Monthly Archives: July 2008

Lindsay Lake 20/07/08

Maia on the Lindsay Lake loop:
“Pablo, Ilia, Jeremy, Justin, Noman, and Maia started from Buntzen Lake with with a bit of an uphill workout (1000 m elevation gain) which is then rewarded with a series of stupendous and varying lookouts showing Mount Baker, downtown Vancouver, Deep Cove, Seymour Peaks and much much more. We were very surprised to hit a number of patches of snow, but they were nicely packed and not challenging. The first little lake we hit was Jessica Lake – still half covered with ice and snow – and then Lindsay Lake. From there the way back went along gurgling little rivers and another 5 or 6 cute little lakes. The descent seemed more challenging than going up, mainly because many of us were impatiently looking forward to a dip in Buntzen Lake. After about 7 hours of rewarding hiking, the swim in the almost tepid water and the gelato at the exit of the park made us feel really spoiled. It was the first hike I organized with Wanderung and … I am going to do it again!”

Lunchbreak at Little Walhalla (Noman, Jeremy, Ilia)

Haylmore-Melvin Divide 19/07/08

Chris at the Haylmore-Melvin Divide:
“Cara, Dean and Quirine joined me on a 3-day trip to the Haylmore-Melvin Divide. The Haylmore road was in rough 2wd shape (we were in Cara’s 4wd) with 3 waterbars at 8 km and a fordable stream at 10 km (more on road condition later). We parked at 14 km where the road degrades to ATV-only and walked 2 km to the trailhead proper. The ATV route was in pretty good shape until a slump about 100 m past the last switchback before the first lake stopped everything but foot traffic (some members of the club that maintains the trail mentioned that this will soon be fixed). We camped near the outlet of the upper lake. On our middle day, we crossed into Melvin creek and climbed to the divide overlooking Lost Valley. After traversing the ridge for a bit (climbing to 2500 m), we dropped into the meadowed benches and down to the mosquitoed valley bottom. Despite the stiff breeze, we went for a brief (!) swim in chilly Melvin Lake before heading back to camp on a steep (!) goat track. After dawdling a bit, we headed back to the car. On the way down, we were stopped just before the bridge over Haylmore Creek by a huge tree that had falling over the road during the weekend. Backtracking, we found an obscure 4wd route back to the main road and headed to Squamish for supper.”

Haylmore-Melvin Devide 184

Wedgemount Lake 19/07/08

Hurrian P. at Wedgemount Lake:
“Wedgemount Lake is definitely more challenging when you’re carrying an overnight backpack. The eight of us set off to Wedgemount Lake because we heard it was snow free. It was a long steady uphill for most of the way, crossing a bridge over a river and a couple of rock fields. We stopped for lunch listening to the roar of a massive waterfall. After lunch we did the final push up the steep rockfield at the end, which was just as steep as I had remembered it. There was a great payoff at the top – the turquoise lake backed by the glacier. We found sites for our tents within a few feet of the river and had dinner and drinks enjoying the scenery.”

Heather Trail 19/07/08

Carollyne on the Heather Trail:
“Dorothy, Astrid and I backpacked in to Kicking Horse Camp on the Heather Trail in Manning Park, then went for a further ridge hike with day packs. Later, Christian and others, including two late sign ups I had no car for, joined us at the camp, before continuing on their shuttle trip to Cayuse Flats the next morning. Amazing meadows in bloom, sunset reflections on the snowy peaks, and great company made this a very rewarding trip. The campsite was busy, with several tired groups, who didn’t see the randomly placed extra camp spots in the trees (we only discovered later), continuing on to Nicomen Lake 9 km away. Biting flies and mosquitoes tried to make meals of us, especially at the camp. There is now a bear cache at Kicking Horse (great!). However, cooking smells from all the other campers cooking at their tents was discouraging. Saturday, the trail was very crowded to about 7 km with many large groups of daytrippers, but Sunday was peaceful with only a few hikers and groups of backpackers.”

Heather Trail Manning Park

Eagle Bluffs 19/07/08

Kamen on the Eagle Bluffs trail:
“This hike was originally set up by Paul Taylor but he had to drop out because of work commitments. Three of us met at Park Royal to drive to the trailhead about 10 minutes away by car in a quiet cul-de-sac in West Vancouver. After the initial (and fairly easy) stage of the trail, the trail started climbing steeply and didn’t relent until we got to the top. The trail was fairly well-marked but quite challenging and quite a few times we had to resort to using all fours to climb some of the more rugged sections. About 2/3 of the way up, we encountered a rocky section that we had to scramble over. After a short pause on the rock field, we pushed on up to the top. We were greeted with an amazing bird’s eye view of Bowen Island, the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast. The sun hid behind the clouds while we were at the top which was actually a relief. There were quite a few other people at the top who had hiked there from Black Mountain. After about an hour, we gingerly picked our way down which took almost as long as the ascent. We encountered two parties on their way up while we were hiking down; they were the only other people we encountered on the hike all day. All in all, a beautiful day for a hike with some great hiking partners.”

