Cam at Hector Ferguson Lake:
“A completed mission to Hector Ferguson Lake: need I say more? The plan was hatched for a quick over nighter for a short and easy hike to Hector. Three brave souls in attendance.
Thursday morning it was sprinkling a little bit but nothing out of the ordinary for Vancouver weather. Biked to 6.5 km mark, hiked to 9.5 km, forded Gold Creek twice and rejoined trail on east side. Forded again at 11 km to west side of Gold Creek, followed trail to bottom of drainage from 1502 and followed flags up. We missed the flags going to the NW out of 1502 creek towards drainage of HF lake. Bushwhacked up 1502 then turned west and joined up with HF lake. As many of the local hiking books describe the lake is pretty but the shore is far from inviting for overnighting. On Friday we followed the flagged route back to 1502 creek a much better route than what we took on Thursday.
Return distance 32-34 km, 650 m elevation gain, I measured 750 with my extra side trip.”
Su-Laine on the West Coast Trail:
“Yeah, we made it! Six days on the West Coast Trail went by quickly for our group, with one regret being that we didn’t make it a longer trip and visit the beaches of the south end. The southern 13 km of forest trail have no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and the next 9 km feel almost as pointless except for the satisfaction of having several dozen ladders and countless bottomless mud pits behind you. Despite improvements over the decades, this is still a tough trail. Good things to have are sturdy well-broken-in boots, tall gaiters, bicycle gloves, two poles each, and microspikes for slippery logs. You need balance and agility to get anywhere. After two long days trudging through the south end, the lovely beaches and faster hiking conditions of the north end were a joy. It’s a beautiful trail for gazing into tidepools, for swimming in creeks and waterfalls, and for exploring seaside rock formations.
As we’d hoped, the trail was comfortably uncrowded, and finding good camping spots and room in the metal bear boxes was no problem. The mice are definitely back, especially at Tsusiat Falls – don’t delay in getting your food to into the bear boxes in the evenings! One other thing to know is that Telus cell phones work on the trail but Fido ones apparently don’t.
We got to know our fellow south-to-north hikers a bit, enjoying their company at shared campfires and at a brilliant brunch at Tides and Trails restaurant on day six. Hiking times were very long on most days and there wasn’t much free time, but we took a break for burgers at Chez Monique and spent some unhurried time at the beach, and entertained ourselves by building a bridge across the Darling River. We managed to see some whale spouts but not much else in terms of rare wildlife. There was a sense that there is more to the trail than we could see that week, giving all three of us some desire to go back.
P.S. The Parks Canada staff said July and August are fully booked and that there are still some reservable dates in June. September is reportedly an excellent and uncrowded time to do the trail.”
Steve on Gate Mountain:
“Five of us set out to tackle this one, but our luck on this trail was not great. First off, the trailhead sign shown in every online resource is gone and replaced by a plastic bag wrapped around a stick. 103 Hikes also quotes 5 km from Alexandria tunnel, but it is actually closer to 3.3 km. But once we figured that out, up we climbed. Markings were “ok” with basically no more mishaps than the average hike of his type. Unfortunately the weather turned at the top (it was hot and sunny below). As we got to the ridge, the bushwhacking began. Not as bad as some places but it did slow us down. Then we ran out of markers, and the snow started to pile up.
Combine all of those elements and the fact we had reached our turn-around time, we decided to cut it short only about 85% of the way to our goal, and having never actually seen Gate Mountain itself (even from a distance). In fact, 103 Hikes mentions most people don’t go all the way, to which I ask: why do this hike? As we descended, the weather improved again! If this had happened up top I think we’d have pushed on for 30 more minutes.
Now, here is the gross part. After actually discussing that Fraser Canyon is a tick infested area, Michelle was bitten by one and it was burrowing into her skin, so after a 2 hour detour to the Chilliwack Hospital emergency room our trip came to a close.
On the whole I would not recommend this trail. The First Brigade trail next door is more interesting (but watch for ticks!).”
Chris M. on Panorama Ridge:
“Starting out, the clouds (and rain!) didn’t look promising. But having an Alex sunshine guarantee, we didn’t worry. The first 5 km of the Rubble Creek trail are snow free. The meadows, lake & mountains are still covered. With help from Evgeny’s GPS we made our way to the west end of Panorama Ridge. It was a little steep but the snow was good. Valerie used her micro spikes, while the rest of us used an ice axe. Snowshoes were not needed all day. About 2/3 of the way up the clouds and wind increased. We couldn’t see anything. However, Irina said the weather report called for sun in the afternoon so we continued. Sure enough, around 12:15 the clouds started to break and view opened up. Everyone was happier! We took the standard route down with some shortcut-fun downhill glissading. Then made our way across the meadow and back down the trail. Finished up with dinner at the Watershed Grill in Squamish.”
Erez atop Slollicum Peak:
“This was my third attempt at Slollicum. The other two times were in the middle of winter. The trail was much easier to find when most of the snow has melted at lower elevation. Make sure you don’t miss the flagged marked right-turn just after entering the forest after about 800 m along the Harrison East FSR like I did. When I was there before, we couldn’t find a section of the trail (just when you cross the first gully), and we assumed that it was due to a land-slide. Not true. The trail actually leads across the gully. Consistent snow started at around 1300 m, where the markers seemed to taper-off. But from that point it was pretty obvious how to climb to the ridge, and then take a left to reach the peaks. Snowshoes were not needed as the snow was pretty packed. The second (true) summit is worth the extra walk as it is more open and provides very nice 360 degree view. The huge Harrison lake is spread on the west, and Mt. Baker is prominent in the south. In the east I saw little Slollicum lake which was frozen.
This is a very nice and not difficult summer hike. If you like Harvey/Brunswick/the lions, you’ll enjoy seeing similar views in a new location.”
Robert D. at Brew Hut:
“The somewhat unusual timing of a snow shoe trip (Friday evening to Saturday afternoon) proved too good an opportunity for 10 of us to miss. So Paige, Jennifer, Mazy, Robert, Iain, Allan, Mike, Rebeka, Scott and Andrew drove to the trail head on the Roe Creek FSR to follow the winter route. Headlamps and rain gear were used almost from the outset and snow was underfoot pretty quickly too. The trail was surprisingly easy to follow at night in the forested section, the reflective markers easily visible with our headlamps. Once we got up to the alpine, however, a GPS was used (and well needed!) to find the hut. Despite there being plenty of snow underfoot the weather was surprisingly warm. We arrived at the hut about 2 am. Many thanks to those who provided some well-deserved night caps!
Saturday morning was spent exploring around the hut. Most of us hiked back to the cars in as little as 2 hours. The hut itself is small but bright and well built. All in all it was a pleasure to stay there. Always best to check the availability first on