yesterday's location. Drive to north of Britannia Beach, then kayak across 64.7 km 3 km 1 h 55 3 km Gale warning in effect.
2009-04-02 8 km into Georgia Straight, nearest land is near Wilson Creek. Drive to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Gibsons, drive to point near Wilson Creek, then kayak 50 km 8 km 3 h 56 85 km Ferry cost
Same route by bike with inflatable kayak and pump in trailer. 5 h 10 Far.
2009-04-03 Near the peak of Zenith mountain, in the Tantalus range, 7 km west of the Squamish River. Drive to Skowishin Graveyard Indian Reserve 10, hike up mountain on foot. Probable deep snow. 104 km 7 km few days 132 km This is a multi-day trip
2009-04-04 Close to the middle of Georgia Straight, about 11 km from nearest land in Nanoose Drive/ferry to Nanoose. Kayak 11 km. 103 km 11 km 5 h 20 162 km 11 km into open ocean in a kayak?
2009-04-05 On the north slope of Mount Jimmy Jimmy in the Tantalus Range Drive to Coin Creek, hike up mountain 117 km 3 km 3 h 15 152 km Probably too much snow.
2009-04-06 On a ridge a little under a kilometre east of the Squamish Highway, just south of Swift Bus to Horseshoe Bay, bike to abeam, hike. 95.6 km 900 m 7 h 30 60 km Long bike
Drive to point abeam before hiking 5 h Left too late
2009-04-07 On a ridge near Porteau Cove Drive to Porteau Cove, hike up west face, ~1000m up 52 km 2.3km 4.5h 38km Had to meet people at airport.
Drive to Furry Creek, take access road, hike up east face and over top of ridge, 500m up 60 km 1.3km 3.5h
2009-04-08 In Howe Sound, 2.2 km offshore of the mainland, just southwest of Anvil Island Drive to Porteau Cove, kayak 7 km south 52 km 7 km 5 h 7.3 km Success!.
2009-04-09 In Howe Sound, about 200 m offshore Gambier Island, at the mouth of the southeastern bay. Bus to Horseshoe Bay, kayak around Bowen Island to Gambier 27.3 km 12 km 5.5 h 16 km My arms still hurt from yesterday, and this is FURTHER.
2009-04-10 On the Sunshine Coast, on a peninsula up the inlet in Saltery Bay Road to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, road to Earl's Cove, boat 9.5km to landing on peninsula (possible dock), logging road 8km to approach point, hike 200-500m through bush to point (depending on how close the logging road gets). 107.6km 9.5km 0.5km Away for weekend.
2009-04-11 Source of Wilson Creek near Sechelt Road to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, road to Sechelt, industrial/logging road through a mine, apparent logging road up the mountain to within 400m of point, hike through bush to point. 65km 400m Away for weekend.
2009-04-12 Middle of the Georgia Straight between Sechelt and Nanaimo. Road to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, road to Sechelt, cut through somebody's yard and down a 100m cliff to beach, boat 12km into the Georgia Strait. 75km 11.95km Away for weekend.
2009-04-13 In the Georgia Strait, 2 km east of the north coast of Valdez Island. Drive to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Departure Bay, drive to Duke Point, ferry to Gabriola Island, drive to southeast corner of Gabriola. Kayak 9 km. 101 km (3h19) 9 km (3 h) 6h 19 35 km Ferries $$$
Same route by bike. 5 h 8 h Don't have 16 h spare hours today.
2009-04-14 On Marlborough Bluffs, a kilometre northwest of Vancouver Bay in the Prince of Wales Reach of Jervis Inlet. Road to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, road to Egmont, kayak 20 km up Jervis Inlet, beach at the Skwawkweehm Sechelt Band Lands, hike 3 km across to bluff. (It's only 500m from the water, but looks too steep to climb directly). 132 km (3h16 by car) 20 km (6h by kayak) 3 km (4 h) 13h 16 68 km Dangerous kayaking after dark.
Up Squamish Valley Road to Ashlu Creek and find overland route through bush via Falk Creek and Vancouver River. 124 km (4 h by car) 32 km (2 days) At least 2 days Too long
Road to harbour, float plane to Vancouver Bay, hike across bluff (or just air hash). 9 km (15 min) 72 km (20 mins) 3 km (optional: 4 h) 35 minutes Piece of cake!
2009-04-15 On a steep slope 2 km east of Kleindale on the Sunshine Coast Drive to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, Highway 101 to Kleindale, hike/climb 2km east (gaining 700 m elevation) 112 km (2h49) 2 km (3 h) 5h49 34 km Don't want to take the car to geohashes.
