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…”
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… http://www.buntzenlake.ca/elfin-lakes/
Andy G. at Wedgemount Lake:
“On a beautiful blue-sky day, our full group of eight made the steep climb up to the lake, where we enjoyed a well-earned lunch break before heading over to admire the glacier.
A decade since my first visit to the lake, and of all the hikes in my decade series, this one has perhaps shown the most obvious change. The glacier has receded over 100 metres in that time, with this last summer being especially devastating. It has to be seen to be believed. And yet it is still perhaps the most accessible glacier in the Lower Mainland, and still a ridiculously photogenic place.
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new trailhead and parking lot, at the end of a new road that is signposted from the old parking lot. Be aware that there is active construction going on there too. The lower section of the trail is also new, and I have to say much improved over the old. After about a km the new and old trails merge and the hard work begins. The mud was negligible, and only one fallen tree to negotiate. A mere 3 hours of steady hiking saw us at the lake (only two and a half hours back to the car) leaving us nearly 3 hours to enjoy being up there.
Thanks to everyone for another great day out!”
Chris M. on Brandywine Mountain:
“The combination of easy access and nice alpine makes Brandywine a good last-minute weekend destination. My Xterra made it to the 4wd parking area with no problems. The trail through the meadows has been upgraded and now there is very little mud. We left the valley before the end went south up to the ridge where we scouted out camping locations. From our vantage it was fun to watch different groups take various routes up the mountain. They all looked like coloured ants. In the evening we made a good firepit and soaked in the superb star show.
We didn’t rush in the morning but we were still easily the first people up to the summit on Sunday. We didn’t have to cross any snow and the views were fabulous. When we returned to camp we took a siesta before packing up and taking a slightly different route back down. Our travel time between parking and camping was around 2 hours, both ways,
Paul, Amy & Liam all had a similar desire for a relaxing but satisfying alpine trip, which made for a perfect group experience. The warm sunny weather was fantastic; especially for October.”