Zoltan at Semaphore Lakes:
“Ciaran, Will, Amy, and myself hiked to Semaphore Lakes on a clear, sunny day. The drive was long but beautiful. Passing Whistler Village we continued to Pemberton and beyond through the country side. We finally approached a long drive up Hurley River FSR, and eventually reached the trail head just 3 hours after leaving Vancouver. The hike up to the lakes was relatively easy. After an hour or so up through the woods we reached the meadows. The colours of fall were everywhere, even in the alpine. With only a few other hikers up there, we had a nice, quiet lunch, enjoying the views, with no distractions. Then we hiked around the meadows seeing the lower and upper lakes. Locomotive and Face Mountains were a dramatic backdrop at every step we took. We all agreed that this place is stunning and it would be well worth it to come back to summit one of the mountains. Driving back down, we got a close encounter with a black bear, as it crossed the road and then stopped for us as we passed it to snap a few pictures. Also, a bit further down the road, we had the same experience with a deer. Overall, this hike is very nice and I encourage everyone to try it once.
A side note about the FSR. It’s not that bad, considering my Honda Civic made it up. Your driving time (on the FSR) will be cut in half, however, if you drive a 4×4. I personally would not recommend going up there with any car if there is snow.
More pictures of the hike are on Flickr“
Nicky C. hiking Hanes Valley:
“I couldn’t have wished for a more excited, motivated & friendly bunch who decided to take on this hike with me – particularly good at encouraging those of us who were perhaps getting tired or pushing past our comfort zones.
This was a transit hike, so the seven of us bussed to Lynn Headwaters Park and after a 1 km walk started from the trailhead at 9.30 am. We reached Norvan Falls after almost 2 hours and took a 15 minute detour to see them. More flat walking, two very easy creek crossings (one because of a new bridge the other because at this time of year water levels are low), a bit of easy incline and we arrived at the helicopter pad after 3-1/2 hours on the trail. Then the boulder field… one hour of steady, quite steep uphill scrambling, arriving at Crown Pass earlier than expected. Still having some energy we decide to do Crown Mountain too (after making sure one member of our party who was not comfortable with this had a safe way on to the end of trail, with two lovely gentlemen going the same way) – that took us about 2 hours (return) of very steep rough trail with a bit of scrambling, but the views were amazing! Once back down it was another 1 hour 20 minutes of up then downhill to the top of the Grouse Mountain gondola by sunset at 6.30 pm. Altogether, with breaks, 9 hours on the trail!”
Boris on Cheam and Lady Peaks:
“Ida, Kevin, and I hiked the incredible Cheam (2112 m) and Lady (2178 m) Peaks in the Cheam range between Chilliwack and Hope. The weather was sunny and quite warm for late September, especially at this alpine altitude. The Cheam trail was moderately busy, with about a dozen others along the trail to Cheam, although Kevin and I were the only ones going up Lady and only Kevin made it the last ten minutes to the very top of Lady.
After climbing up a logging road in awful condition, the Jeep scraping bottom a few times (cars don’t have sufficient ground clearance to go up here), the actual trail to Cheam was in great condition. On the other hand, the trail up Lady was pretty much non-existent, with a few cairns giving guidance in some portions. Due to the need to scramble up rubble that constantly slides under one’s feet and causes frequent rockfalls, the best path is not consistent over time so additional markings would likely not be suitable in any case. We got a recommendation to go up along the ridge, though that resulted in bushwhacking which we could have avoided. The best route seems to be somewhat further from the ridge and closer to the snow banks. Scrambling and grabbing at heather is unavoidable. Reaching the part of the ridge that is on the order of a 100 m from the peak itself, the route becomes quite exposed as it’s nearly a vertical drop on the other side for most of the 2 km down to the valley floor.
The views from both peaks are absolutely stunning. Here’s a link to a public album on Facebook of the photos I took (excuse the poor cellphone camera quality).
Borislav at the Lions:
“Cindy, Keshia, Kevin, Peter, and I hiked the Binkert Lions Trail from Lions Bay. The weather was sunny and quite warm for September, with the only downside being the lack of a breeze. It was fairly busy, and we saw at least a couple dozen others along the trail and perhaps a dozen going up the peak itself.
The trail was in mostly good condition, except for a couple of rockslides in the creek crossing areas, and sometimes inconsistent markers in the wooded section where most of the elevation gain is. I did not go up the West Lion itself, but Keshia and Kevin did and did not mention any issues with the scrambling way up. The fixed rope at the drop just before the peak seems to have been replaced by a much stronger one compared to the one from my previous trip here a couple of years ago.
