Monthly Archives: September 2008

Tricouni Meadows 28/09/08

Susie D. at Tricouni Meadows:
“What a beautiful day for a hike. It felt like a gift from the gods. We saw a red fox on the way to the trailhead – an unusual sighting, at least for me. Once we’d negotiated the logging road, it was on with the boots and gaiters and into the mud holes. They actually weren’t quite as bad as usual, probably due to the fact that the road had been closed by a rock slide for the previous month. We hiked through the pretty meadows and forest alongside the creek that drains Kathryn Lake, and stopped for a snack to admire the beautiful blue of the lake and the island in its centre. Peaks all around – beautiful meadows – rock hopping to reach the second lake – what more could you want? We enjoyed the second lake so much that we elected to stay there and bask in the sun rather than continue to Cypress Lake. Maia impressed us by taking a swim. On the way back to the car we fulfilled Cheryl’s 5 year dream of seeing a bear while out on a hike. The bear was just where you want to see one – on the other side of the creek, minding his own business, turning rocks over and looking for grubs. Thanks to Astrid, Maia and Cheryl for the good company.”

Kathryn Lake

Garibaldi Lake 28/09/08

Carollyne at Garibaldi Lake:
“Nine familiar and new Wanderungers had a great hike to Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows in sunny, crisp and exceptionally clear weather. A Helm to Rubble Creek trail run was just finishing when we got there, making the parking lots almost full. A few glowing runners were still on the trail for the first 30 minutes, but there was enough room for everyone. There were great views, including from the Barrier viewpoint. No snow was seen at the lake level or on Black Tusk, although Panorama Ridge had a heavy dusting of fresh snow. Two backcountry hikers who had been up to Helm Glacier said it was very icy, but it looked beautiful from the lake. There seemed to be more backpackers than day hikers – busy but not crowded. Fall colours made up for the absent flowers. An exceptionally good day with great company.”

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Lake Ann 28/09/08

Laura at Lake Ann:
“Four bubbly hikers left from the Sexsmith Park-and-Ride to meet up with the remaining two hikers in Abbotsford near the border. It was a fantastic group to travel with and everyone got on well (we laughed till our faces hurt). Reminder to me for the next hike at Baker: Check on the Harley Davidson website for conventions south of the border – we had a 50 minute wait at the border and there were 50-60 bikers all trying to get through as well… Some of them were even queue-jumping, but who were we to go and sort them out??

The weather was glorious, the snow had all but vanished except for a small patch near the lake, and the blueberries were everywhere (so we feasted). The trail was in good condition, albeit a few slippery mud patches from recent rains. A bear was spotted nearby, so this prevented us from taking the trail to the Lower Curtis Glacier. This being the last weekend in September, there was no US$5 fee for parking, something offered ever year. On checking with the rangers, the park will stay open until the first significant snowfall, and the Monday prior to us getting here they already had snow that had to be cleared from the road. Take clothes for all conditions when travelling here. It is a long day to drive and hike here, but everyone on this trip will tell you how it was well worth it. Thank you to David our driver – what a trooper!”

Overlord Mountain 27/09/08

Ahmad on Overlord Mountain:
“What amazing views from Overlord! The ascend was harder than I expected. Top of Refuse Pinnacle was covered by fresh snow and its slope lured us to traverse it. It seemed it was possible from looking at it from a distance and the topo map. We traversed a long way on a series of small gullies and ridges with many loose rocks till we reached a point, we found that it was hard to continue. We decided then to climb up to its top which was a hard climb but then we were relieved to find that its narrow top ridge was a much better option. The snow made it slippery but I think if it was dry, it would have been easier. The rest of the way was easy. It took us 4 hours to go up and 3 hours to get down from Russet Lake. I also find Whirlwind Peak provides nice views and it could be a destination by itself if you don’t have the luxury of time. It is also an easier option than Fissile Peak. On Saturday we met a few small groups camping on Russet Lake including two former members from Wanderung. The four of us had an excellent weekend. No ice axe was needed to get on Whirlwind ridge. Thanks for Tim and David for their information and tips.”

Grand Canyon 25/09/08

Sue in the Grand Canyon:
“The 3 of us started out at sunrise down the North Kaibab Trail taking the side trip to Roaring Springs to cool off in the water. Ribbon Falls was the highlight of the first day after setting up camp at Cottonwood and playing in the creek. Setting off at daybreak again on day 2 got us to Bright Angel campground well before lunch with time to relax at Boat Beach before hiking the River Trail loop for more fabulous views. On our layover day we hiked almost half of the 9 mile Clear Creek trail, a very hot trail even on a day with some cloud cover. Lots of sun exposure and great views from this trail. After lunch Ribeka and Lucy also visited the waterfall at Phantom Creek and did a very worthwhile exploration further up the creek. Wildlife included 2 rattlesnake encounters and 1 sighting. Scorpions and a black widow spider were revealed by Ranger Pam at one of her several informative talks at Phantom Ranch. Great weather with t-shirts for all except the first hour from the North Rim and very warm nights. Hiking out the Bright Angel Trail for the first 2 hours with headlamps allowed Lucy and Ribeka to venture quickly out on the side trail to Plateau Point for sunrise before the final 5 mile uphill stretch. Early rising was worth it to avoid the extreme heat of the day. A 4am start got us up to the South Rim well before 11am hiking in almost total shade. Lots of chit chat with the many tourists on the upper section of the trail. We were reportedly the only hikers with smiles on our faces at that point and we were sad to have the trip coming to an end so soon. A great trip and couldn’t wish for better company. You can’t help but love the Grand Canyon for all its fabulous expansive views every step of the way. I expect we will all be back to explore more trails here in the future.”

