Yearly Archives: 2008

Diez Vistas 16/11/08

Michelle at Diez Vistas:
“The weather people got the days reversed (Sunday and Saturday got each other’s forecast). The rain held off and it was nice and mild, but our band of 6 had 10 spectacular view points of … fog! It promised to clear at lookout 0 as we watched the horizon line and cloud separate, but the ridge became re-enveloped (although we managed to sneak a view of Baker from the Eastern view point). Instead we enjoyed the tranquil misty rain forest trail in all its mossy glory. We surprisingly had very little company on the trail even though the trail was in fine condition and the first parking lot was full (guess everyone was down on the lower trails). Note: Construction is posted as blocking the Eastern side of Trout Lake and the short cut junction at the Northern end of the trail by the log crossing isn’t marked – we took the long way down right to the end of Diez Vistas at the end of Trout Lake where it bottoms out onto the road. Six hours round trip including extra West to East viewpoint loop laps. One quart of ice cream down, 14 to go.”

Phelix Creek 15/11/08

Chris at Phelix Creek:
“Andrew, Cara, Gloria, Lucy, Midori and Ribeka joined me on a rather wet trip up to the Brian Waddington hut in Phelix Creek. The Blackwater Road was in good 2wd condition with minor potholes and a small amount of slick mud. The Phelix Creek Road is rough 2wd for a couple hundred metres before it becomes fully 4wd at the remains of a rock slide – park 2wd vehicles at a sign warning about mudding about 200 m up the road. We all piled into Andrew’s Jeep and drove to the end of the road (almost as fun as the Lone Goat trip). The trail is well marked with reflective orange metal tags and snow patches started early (1200 m). It took almost 3 hrs to hike / slog / snowshoe to the hut (only 4 km). There was up to 2-3 feet of snow in places but the lake was slushy and not yet frozen (1700 m). Temperatures never dropped below freezing even at night and it rained / drizzled almost continuously. The cabin is outfitted with only a small (size of a large pot) portable white gas heater which did little but fill the hut with fumes so it was soon extinguished. The hut was clean and, because the surrounding hills often have high avalanche danger, provided with much reading material (check out the outhouse log book) and many sets of playing cards. By morning about 6″ of snow had melted off and several people headed up the valley for a bit of exploring before we headed back to the trailhead. The hugely variable freezing level makes this time of year tricky to go hiking.”

Lynn Canyon & Seymour River 02/11/08

Merewyn in Lynn Canyon and down by the Seymour River:
“Well, the forecast for this day was a little off. We got sprinkled on a little on the trail but we also got a period of cloudy sunshine as well. The group had a very pleasant time exploring the Lynn Canyon and Seymour Demonstration areas. We all had a bit of a scare watching from a bridge above the canyon as a kayaker got caught on some rocks, struggled to regain control, submerged himself face-first in the water, and finally had to roll out of his boat and swim down through the rough patch to re-join his boat and his friends at the other end. But he got through okay and so we continued on our loop back to the suspension bridge where we had started.”

Black Mountain 26/10/08

Michelle at Black Mountain:
“Eleven of us tromped around the trails of Black Mountain with perfect weather, superb views and CoLoUrFuL conversation. Construction is in full swing, but the re-route signs are easy to follow towards Yew Lake and Black Mountain. The new trails are wide and well defined, although after the switch backs and gaining most of your elevation, there are many half frozen ‘mud pit’ sections with which a few members got well acquainted with. On the route we chose (multiple options available) we were quickly rewarded with great views of the Tantalus Range and the Lions from presumably the north summit before dipping back into the forest on an up-down type trail. We passed numerous tarns – quite pretty little lakes before reaching the impressive Eagle Bluffs at the south summit with rewarding 180-degree views.”

Bear Mountain 26/10/08

Sandra on Bear Mountain:
“Four of us hiked Bear Mountain and basically had the whole trail to ourselves. Got a good view of Harrison Lake and black flies and made a detour to Bear Lake. As expected, parts of the trail were not well maintained and we had to climb over/duck under fallen trees/debris, push through overgrown brush, etc. but nothing we couldn’t handle. It was a long climb up but we were eventually rewarded with amazing views of the Fraser Valley and Cheam mountain range though it was windy at the lookout. On the way down, the light was just right so that the colour of the leaves were simply brilliant.”

