Monthly Archives: August 2011

Mt Burwell 28/08/11

Peter A. on Mt Burwell:
“Jeremy and I reached the summit of Mt. Burwell via the steep trail from the Lower Seymour Conservation Area. A great day for hiking, playing in snowfields, and taking pictures.

The trail is punishing on the way up: very few breaks from the steep gradient. Fortunately, it’s a pretty trail through the hemlock, Douglas fir, up rock faces and roots, and easy to follow. There is one tricky spot to be aware of that the guide books don’t mention: finding the trail off of the Seymour Valley Lookout (a huge rocky dome/promontory). When you arrive on top of the Lookout (about 1 – 1.5 hours into the hike), there are few cairns/trail markings to guide you onwards. You don’t need them to walk the 3 minutes on the east side of the flat promontory to its northern end for terrific views (Mount Elsay, Mount Seymour, and Seymour Lake to the east and north east, and Coliseum Mountain and Mt. Burwell to the west). However, once you’ve feasted your eyes, rested, and are ready to move onwards – i.e. back down the promontory and down to a col that separates the promontory from Coliseum Mountain – the lack of cairns/trail markings on top can make it difficult to find the trail. There are two choices: the easiest way is to walk back on the west side of the promontory in the direction of the col until you see some cairn and flagging that will lead you to the trail to the col. The second way is to retrace the way you came up, i.e. back down the east side of the promontory and back on the trail for about 5 minutes. At that point, just beyond the edge of a small clearing, on your right (facing downhill), look for flagging on some trees. This is a branch in the trail that you likely didn’t see on your way up. This trail runs west, skirting along the bottom of the promontory and to the col (it meets up with the trail coming down from the west side of the promontory.

The trail along the col and up to the intersection with the Lyn Valley Coliseum trail had spots of deadfall, mud and boulder fields to contend with, but trail markings were always there to be found with a little patience and a keen eye. And when ascending Burwell from the tarn that lies between it and Coliseum, stay to the left even though it looks like your approaching a forested cliff: the trail goes up a cleft in the rocks and is easy.

We ascended Burwell in 4 hours (a good pace), and, including the 19 km round-trip bike ride from the parking lot to the trail head (a lot of uphill pedalling at the end of the day!), we were on the go for 8.5 hours.”

Salal Creek 27/08/11

Cara at Salal Creek and Athelney Pass:
“One adventerous hiker joined me in exploring this rugged and remote valley. The trailhead is accessed via the Upper Lillooet FSR which is currently active. There is a pumice mine at 48 km and active logging off a spur at 38 km. Take the right fork of the Lillooet FSR at 45.5 km, signed for Garibaldi Pumice Ltd. Before you reach the gate to the pumice mine, take the rather overgrown and nastily waterbarred road on the left. The road is very rough in places and requires high clearance or incredible nerves and driving skills. The trail to the creek is well marked though the entrance/exit is not from the creek side. Now the rock hopping starts. Near west Salal an alternate route through the trees is marked (again hard to see). Another minor detour through the trees exists and is quite steep. The entrance to this was not marked so we sailed past. Yet more rocks brings you to a well marked entrance to the forest section along the east fork of salal. The avalanche chutes saw plenty of action this past winter so the alder has been flattened and quite a few trees downed roots and all. Once out of the trees 5 km remains to the pass. The company currently holding the mining exploration rights to the area have made quite a mess just past the most recent landslide. This area saw a lot of snow over the winter, some of which still covers over the creek past the slide. We walked on the snow and were able to avoid the creek crossings below the glaciers. Once in the pass, another snow accumulation permits crossing to the west side of the creek. The mining company, with the help of the BC govt has removed the oil barrels on the bench to the west of the pass. Not sure about the lone barrel further to the south. This weekend the weather was perfect, the flowers were amazing, and the views were stunning. Ian and I spent the middle day exploring the bench to the west, then packed part way out. The third day we compleated the trek and finished up with a well deserved dinner in Squamish.”

Garibaldi Lake 25/08/11

Stuart at Garibaldi Lake:
“Four of us set off heading up the 6+ km of switchbacks in 1½ hours. After a brief rest at the junction the group headed left and 20 minutes later arrived at Taylor Meadows. The sides of the trails are covered with alpine flowers and definitely worth adding the additional 2 km. Shortly later you have your first glimpse of Black Tusk, don’t forget to check the view behind you once in a while. Continuing along the path you eventually come to the junction for Garibaldi Lake, take a right heading down the switchbacks until you cross the bridge. The trail becomes fun and interesting as at some points you tip toe across rocks breaking the water’s surface to continue around the lake. You should explore the entire trail around the lake as besides the views of the glacier there are some interesting points. Firstly there is a small island accessible from the trail where there are some Indian Paintbrush plants. At the trail end by the ranger’s dock is not the best place to have lunch. The Whisky Jacks create a scene reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, it was quite bizarre. We headed back the direct route returning 9 hours later.”