R2Rriver

Mt Gardner 21/09/08

Dory on Mt Gardner:
“I couldn’t ask for better companions to this hike than Emma and Joss. We were a quarter way up in a dark yet mild morning when the organizer took the wrong turn into the Loggers Trail. It was an hour later at around 11:00 when we reached a dead end. Great team work brought us back to the Skid Trail which turned out to be a great workout. Reaching the South Summit completely exhausted, we were unable to find the trail that leads to the North Summit. (which is located just a few metres away). The decision to have lunch at the South Summit was fantastic as it helped us regain our smile and mental capacities… We reached the North Summit at 14:00 for the ultimate payoff as the skies cleared up and the glorious view was for us to enjoy. “

Cypress Peak 14/09/08

Ahmad on Cypress Peak:
“Ryan, Gloria, Marcin, Dean, Jinsi, David, Sabine, and myself summited Cypress Peak on one of the most beautiful days of the year. The views were indeed endless. The 11 km-logging road was a challenge for a low 2wd car. I opted not to finish the last 2 km but it is very doable with a higher clearance. The trailhead is not obvious. There are many logging ribbons with pink color tied or hanging on trees but the trailhead is still ahead. It is located about 20 m from the very end of the logging road and temporarily marked with a stick and a flying ribbon. Crossing Roe Creek wasn’t hard on this time of the year. After that, it is best to stay on the left side of the creek coming down on Cypress slopes. Most of us did the crux through the easy way (Route C), which I didn’t find hard or exposed. The rest of the scramble was between easy and moderate on great rocks. The summit is small. There was barely enough room for our group. The whole trip took 9 hours. Great team effort, which made everyone to summit in a high spirit. Many thanks to Tim for providing me lots of information about the trail.”

Russet Lake 13/09/08

Heather at Russet Lake:
“Laurie, Ming, and Kim joined me on a great overnight trip to Russet Lake on Sept 13 & 14th. The weather was glorious allowing for great views of the mountains behind Blackcomb, Whistler and the Garibaldi Lake area. The hardest part of the hike is getting through the armour-clad mountain biking mobs in Whistler village and finding the start of the trail. It took about 5 hours up, the first three on a gently rising forested path, the last part opening out into Singing Pass and over the crest to the lake. The trail had a few washouts in places, but nothing too hard to get past. The hut at Russet Lake has been `renovated’ so the door closes and there was no sign of mice! A spectacular moon rise over the mountain was a highlight. Day 2 had us hiking up & down the musical bumps to Whistler peak where we took a free ride down the chair to the restaurant, had some drinks and then took the gondola (free again) down to Whistler village. Although it saves the knees from having to do all the downhill, it’s a bit disconcerting to arrive at the top and suddenly be amidst crowds wearing flip-flops, mini-skirts, etc. – like a glorified Grouse Grind. We had some debate over who would prefer to hike back down the original trail instead. A recommend hike for an `easier’ overnighter with beautiful views.”

Golden Ears 13/09/08

Andy on Golden Ears:
“Without doubt the views from Golden Ears and its very own Panorama Ridge are unsurpassed in the Lower Mainland. But make no mistake: this trail is hard with an overnight pack. Once above all the nasty stuff on the lower trail (described in Astrid M.’s report from 31 Aug), the trail is beautiful, passing through wonderful mixed old-growth forest on its way to the sub-alpine, although it’s not without several steep, challenging sections. Then you reach the final never-ending ascent to the emergency shelter and the fantastic views. Unbelievably fantastic. We opted to relax for the rest of the day and go for the summit on Sunday. That didn’t quite work out, thanks to a little exposed ledge, and only Maria earned the full 360-degree experience, while Merewyn and I searched unsuccessfully for an alternative approach. Next time… A ghostly pink moonrise, a brilliant sunset, moonlight so bright that headlamps were unnecessary and then the most fabulous of sunrises made for an unforgettable trip.”

Alouette Mountain 13/09/08

Michelle on Alouette Mountain:
“An all or nothing trail. Although there are some attractive portions of forest trail, this hike offers little to look and and no views (save one look out) until your end destination panorama. The trail is well marked with signs/markers and is obvious in summer until the final summit approach. However if you do not know the trail and the ground is under snow, there are no markers for you once you reach the end of the trail between two rock bluffs. Simply scramble up the rock bluff immediately to your left until you reach the top. Our small chatty bunch leisurely arrived at the summit after just over 4 hours. Nice views of Alouette Lake, the Needle, the lower mainland and mountains, mountains, mountains.”