Yearly Archives: 2015

Mt Sproatt, 20 Dec 2015

Colleen C. on Mt Sproatt:
“An intrepid crew of five joined me in an exploratory trip up Mt Sproatt. All of them not merely undeterred by my warnings of cloudy weather, deep snow and tough trailbreaking, but full on embracing it!

Knowing the challenging day ahead, we were well prepared with colourful toques, thermoses of tea, layers galore, headlamps with fresh batteries, GPS, maps, compasses, walkie talkies, avy gear and cookies. Due to the heavy snow conditions and limited daylight hours, we didn’t make the summit but we gave it a good shot and enjoyed a full day in winter paradise. Given the slow slog that is breaking trail uphill, it was about 5 hours up and less than an hour down.

I asked everyone for a memorable moment from the day:

Colleen: Take nearly two metres of pristine fresh powdery snow. Add one snowshoer who’s determined to move through it by any means possible. Result, invention of new sport, snow swimming!

Estafan: The highlight of the day was when my foot decided to go down a hole in the snow above a small creek. I thought it fell into the creek but it didn’t. I’ve got to hand it to Fred the Energizer Bunny for pulling me out of that rabbit hole with such ease!

Darcy: The trees were draped in snow like a village of ghosts. It was challenging but rewarding to climb up steep slopes of snow, wading through waist deep whiteness.

Stephen: The best part was listening to skiers on Whistler Blackcomb narrate their super-exciting day on the slopes over the walkie talkie. My attempt to spice things up with a turkey joke didn’t get any response though. Tough crowd.

Chris: My favourite part on steep snowshoe trips is always coming down. And there were some great drop-offs on this trip to ski over. I probably broke my snowshoe foot plate on one of those descents. You can get replacement bindings at MEC but they don’t stock them – you have to order them. Hopefully, I will get my replacement in time for my holidays!

I didn’t get a quote from Fred, but I know the rest of us won’t forget pushing his car halfway up a looong hill!

Thanks everyone for contributing to a fun trip. Special thanks to drivers Fred and Chris.”

Baden-Powell Trail, 11 Dec 2015

Chris M. on the Baden-Powell Trail, at night:
“If night-hiking was an Olympic event, then I would nominate the fearless group that joined me Friday evening. Nicole, Nima, Ronja, Tu Loan, Jon & Meghan all sailed through 3 hours of dark North Shore trail wandering; aided by nothing more than headlamps. Oh, and a rainbow-coloured glowing hiking pole. I took a right fork that turned out to be a wrong fork, so we ended up mostly doing an out and back along the Baden-Powell. It was a neat way to end a work week.”

Forest Ribbon Hikers

Pine & Cedar Lakes, 28 Nov 2015

Stephen H. at Pine and Cedar Lakes:
“It’s nice to have a change of scenery every once in a while. Instead of heading to the North Shore or Squamish, why not Bellingham? Pine and Cedar Lakes is one of the pleasant hikes on Chuckanut Mountain, not far from the city known more for cross-border shopping and a pizza buffet. Passports in hand, John, Yolanda, Svetlana, and Anna joined me for a fun jaunt down to the States. We took our time visiting both lakes and made a side trip to Raptor Ridge for some extra views on the way back. I predict another callout to this area will be posted in the near future.”

Mount Baker and Twin Sisters Mountain from viewpoint above Cedar Lake

Tetrahedron Park, 20 Nov 2015

Tu Loan in Tetrahedron Park:
“What I learned from this weekend’s callout to Tetrahedron Provincial Park:

1. It’s OK to do a callout to somewhere you’ve never been. Good chance your group has a wealth of experience and can help you figure out how to get where you’re supposed to go!

2. It’s OK to be super early at the ferry… not really, but your group members will not be annoyed with you because you’re doing the callout and they’re grateful for it.

3. It’s OK to park your awesomely reliable car at the first parking lot because you don’t want to damage the shocks on it like you did last time when you had to drive up a rough road. Plus, your gang appreciated the extra 1KM walk after being in transit for a few hours.

4. All is good when you bring food to share! Happy Hour in the backcountry is a sure winning tactic and people will gladly forgive you for the unnecessary early wake-up and extra 1KM hike.

5. Lugging eggs in their original carton will surely impress your group.

6. I should download maps onto my GPS. And learn how to read it properly. But following snowshoe tracks is a sure bet.

7. Cabins are great places to meet other interesting people. It’s kind of like a hostel, but better because you’re in the middle of nowhere and someone worked just as hard to get there as you did!

8. My pot set is perfect for making chocolate fondue!

9. Happy Hour in the backcountry rocks. See #4.

10. Wanderungers are an interesting bunch!! Thank you Erin, Dev, and Lisa Dawn for the great fireside chats about quantum physics, politics, traveling, and food – my favourite topics to talk about (minus the quantum physics).”

Mt Mulligan, 11 Nov 2015

Chris M. on Mt Mulligan:
“We chose Mt. Mulligan for a Remembrance Day walk in the fresh snow. We were able to drive up fairly high. The road we followed gradually grew in snow coverage and reached a foot deep by the bowl where the road ends. We observed a minute of silence here. Leaving the road, we went directly at the col between the two peaks of Mulligan (one of them is sometimes called Anif). It was enjoyable finding a way through the underbrush that wasn’t completely covered by the snow yet. Then we turned right and made our way up the south peak. Some of us used microspikes but no one used snowshoes. As we reached the summit the clouds pulled back a little to reveal most of the beautiful Sky Pilot Group. The return back down was very simple. Hiking time was 2.5 hours up and 1.5 hours down. A nice early dinner at Howe Sound Brew Pub suited the fun group of Amy, Anna, Nicole, Estafan, Tom & Danielle.”

