Monthly Archives: August 2016

Watersprite Lake, 30 Aug 2016

Danica at Watersprite Lake:
“Cheryl, Susan, Xiru, and myself embarked on a journey to Watersprite Lake. Various trip reports stated that the logging road was okay for 2wd vehicles, but I’m not entirely convinced. Our driver thought it was one of the rougher logging roads she had taken her car up. We made it to around the 15-km mark before bailing, and hiked the final ~1.7 km to the trailhead. We took the old trail, as could not find detailed instructions about the new trail. The hike follows an old logging road, before turning off to a swamp. Unfortunately we got chatting too much and missed the well marked turnoff. A quick backtrack and we were on our way. We had read reports of a muddy trail, and even in late August this was true. Hopefully the new trail will avoid the mud. The lake is reached after ascending a final boulder field, and the views do not disappoint! We spent 2 hrs swimming and lounging (mostly the latter), before heading back. A total of ~19 km and ~9 hrs made for a long but very worthwhile day. A huge thank you to Cheryl for driving!”

Needle Peak, 23 Aug 2016

Danica on Needle Peak:
“It was a hike of many firsts: my first time organizing a callout, taking part in a Wanderung hike, and hiking in the Coquihalla region. Mike and Bobby answered the last minute callout and after a slow start (note to future organizers: King George Station is a terrible meeting spot as there is limited all day parking nearby), we made it to the trailhead. As per other reports, the highway exit is unmarked. After you go through the tunnel, the exit is right before Yak Peak comes into view. Don’t get distracted or you’ll miss it like we did. The trail is well marked through the forest and up to the base of the summit. There are about 3 scrambling sections to reach the summit. The first required awkwardly ducking beneath an overhang. Coming down the guys did some graceful butt-sliding. We found the UBC VOC instructions to be helpful in navigating the scrambles. Overall a great first Wanderung hike!”

Yak Peak, 23 Aug 2016

Andy G. on Yak Peak:
“Four of us – Tamara, Gary, Xiru, and myself – hopped into my car bright and early, and reached the trailhead in slightly under 2 hours. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the hike but it was far more enjoyable than I’d imagined. It may have Grouse Grind-like stats but it couldn’t be further from the Grind in terms of interest. Gorgeous mid-elevation forest, views, a bit of gentle scrambling, blueberries, marmots, and more views. For sure, the trail *is* steep, and would need care in a few places if wet or snowy/icy.

Despite its imposing appearance, the summit of Yak is quite safe with plenty of space to lounge around for lunch while soaking in the awesome 360-degree vista. Be sure to venture over to a bump on the way to Nak Peak (which we called the Naklet) for a stunning view of the north face of Yak. Despite being a short hike, we took our time and we were reluctant to leave. But the Blue Moose beckoned…!

Thanks to Tamara for organizing – we all had a fantastic day out.”

Mt Hanover, 21 Aug 2016

Dean C. on Mt Hanover:
“Wanting a day trip for a change, this past weekend saw Remi and I hike up from Lions Bay to Mount Hanover on Aug 21. We left the HSCT before it descended to Brunswick Lake and made our way over mostly open terrain and talus slopes to the famous ‘two gullies’ of Hanover. The Scrambles book says the left gully is easier, however after talking to my intrepid dental hygienist on the scene (a chance encounter with Joanne) who took the left, Remi and I took a deep breath and climbed the right gully, thankful the bottom step had ‘some’ rope and lamenting the final pitch having none. That sealed the deal on descent choice – we weren’t going back down that way. Threatening clouds greeted us on top so we had a quick snack and started down-climbing the five steps in the left gully. Overall they weren’t too bad and we felt we made the right choice in the end. The rain held off and we made it back 8:20 after starting, which was longer than I had hoped, however it’s hard to travel fast on this particular route. 17.6 km and 1,880 m cumulative elevation gain.”

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Mt Nutt, 20 Aug 2016

Bob H. on Mt Nutt:
“Mount Nutt is in Golden Ears Provincial Park and the trail was made between 2011 and 2013 by the Ridge Meadows Outdoor Club. The first 1.6 km from the parking lot is a very gentle slope on a gravel path (East Canyon Trail), which is a good warm up. At the 1.6 km mark, you take a right turn into the forest and the vertical gain really starts – suddenly you find yourself heading up fast. The trail is very well marked (can be slippery when wet). For a while, the climb follows a small creek, which drains a small lake further up.

