Andy G. on Elk Mountain:
“Talk about a great day out – the views were expansive, the flower display was amazing (over 40 types of flower identified!), and the pie at Chilliwack airport a very welcome treat. Estafan, Julianna, and Michelle joined me (and we later bumped into Shawn near the first viewpoint) for a spectacular day of hiking on Elk. We even made it up to the viewless peak of Thurston, whose only saving grace was a patch of tiny glacier lilies!
A little bit of mud (no doubt from last Saturday’s rain), but the trail is otherwise in good condition and as steep as ever. No snow before the cairn on Elk, and only a couple of patches on the way to Thurston. There’s a new (to me) outhouse about 50 m up the trail. Best of all, I think the flower show will only get better over the next few weeks.”
Andy H. on Sumas Mountain:
“Sarah, Anya, Adam & Sebastian joined me for a nice hike up Sumas Mountain on Victoria Day. Trail was in good condition with a number of muddy patches. Walked through the forest in and out of patches of fog until reaching Chadsey Lake, where light rain greeted us. A group or two of hikers by the lake and two fisherman – with no catch so far that day. We climbed up to the summit, having lunch at the eastern lookout – looking out on… mist! The clouds weren’t going anywhere so we headed back down to the car and on to the pub in Abbotsford for a celebratory drink before heading home. Great day out only an hour from Vancouver!”
Chris N. at Garibaldi Lake:
“Unlike the Cheakamus Lake trail, there were no blowdowns on the Garibaldi Lake trail at all! Snow patches started around 4.5 km and was largely continuous beyond the 6 km mark. It doesn’t look like many people had headed up to Taylor Meadows – hardly any tracks in that direction. Snow looked to be about 1-1.5 m deep at the lake. It was largely consolidated so snowshoes weren’t needed (and would have been a hazard in the narrower bits coming around the upper barrier lake). Microspikes will help but aren’t really necessary either. The snow gets a bit sloppy in the last 100m before the lake and around the lake edge. There are small pools of water around the lake edge and we ran into a few skiers coming off the Garibaldi traverse so I guess the lake is still crossable (though I wouldn’t risk it).”
Chris N. at Cheakamus Lake:
“I always think of Cheakamus Lake as an easy stroll suitable for hikers from 1 to 101. So I was surprised to find several substantial blowdowns across the trail. Some of the logs are up to 1 metre wide and, given that these were tall trees, going around them would be even more difficult. There are 4-5 trees across the trail before the lake and a few more beyond that. Otherwise the trail is in good shape and there’s no snow at all. There were a number of campers heading to Singing Creek and beyond but no-one camping at the north end of the lake. We ventured beyond Singing Creek for about an hour along a rough trail to the remains (just foundations and some rusted metal) of a tiny cabin.”
Colleen C. at Harrison Hut/Meager Hot Springs:
“Thanks to our two capable 4WD drivers we made it all the way to the trailhead. There is active logging in this area and the road was being improved in preparation of more. I always feel torn by this. On the one hand it can be hard to see the results of that industry, but on the other hand I use paper products and without these roads I wouldn’t be able to access the mountains that I love to be in.
We made it up to the hut the first day (which we had all to ourselves!) but it was a long slog and just the first of three long days. We went in and out of snow the whole way up. Three made it to the hut without using snowshoes, but two of us put them on after the Barr Creek crossing. The snow will be gone soon which will likely make the crossings more challenging.
The next day we split into two groups. Three summitted Frozen Boot Peak, a steep hike up then a reportedly enjoyable ridgewalk. Fred and I made a loop up to Two Doctors Peak / Mt Andropov with a side goal of seeing the Meager Obelisk. We found it as we were coming down from the summit, tucked in a small cirque. We admired it from the top of the cliffs, then continued over to the col by Pine Peak and back down to the hut. Sometime while we were gone, a bear walked over our tracks near the hut, but we didn’t see one then.
Each group had a walkie talkie so we were able to communicate throughout the day, still we were pleased that everyone got back by the appointed time. We packed up and headed down to the hot springs, getting there just after dark. The hot springs are lovely but popular, at least 30 people were already there. If you choose to visit this site, please not only practice leave no trace but also do your part to maintain the pools – there is no one else to do it for you!
The last day, we hiked out and started the long drive back to Vancouver. A black bear was seen from the trail and another on the logging road driving out. Plus we saw many frogs!
Huge thanks to the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). We all paid the hut fee and didn’t use any wood, but that feels insufficient compared to the work involved in maintaining an outhouse, hut and trail. A particular thanks to one of our group who has helped out with one of the work parties. Whenever you clamber over a log with a chainsaw cut in it to make it easier and guide your steps, you’ll appreciate his handiwork!”