Alpen Mountain, 8 Nov 2015

Chris N. on Alpen Mountain:
“The road up Alpen was a good lesson in the need for good maps. I had always relied upon the excellent 1:20000 maps that iMapBC creates but it turns out that, for the Alpen region, they were missing some recent and important side roads. It was better to use satellite images from Google Earth which showed all the major forks. Armed with maps of several varieties and altimeters, we managed to push our convoy of AWDs and a 4wd to a major fork at 1350 m elevation (about 7.5 km up the Alpen spur). The waterbars in the last 1.5 km caused some scraping for the lower clearance vehicles. A good 2wd driver should be able to make it to about 6 km assuming decent traction. It was a mild bushwhack east and then south towards Alpen. The final push was up a steep slope from the west. From here, we stuck to the ridge running south towards Split. We sidehilled for a bit around Split before again heading straight up the western slopes to the lumpy summit. We didn’t find much in the way of vents mentioned by others but a northern vantage of the peak shows large broken pinnacles as if some giant had taken an axe to the summit. We followed our track back over Alpen to the cars. The whole hike had taken just over 5 hours.”

Kennedy Falls, 7 Nov 2015

Stephen H. on lower Mount Fromme:
“It was the day of the Wanderung party – you know, the one with a rainfall warning – so we were guaranteed to get a little wet. Still, we had a good turnout, with Renee, Marlis, Svetlana, Shahdin, and John committed to getting outside regardless of the weather. The plan was to hike to Kennedy Falls, but a raging creek soon put that off to another day. We ended up doing a foggy forest loop via four mountain-bike trails and the old Mountain Highway. There was water flowing everywhere. Note for next time: the parking lot at the top of Mountain Highway opens at 9 am.”

Cedar Trail

Alouette-Stave Trail, 7 Nov 2015

Chris N. on the Alouette-Stave trail:
“Last Saturday was one of the most thoroughly rainy hiking days I have experienced. It was with trepidation that we drove up the Florence FSR towards the trailhead. It’s 2wd the whole way but it does get rougher after the 11 km mark and traction could be an issue on the rocky uphills. Watch your odometer carefully since it can be tricky finding the right turn-off – it’s around 19.6 km on the left. About 200 m in, there are 2 locked gates but lots of parking. We walked down the road to the last switchback where there’s a lot of flagging tape marking the well-trodden track of the Robie Reid trail. Multiple streams poured down from the slopes above and the trail was a creek in places. There were some overhanging branches in places but not a lot of blowdown. The major creeks were almost topping the bridges. We found the cabin after a brief bushwhack but never did find the junction with the Alouette-Stave Lake trail (bivouac.com mentions that the intersection is at 49.39176, -122.32243 but I didn’t have that waypoint with me). We went as far as the Alouette River (which was raging!) before calling it a day.”

Yak Peak, 18 Oct 2015

Chris M. on Yak Peak:
“Going straight uphill is more popular than I expected. Six people joined me on tackling Yak Peak. Our 2 vehicles made the trip to the Coquihalla in around 2 hours. There was muted optimism that the thick fog would either lift or that we would get above it. Once on the trail it heads upwards. First through forest. Then a boulder field. Beside a small creek. Between slide alder. And finally out into the alpine. Just past halfway the clouds started to part and beautiful blue sky was revealed. It lasted about 3 minutes. Then it was back to solid fog. (Is that an oxymoron?)

Sayeed, Michelle, Dean, Tu Loan, Markus, Jon, and I chilled on the summit. No views but with good spirits. A casual and fun group. Best line of the day was “Where did all that hair come from?” and having the target person look around behind her to see what was causing all the excitement (she had just taken off her toque). It took us about 2.5 hours to get up and a little less than that to get down. During the descent we stopped to search for a dropped water bottle. The finder received an intimate hug as a reward.

Craving a beer and some food we decided to try Corky’s Irish Pub in Chilliwack. After relaxing for a bit we headed home. All of us thinking of a return trip on a clear day, and include a traverse over to Nak and Thar…”

Elfin Lakes, 15 Oct 2015

Bob H. at Elfin Lakes:
“Today was a gorgeous early Autumn day for a hike. Elfin Lakes is in Garibaldi Provincial Park, located just north of the town of Squamish. The first 6 km of the hike are uphill, 4.5 km of which are on a forest service road. There is a small section where the trail is more rugged and muddy, but then it starts again as a wide established trail. As you continue, the views get spectacular; you see Mount Garibaldi and the surrounding peaks. At the Elfin Lakes campsite (also known as the Diamond Head Area), there are two lakes, one for drinking water and one for swimming; there is also a ranger’s hut, a camper’s hut, a small dining building, tent pads and picnic tables. We made it to the lakes in 2 hours 20 mins, but didn’t have any prior plans for additional exploration, so we headed towards Opal Cone, which is about 6.5 km from the lakes. After crossing the new bridge over Ring Creek, the valley to Opal Cone is mostly a rugged rock landscape and today it was quite warm with the sun beating down. We ended up about 1.5 km and 300 m elevation short of Opal Cone – we had to turn back due to the early sunset – so close!!! Will have to plan this next year! We did a distance of 30 km today with 1500 m elevation gain in 8 hours.

Blog here… https://www.buntzenlake.ca/elfin-lakes/

Elfin Lakes