IMG_0388

Williamson Lake 24/08/11

Steve at Williamson Lake:
“After years of worrying about the “gate” on the road to this trail, I finally was told it would never be shut again so decided to do it. However, a different logging company blocked the access at Chilliwack Lake road… Five of us piled in Steve C’s truck and suffered a long re-route and late start as a result. The trail was steep and not without problems in a) finding the start, and b) crossing a few scary scree slopes. All told it’s a short trail, but it is SO steep that it just did not feel that way and took us over 2 hours up. The payoffs were amazing: wildflowers, the frozen lake itself and surrounding slopes (including a brown bear). Be aware, it IS wildflower season in Chilliwack, so get out there, but if you have a 4X4 AND a fear of exposed heights, head to nearby Mt. Cheam for something less stressful.”

Mt Gardner 21/08/11

Cindy on Mt Gardner
“Six of us made it out to Bowen Island on Sunday. We parked at the trailhead instead of doing the walk from the ferry terminal. If there is a large group, you may want to get the BC Ferries Experience Card. You get quite a large discount on this route.

The distance markers referenced in “103 Hikes” are no longer visible and the side road up to the gate head is now called Hikers Trail Road, not Bowen Pit Rd. The intersections of the different trails do have clear signs, but I would recommend spending some time at the large map near the entrance and deciding what route you want to take before heading up. The trails themselves are typically well marked, but there are a few notable gaps where you might have to do some searching to find the next marker.

We were spoiled with views at the top, with not one but two different platforms on which to sit and enjoy the scenery. A wonderful hike, with wonderful people!”

Mt Harvey 20/08/11

Hurrian on Mt Harvey:
“Eight speedy hikers headed up Mount Harvey on Saturday and were treated to breathtaking views of the Lions. There was only just enough snow in one section at the top for me to have a good wipeout by trying to boot ski down a snowy patch. The trail is quite steep to the ridge but is shaded by the trees so it wasn’t terribly hot until we got out onto the ridge. We summited in about 3.5 hours and got to have a spectacular view while eating lunch and snapping shots. Not many other people on the trail except for a pair of pot-smoking middle-aged men. All in all a good hike with good company.”

Williams Ridge 15/08/11

Dan R. on Wiliams Ridge:
“Ronald and I were the only ones on the trail until the end of the day. From centre of Vancouver, less than a 2-hour drive both ways. I measured 32 km on my odometer to the trailhead from the turn onto the Chilliwack Lake road. Hike took 3 hours each way, not including breaks. Ridge is about halfway. Trail is less steep as you gain altitude. A few trees down, nothing major. Mild brush growing in, but it got me pretty wet (rained overnight). No snow or mud. No sign of bears. Lots of bugs, except at knoll. Trail peters out at first knoll. Recommend going at least to the 2nd/3rd treeless knoll. If you see the unmarked intersection on the steep part, go left. Unmarked intersection as you gain ridge, go right. Unmarked intersection further along ridge, go left.”

Williams Peak 13/08/11

Eric on Williams Peak:
“Four of us decided to have a go at Williams Peak on Saturday. It is about 1:45 drive from Vancouver and looks very impressive. The parking is 32 km from the turn off to the Chilliwack River Road. The trail is incredibly steep and gruelling. (Think a couple grouse grinds.) Luckily it is in the shade. The well travelled trail kind of peters out in a bowl under the massive pyramid peak. The summit can be gained from a gully hiding behind the right flank of the mountain. We saw a mother grouse with two chicks, also out for a Saturday hike. The entire hike can be made without walking on much snow. Great conversation ensued once the peak was conquered. Milkshakes at white spot followed. What an exhausting and throughoutly satisfying day. Thanks guys.”

Williams Peak 13.08.2011 062

Tricouni Peak 07/08/11

Chris M. on Tricouni Peak
“Six of us went up to Tricouni Peak. The final part of the road was rough on our two 4wds. Trail was certainly muddy to start but we were soon on snow from before the first lake. All us of then went fairly straight up the somewhat steep snow slopes. Erica, Ian & his dog waited near the sub-summit while the four of us – Glenn, Brad, Scott and myself – went up on the top. Bluebird day. The much-sliding down might have been the highlight!”

Hope Mtn 07/08/11

Steve on Hope Mountain:
“Thanks to a great response from 4×4 drivers, 8 of us tackled the trail known mostly for views of the town of Hope (from straight above). Rob and Rob managed the road and got us there safely. The trail was very “Indiana Jones” (overgrown) for much of the way and there were 2 very minor scrambles, and only patches of snow were left. The bushwhacking aspect of this really slowed us down and hike time exceed even my padded estimates. It took us close to 7 hours on trail (some books estimate 5, Club Tread says 6). It was a long day ending at the Wildcat Grill near Harrison, but the weather was great, and surrounding views impressive (though hazy). Word to the wise – never sit ON the cairns at the peak or anywhere else, you never know what the engineering skills are of the person that built it…”

Hope Mountain, Aug 2011