The lake is nice and the area around it gives you a little reprieve from the gruelling climb. Soon after leaving the lake area, the climb continues. Eventually, we reached a viewpoint (680 m), which offered a pretty good view of Alouette Lake.

Continuing along the ridge, you are treated with about 4 more viewpoints overlooking Golden Ears, Evans Valley, Edge Peak and Alouette Lake, among others.

Photo album of hike is here

My blog, with trailhead/parking location and route stats, is here.”

Group at viewpoint

Hanes Valley, 20 Aug 2016

Anna K. in Hanes Valley:
“Hanes Valley is considered a difficult hike, but the three of us were well prepared. We hit the trail at 7:45 am and finished around 6:20 pm, with 2 hour detour to Crown Mountain. Surprisingly, it took us only 6 hours to complete the boulder field. Hiking in the heat is very different. Bring at least 3 litres of water and don’t count on having water in Hanes Valley after the Lynn Creek crossing. I took advice from an article about hiking in the desert and dipped a cotton shirt in the creek and then wore it when we were under the sun. We met a lot of trail runners with small backpacks, which made us question if they are ready for a long hike in the heat. The part towards Grouse Mtn is busier, as you meet hikers from Goat Mtn and Crown, and it gets mostly shaded closer to the gondola. Overall it was a beautiful hike, with fantastic views and a great company. Special thanks to Keith for pointing out the berries and Marc for taking pictures.”

Marc’s review:
“I had a great day hike, one of the most fun hikes I’ve ever been on. The trail is filled with a variety of easy and challenging moments for an all round experience of a day hike, accompanied with the notion of spontaneity. Hiking has the three elements of trail, fitness, and company. The trail is well designed and as you hike through the Lynn Canyon Forest it’s easy to get caught up in the nature surrounding you, without noticing that you are getting higher and higher in the valley, making it for a energizing trip. At moments I found myself still and quite walking through the mountains just enjoying the a point of being in an amazing place, ‘refilling’ my cup for the week ahead, letting go of ‘pretzel’ thoughts and getting a chance for perspective. I was expecting a longer hike from all the reports and feedback I read, but without having to do the whole trail rushing experience we finished it in a good time of 9 hours, including a slight detour to Crown Mountain.

Our organizer, Anna was on the ball, making sure that we had enough water and that we reported any health concerns that we should know about. Being organized and well prepared relaxes the group and gives a sense of safety, to enjoy the experience of the trip. Water is the key ingredient, we were expected to bring 3 litres but I always bring more, I had 5 litres with me and boy was I glad, I drank every last drop. It’s true you can fill up at a couple of creeks on the way but you never know what to expect, so my advice is bring as much as you can and don’t rely too much on the creeks, it will make the trip less restrictive if you want be flexible and include another route here or there, like we did. It was quickly established that Keith was willing to sacrifice his calves if we ran out of food, Anna was planning to peel her hands off the hot boulders and dry ice to relieve the swelling and I was hoping my boot soles would not fall off.

Not knowing what to expect I wanted to prepare to bushwhack in find the route, using the trail map and google, I found the UTP coordinates of some of the markers on the route, but never had to use it. There are moment while hiking that you could find yourself in a little ‘break path’, while looking down, this happened once to use between Hanes Valley Junction and the helipad, so try keep your head up for the next marker. We ended up deciding to bushwhack up the mounting, the trail was less than 20 m from us. I found that the markers were a little old but still good, for this time of year, if it was late, raining or foggy things could have felt a little different. The views are breathtaking and worth every step, there is something that ‘clicks’ when you sitting on top of the mountain and everything lies beneath you at your feel, the heights are glorious and the feeling of tipping into the abyss of space hangs with you in the air. After 5.5 hours of hiking we reached the top of the boulder field in good health and the two of us, Keith and me decided to ascended Crown Mountain. It was a 2 hour detour that we thought was going to be shorter. I’m really glad that we got to do Crown Mountain, it was the hardest part of the hike and I would recommend you do it as the cherry on the top. Coming back felt longer than thought it would be, taking us another 2 hours. Ending the trip at Grouse Mountain was fun, being able to see the bears we were ever aware of and taking in the view from the gondola with a cool drink at hand was a perfect finish. I think doing the hike the in the other direction might be even more fun as you could finish up with a swim in the lake, granted you have a picnic basket filled cool cold drinks. The most dangerous part of the trip was riding back to the Lynn Canyon parking lot, there were moments that I saw my life flash before my eyes, but we made it safe.

