Friday, November 9, 2007

A Victory for Skinnydipping in Surrey


*City of Surrey Patently Unreasonable in Barring Nude Swims*
Surrey, British Columbia – November 8, 2007

The B.C. Supreme Court today released the decision of Judge Williamson in the Judicial Review of the decision of the City of Surrey to disallow Skinnydipper Services Inc. from renting Newton Wave Pool for private nude swim events. In his decision, Judge Williamson said repeatedly of Surrey's arguments "I am not persuaded." The ruling states that the City's bylaw regulating bathing attire is "beyond the City's legislative competance" and that the decision to decline to rent pool facilities to us was patently unreasonable. The directors of Skinnydipper Services are elated at the outcome and are looking forward to informing the club membership.

A copy of this and previous press releases as well as all court documents will be available on our “Save the Wave” website. Visit and click on “Media Information”. Judge Williamson's decision is available from the Vancouver Court Registry here.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cold Weather, Digital Cameras, and Battery Life

I like to take a lot of pictures when I hike up in the mountains (of myself, of course, but a lot of landscape scenery shots as well.) One of the problems us shutterbugs may have noticed is that the batteries just don't seem to last as long in cold weather . . . particularly in the near freezing temps of the Cascades at this time of year. It's not a new phenomena . . . batteries just don't work as well at low temperatures, and that includes all that paraphernalia gadgetry we like to carry. . . GPS units, cell phones, FRS radios.

But particularly my camera which has optical zoom and auto-focus features that really eat up the power. I find that when the air temperature drops below 40F my camera batteries are only good for a third to a half of the images they normally should take. The time-honored way for cold weather photographers is to tuck the camera under the jacket when you're not taking a picture, thus keeping the camera and batteries warm. But that's counterproductive if you're hiking nude . . . as I'm often doing (seems my body does far better in the cold than my fancy electronic equipment).

I do carry spare batteries as a matter of course and my answer for cold weather battery life is to keep those spare batteries in my pack with one of those chemical hand warmers up against them. When my primary battery goes 'south' I switch out batteries for the warm backup. Battery life is still not as great but by doing the switching (the primary will warm up and regain additional life), I get close to normal use.

Another factor is to insulate your camera if that is at all possible . . . some sort of case or 'camera cozy' to prevent the all-metal body of your camera from getting really cold. Something as simple as a ziplock baggie over the camera with the lens poking out, while un-elegant and ugly, goes a long way to keeping the camera (and the battery) just a little warmer, and protected from moisture and the elements. Wedge in another hand warmer and your camera will stay nice and warm . . . and the battery perky.

The LCD on digital cameras uses a lot of power so switch it off and use the viewfinder instead. If you have power optical zoom, try to minimize it's use.

The same protocol applies to the other electronic devices you might carry. The batteries will have only half the life as they get cold. Keep cell phones and such in your pack and carry backup batteries.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

2nd Annual Naked Bungy Jump for Schizophrenia

Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24, 2008 - 10am to 5pm

This popular annual event raises funds for the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society. At this adult-only event, participants and spectators must be 19 and older. The minimum donation required per participant jumping naked is $25Can for pre-registration and $35Can for walk-ins. Those wishing to support the charity by jumping with their clothes on can also pre-register or walk-in and pay the regular jump rate of $99.99Can. Spectators are charged an admission fee of $15Can per person. Online registration for this event will start in January 2008. For information before registration starts, call 1-888-668-7874.

I did this event last year and it was a body-awakening experience. Plan for the 2nd Annual Naked Bungy Jump for Schizophrenia in Feb of 2006.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

First Snow Hike of the Season

West Side of Captain's Point via Marten's Creek
and the south flanks of Scrabble Mountain

Looking due north off a spur ridge of Captain's Point near the
intersection of the Kelley Creek Trail.

I might be a little light on the posting but certainly not on the hiking, though the lousy weather has put somewhat of a damper in my activities. But with a string of nice, sunny days, a chance for some hiking was in the offing. Where, was the $64,000 question.

Cold (or cooler) weather . . . shorter days . . . and that ever-present threat of rain limit the reasonable choices you can make if you want to hike nude. I find the major factor in my decision-making for cold-weather nude hiking is exposure . . . specifically the amount of exposure to sunlight that I can expect on my body. If it's already 40F out and your hiking naked under dark canopy or late afternoon shade, then you are going to get cold rather fast. I want the sun on my skin to warm me. That need narrows choices. I'm going to have to get on the ridges, stick to south-facing slopes and plan my route so that I have the sun facing me inbound, and again facing me in the afternon when I'm outbound. On top of that, I've got to avoid windy areas. Where do you find a route that meets those requirements, is still interesting enough to hike, and is nude-friendly?

No snow when I started around 3,300 ft. Valhalla Ridge is in the background above Marten Creek valley

I opted for a disused logging road at the far end of the Marten Creek valley (the same road that leads many people to the very popular Iron Goat Trailhead). The valley is a broad glacial valley facing south. Ten miles further in than the Iron Goat TH, the road gives access to several old logging areas on Captains, Windy Peak and the hinterland mountains that give rise to Valhalla and Scrabble Mountains. At the creek's headwaters the road (already gated a mile back) crosses a wooden bridge and begins a steep and long climb up the sides of the slopes toward the backside of Captain's Point. What is interesting about this hike is that you have it to yourself . . . and if anyone did by any chance want to come up this logging road you would see them from a long distance off. A great place to hike nude!

Snow peppers the ground near the top. Not a great deal as we haven't had any great, precip-dumping storms yet. An average of 6-8 inches . . . snowshoes not needed.

Once on top I go exploring . . . searching for a route to connect around to the northwest side of Captain's Point where the ridge continues northwesterly to connect with Johnson Ridge and Joan Lake. This section of ridge belongs to the Kelley Creek Trail, which comes around Captain's from the south and west. It would be nice if I could blaze a connector route to cut off the hard under canopy trail of Kelley. I know where I need to go . . . in fact, can see the meadow where the trail comes up onto the ridge. Unfortunately, I still cannot see the easy way across one last treacherous wall of rock between the ridges.

As often happens . . . you run out of time and know you have but a few hours of light to get back. Reluctantly, I do. Good thing I brought a headlamp as I make it back to the car and warmth later than I think . . . because I daddled. But I daddled nude and didn't really feel the cold until I stop moving and sat down in my car. Then I realized how cold is was outside . . . 34F and dropping.

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