Joffre Lakes 18/07/08

Merewyn at Joffre Lakes:
“Andy, Maria, Andrew, Darcy and I had a fantastic weekend up at Joffre Lakes. Arriving at the Joffre campsite on Friday, we managed to snag lake-front property. We spent most of that first afternoon exploring and swimming. Day two, we scrambled up past the lake to the col between Tszil Peak and Taylor Mountain before dangerous-looking snow patches made us break for lunch instead of continuing. The trail to the col is fairly straightforward though there are some sections of ridge walking and large boulder scrambling that made a few of us who are scared of heights quake a bit in our boots and made even the climber in our group a bit nervous at times. But what a payoff – views of Two Goat Ridge, mountains as far as the eye can see, and even a lovely glacial pool to jump in before heading back down to Joffre. One piece of advice, visit Joffre Lakes during the week if you can as the tent village exploded on Saturday/Sunday. We had to shoo away a few inexperienced campers who were about to cook right in front of our tents but otherwise we weren’t too bothered by the invasion.”

Hollyburn Peak 14/07/08

Diana on Hollyburn Peak:
“Our group dwindled down to 6 by the time of the hike but it was an enthusiastic group and a terrific day with a mix of sun and clouds, the perfect temperature for a short but relatively steep hike. We were surprised by the amount of snow still on the trail, probably from about 1000 m upwards, slowing down our pace a bit as we tried not to go through the edges of the melting snowmass or slip and fall. But the snow did allow us to make a miniature snowman at the summit with a banana peel wig, mini-carrot nose and wasabi peas for eyes (and yes, we did dismantle it and pack out our garbage before leaving!) The views from the summit were well worth the the slog through the snow and occasionally through scrub & brambles to avoid muddy/swampy patches on the trail, presumably wet from melting snow.”

Brandywine Mountain 13/07/08

Andrew R. on Brandywine Mountain:
“After a couple of days of re-scheduling two of us finally got out to Brandywine on Sunday. It was almost a no-go when we reached the road to the trail-head only to find it has been blocked! The new access is via the Callaghan Valley road 30 seconds further down the highway (from here you can join up with the old road). The road is in good shape and we had no trouble getting to within 700 metres of the trailhead (any truck or 4×4 could reach the trailhead proper). At a leisurely pace we reached the meadows in 1 hour 45 minutes and then continued to the north end of the meadows where we started the ascent to the summit ridge. The meadows still have a bit of snow but not as much as I was expecting and I think they will be completely clear within a week or two. After a long climb up steep snow slopes we made the summit ridge for eye-popping views of just about every mountain in the area (the stegosaurus-like Mt. Fee is especially impressive). We scrambled the ridge for a bit but stopped just short of the summit as we were running short on time. The descent from the ridge back to the meadows (650 m vertical) was one long bum-slide. 1:15 hours up… 5 minutes down! All in all a great day out with great weather and great company.”

Capilano Canyon 13/07/08

Dana in Capilano Canyon:
“Dare I say my first organized (and last-minute) hike went very well! Seven of us ventured out on a very warm Sunday morning for Capilano Canyon on the border of West and North Vancouver. Well-maintained trails led us to our first viewpoint of the granite cliffs on the east side of the canyon, and Cleveland Dam made a great place for refueling with snacks and water. Our route back took us past the fish hatchery and across a small bridge. As a short hike, not too much more to report besides the very warm weather which likely made this hike quite suitable in terms of length/difficulty. Great company and a great way to spent part of the day.”

Lightning Lakes 13/07/08

Carollyne at Lightning Lakes:
“Although a group of four dwindled to two by 7:45, Daniel and I had a great day at Lightning Lakes. We made good time and had lunch in the shade of the cottonwoods at the end of the Thunder Lake trail. The beautiful blue-green lakes are almost constant companions all the way. Between Strike and Thunder Lakes, the trail revealed an astonishing number and variety of alpine flowers – as well as the huge rockslides. It was well worth the extra 6 km. On an otherwise hot day, a strong breeze kept us comfortable and kept the few black flies, deer flies and mosquitoes from being bothersome. A few canoeists, two tubby boat fishermen and four small groups of hikers were the only people we saw until the kids jumping off Rainbow Bridge near the end of our hike. With frequent photo stops and lunch, the hike took 7.5 hours.”