Poland Lake 26/10/08

Laurie at Poland Lake:
“After some last minute organizing (a few people signed up for this hike then changed their mind Sat. afternoon or eve. – this makes life difficult for organizers and meant that we had an empty spot even though I’d originally turned people away from this hike – don’t do this!), seven of us hit the Poland Lake trail in Manning Park around 12:30 pm last Sun. We were blessed with sunny skies and fairly warm temperatures for this time of year (warm enough for T-shirts in the sun, and just a light jacket or fleece in the shade). Contrary to my call-out, we also had some nice views of the Cascade mountains – I’d forgotten all about those. We encountered ankle-deep snow from the switchbacks on but it was fairly well packed down on the trail. Those of us who remembered gaiters and those of us like me (actually, it was only me) who were dorky enough to tuck their pants into their socks didn’t get wet pant legs. We reached the lake just after 3, had a quick lunch in the sun, then turned around at 3:30 to reach the parking lot by 5:30. By that time it had cooled off considerably and some toques and mitts were donned for the last part of the trail. All-in-all, it was a great hike with a great group. Special thanks to Christian for volunteering to drive at the last minute and thereby saving the hike!”


The Chief and Upper Shannon Falls 25/10/08

Pablo at the Chief and Upper Shannon Falls:
“Two very different hikes. One like the Grind, crowded and full of stairs. The other, old fashioned trails with logs as bridges and no people. A good combination when doing the Chief for a longer hike. It pays to go on a sunny day.”

View from Upper Shannon Falls

Leading Peak 25/10/08

Steve on Leading Peak:
“The logistics for this trip rival that of a multi-day kayak excursion. I needed exactly 12 that wouldn’t bail, that were willing to pay big bucks for the water taxi and bible camp fee. I found exactly that with 1 spare that slotted perfectly when 1 team member came down sick. We had quite a range of abilities in the group but all made it to the peak with a stop at the “white spot” (a lookout). It wasn’t raining but it had earlier which meant crossing some slick moss rock verged on scrambling near the top. I honestly feel we would not have all made it had we not helped each other on this one. The views were panoramic, and the cloud level wasn’t a huge obstacle. Unlike Gardner or Artaban you literally could spin 360 and have an unobstructed view of the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island to the South and Sea to Sky. The hike wasn’t as hard as I had expected (on average), but some parts were very steep and tricky. The boat ride home at sunset was an added bonus.”

Nap at "the White Spot"

Lone Goat Cabin 25/10/08

Chris at the Lone Goat Cabin:
“Gloria, Joss, Lucy and I all piled in Andrew’s Jeep for a trip up to the sledder’s cabin in Lone Goat valley. The Hurley was in decent condition with about 2 inches of snow at the pass. The Lone Goat spur leaves the Hurley immediately after the bridge over the Hurley River and is in rough 2wd shape for a little over 1 km after which high clearance 4wd and a complete disregard for your paint job is required (5 foot alders growing out of the centre strip). Andrew enthusiastically threw his vehicle at pretty much everything. Maps show a main road paralleling the river and a road forking off up Lone Goat valley but in reality, the main road has disappeared and you don’t have to make any turns to go up Lone Goat. We parked at around 4 km before the alders really started to crowd the road. A rough winter rough is marked leaving the road near the pulled bridge near the end of the road. There’s a mix of sporadic flagging (yellow, blue, pink, white, etc) but the route regularly breaks down to a pure bushwhack (including alder, boulder fields, wet meadows and avalanche debris). It took 5 hours up (including a bit of confusion in finding the cabin – we walked past it initially). Patchy snow from about halfway up and continuous near the cabin. The cabin itself is outfitted with a good stove and solar electric lighting and benches for sleeping 4 plus floor space for another 3. No thermometer but I’d guess just below freezing in late afternoon to -8 C in the early morning. In the morning, we climbed a 2400-m peak north of the cabin (Andrew and Joss summitted). We encountered snow drifts of up to 3 feet of powder in places but there was plenty of flowing water even at 2100 m. After lunch, the trip back to the car took only 3hrs (probably because we picked a better line).”

Heliotrope Ridge 19/10/08

Astrid M. at Heliotrope Ridge:
“It was a clear cold morning when eight of us started on the trail leading up to the glacier on the foot of Mt. Baker. The trail is fairly easy apart from a few creek crossings that were difficult in the morning due to icy stones and slippery conditions. Gaiters are essential here. The views onto the glacier are rewarding. Even though the trail ends at a viewpoint we ventured a little farther up the hill. Our mission of touching the glacier was prevented by a river of ice on a steep field of loose gravel. But having lunch just 50 m away from the large seracs was amazing. Conclusion: With not much effort you get very close to Mt. Baker and one of its glaciers.”