Same by bike. 6.5h 9.5h Promised to do grocery shopping tonight.
2009-04-16 Six kilometres northeast of Vancouver Bay in the Prince of Wales Reach of Jervis Inlet. Same routes as April 14th except hike NE: it's only a few km away on easier terrain. 132 km (3h16 by car) 20 km (6h by kayak) 3 km (4 h) 13h 16 41 km Have to get ready for tomorrow.
2009-04-17 5.3km WSW from the nearest point of Bowen Island. Road to Horseshoe bay, ferry to Bowen Island, road across Bowen Island, kayak 7km from nearest road end point. 27.3km 7km (2h20 by kayak) 3h
Road to Horseshoe bay, kayak 18km from Horseshoe bay. (Measured crossing to Bowen at narrowest point and following coast of Bowen Island for safety. 'Ware ferries.) 27.3km 18km (6h by kayak) 6.5h
2009-04-18 Agricultural field 8 km from Duke Point ferry terminal in Nanaimo. Bike to tunnel, shuttle through tunnel, bike to Tsawwassen ferry, ferry to Duke Point, bike to field, walk to geohash 102 km (5 h) 300 m (15 min) 5h15 Pre-declared attendance no matter what
2009-04-19 7km NW from the old Woodfibre pulp mill near Squamish. Road to Woodfibre (defunct but access road still on map to train tracks & coastline) cross train tracks, kayak 2.7km to old mill, hike 7.6km NW (1400m elevation gain) 64.7km 2.7km 7.6km
2009-04-20 In the middle of the Prince of Wales Reach of Jervis Inlet, about 8 km northwest of Vancouver Bay. Same routes as April 14th & 16th except no hike. 132 km (3h16 by car) 28 km (8h by kayak) 12h 16 don't care Just freaking not fair.
2009-04-21 In Sechelt Inlet about 5 km north of Tuwanek Point. Bike to Horseshoe Bay, Ferry to Langdale, bike to Tuwanek, kayak to geohash. 83.2 km (4h) 5 km (1.5 h) 5.5 h long day with a bike trailer
2009-04-22 4.1km northeast of the northeastern point of Gabriola Island, 1/2km north of the Tsawwassen/Duke Point ferry route. Bike to nearest ferry terminal (Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen), ferry to Nanaimo, bike to Gabriola Island ferry terminal, ferry to Gabriola Island, bike across Gabriola island, kayak 4km into the Georgia Strait (across the ferry route). Doing the Surrey point instead.
2009-04-23 2 km east of Storm Bay at Sockeye Point on Sechelt Inlet. Road to Horseshoe Bay. Ferry to Langdale. Road to Tuwanek. Boat to Storm Bay. Hike two miles. Very steep. Might require ropes or long detour. 83.2 km 16 km 2 km Went to Orcas
2009-04-24 In the Georgia Strait, 3km offshore of Roberts Creek, BC Road to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, road to Roberts Creek, boat to geohash. 61.5 km 3 km On way back from Orcas
2009-04-25 On Gambier Island about 500 metres from the government dock at Long Bay. Road to Horseshoe Bay, boat to Long Bay, walk to geohash. 27.3 km 18 km 500 m 3.5 h Done
2009-04-26 Middle of the mouth of Salmon Inlet, off Sechelt Inlet. Road to Horseshoe Bay, ferry to Langdale, road to Tuwanek, boat to geohash. 83.2 km 10 km Cleaning up from previous.
2009-04-27 South end of Henriette Lake, west of Woodfibre. Road to Shannon falls, boat to Woodfibre, hike to Henriette Lake. 66.2 km 4 km 7 km (2.5 h) Lazy.
2009-04-28 Strait of Georgia, about 5 km north of Gabriola Island Road to ferry, ferry to Nanaimo, different ferry to Gabriola, road to north coast, kayak to point. Went to Surrey instead.
2009-04-29 Middle of Georgia Strait, halfway between Richmond and Gabriola. Road to Steveston, launch boat, boat 22 km. Don't have a capable boat.
2009-04-30 Just off Valdes Island Road to ferry, ferry to Nanaimo, other ferry to Kupfer Island, kayak between Kupfer and Thetis to Valdes. End of project
2009-05-01 Just below the summit of Alpha Mountain in the Tantalus Range Road to Squamish, kayak across Squamish river, climb mountain. Someone actually did this by bike from Vancouver in the past, but not geohashing.