A number of hikers had taken the Howe Sound Crest trail, and the trip times they gave were comparable to those for the Binkert trail, despite the longer distance, perhaps due to the lower elevation gain. The optimal way to experience the Lions may be to start with Howe Sound Crest and go down Binkert afterwards.”
Steve on Williams Ridge:
“I’ll try any trail in 103 Hikes once. Some more than once, but probably not this one. Although it wasn’t as painfully steep as the book suggests, the payoff was not worth the 1400m climb to the knoll and knee-knackering descent. However, the trip has other assets that made it a worthwhile day out. The forecast had called for rain but it did not. Wild blueberries were abundant. And the cloud did break enough for us to see what views were there, at first I thought all we’d see was grey nothingness. I was also lucky enough to hike with 4 people I’ve had the pleasure of hiking with before over the years (Do, Grace, Kevin, and Robert) and that gave us a chance to catch up and sharing the experience together is always a nice byproduct of these trips. I think MAYBE if you were doing the peak proper, and on a Summer day, and in damn good shape this trail would be worth doing using Matt Gunn’s Scrambles book, but why this particular hike had endured all 6 editions of 103 hikes (yes, back to 1973!), while others more worthy had come and gone, I cannot explain. The only GPS waypoint we needed was the trailhead, nothing beyond that presented a problem.”
Stacey at Lindsay Lake:
“Alana, Amir, Carl, Colleen, Marjolein, Maya, Natasha, Solal, Stacey, and Torsten hiked up to Lindsay Lake in the hopes of finding great views and topping it off with a swim in Lindsay Lake. The weather did not cooperate but the great company and conversation more than made up for it! The hike starts off with a steep climb for about 90 minutes (with many stops!) before it levels off with gradual ups and downs during the upper loop. We chose to take a right at the junction to walk past several small lakes first and saving the “viewpoints” for the way back. The area around the lakes can be tricky as there are junctions that take you around some of the little lakes – read the signs!! The lakes aren’t large (more like ponds really) so our longcut didn’t add too much time. There is no snow at the top, but there are some slightly muddy patches still. The mosquitos were quite bad, especially around the lakes. The hike took about 7 hours at a moderate pace and several stops.”
Stephen H. on Mt Strachan:
“Angela, Catherine, and I headed up to Cypress for a Friday hike of Mount Strachan. We went up the always-super-fun back side gully to the north and south peaks, and descended via the Old Strachan Trail. There were no other hikers on the route. Great views of the Lions and as far as Mount Garibaldi were had from the summit. We paid for them in bug bites.”
Steve at Petgill Lake:
“This trip brought me back to the early days of Wanderung. I truly enjoyed the company of my seven companions (interesting in the “good way”) as we hiked up to the this classic “two-payoff” hike. I had forgotten how the trail itself is a great part of this hike as we rose and fell through mossy sparsely-treed areas, but payoff #1 was even more of a hit: the lake. Non-glacial temperatures make this one of the best hike lakes I know (six of us swam). After the lake we went up to the viewpoint and had lunch overlooking Howe Sound. On the way down we came across more people than I recall Petgill ever having, including a guided group! (At Petgill?!) On the way down we hit a viewpoint we missed on the way up (around 1/2 way down), that had yet another great view of the Chief and Squamish from a rarely seen angle.
For those looking for a pace to hit on a warm day – Petgill is it. Tons of tree cover for shade, an awesome lake and a viewpoint where you can dry out.”
Carollyne on Mt Seymour:
“Five of us headed up. The weather: disappointing – low cloud that turned into fog for most of the hike, so no views were to be seen until we were back at the parking lot. The black flies: intense!!! The view of Seymour from Vancouver: deceptive – there’s still a lot of snow up there. By the time you reach First Peak, it is solid snow except for larger rock outcrops such as the peak itself. Another hiker returning from Third Peak reported that from Second to Third is all snow. Due to the weather mostly, we decided First Peak was enough for today. The inspiring conversations and harmonious group (Nuria, Marisa, Holly and Melonie) made for a great hike however, regardless of the conditions.”
Carolyn S. on Diez Vistas:
“Five of us (Kim, Jenny, Melonie, Linda and I) set out to Buntzen Lake and the Diez Vistas in Port Moody on July 18. It being a Wednesday and cloudy we had the place nearly to ourselves. It was great to have Kim along as he had done this hike many times before and could direct us. Despite the clouds we had some decent views of Burrard Inlet, Deep Cove and the beginning of Indian Arm. We got in a dip at the north end beach as the sun broke through the clouds. We hiked at a leisurely pace and were back at the parking lot after 6.5 hours. It worked out really well. I encourage others who haven’t tried doing a callout yet to give it a try.”