There were a lot of trail runners passing us, with very little preparation, hopefully they know the route, but we did bump into a fellow that was doing it for the fist time with no essential gear, fortunately for him it was still very early in the day and there were running creeks not too far. It’s not a hike I would like to take my grandpa on, people need to be in good shape to complete the route. The topic of cramps came up a couple of times and I would suggest that people look into a plan of managing their cramps if they find themselves in this situation, lots of water, protein bars and hydrates are essential, specially if you not in great shape.

I really liked that we had a small company of 3, four would be fine but I find when there are more than four people the whole dynamic changes. Being a smaller group allowed us to give each other more attention and share our conversations with the entire group while walking. Keith in his own right is the joker of the group, he was full of fun and surprises around every corner keeping us on our toes. Anna was always very considerate and entertaining us with all her previous hiking stories, I was more reserved than the others, laughing at all the playful puns and quirks.

I’m really happy that the day went so well, if I could repeat it I would do it in a flash but every trip has is own unique experience and this was one that will be remembered for a very long time.”

Marc’s photos

Fissile, Whirlwind, and Overlord Peaks, 13 Aug 2016

Dean C. on Fissile, Whirlwind, and Overlord Peaks:
“Ella, Q & I went to Russet Lake Aug 13-14 to see the meteor shower and to scramble up Fissile, Whirlwind and Overlord peaks. After reaching the hut, Ella and I slogged up Fissile’s scree treadmill and steep summit ridge, then after a brief summit celebration we slid back down for dinner where no less than 28 tents were now pitched! Popular place for meteor gazing, and we saw two later that evening. On Sunday I quickly solo-ed Whirlwind, Refuse Pinnacle and Overlord in less than 4 hours return, motivated to return, pack up, and meet them at the village; after enduring more Musical Bumps in the heat, we were only 5 minutes apart (though they had time to take the Peak to Peak Gondola for some sightseeing). I was somewhat tired afterward and learned much from my experiment with duct tape on a tiny blister; I turned a mole hill into a mountain. Two day totals: 37 kms and 2,680 m elevation gain over 13.5 hours, and at least 6 unique peaks (with 12 actual summits).”

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Mount Price, 13 Aug 2016

Will B. on Mt Price:
“Four of us left Rubble Creek parking lot at about 9 am on Saturday to hike Mount Price. Up to Garibaldi Lake it was teeming, but after leaving the lake we saw a total of four other people. The trail winds through trees and over bouldery bits with occasional lovely views of the lake or the Tantalus mountains on the other side, until you reach the start of the real climb, which was steep, loose and very hot. At this point I was like a big sweaty snail. The views on top were amazing, especially of Mount Garibaldi itself. It took us 11 hours all in. Brilliant hike and a great group of hikers made it even better.”

Table and Garibaldi

Chipmunk and Tenquille Mountains, 6-7 Aug 2016

Chris M. at Chipmunk and Tenquille Mountains:
“Dean and Quirine joined me for an overnighter northwest of Pemberton. From Pemberton you travel West along the Pemberton Valley, cross the river, head up the Hurley and finally on to the Hope Creek Road FSR. This logging road is easy. A 2wd car could make it as far as I could; which is about 2 km from the road end.

There is a faint route through the trees that is well-flagged. Until you cross the creek. After that you have to find your own way but the bushwhacking wasn’t too hard. We reached our camping spot at Opal Lake in about 2 hours.

Saturday afternoon we scrambled up Tenquille Mountain. (Dean also went over and bagged Goat Peak). The weather was perfect. The views were lovely. The flowery sections were blooming. Instead of star-gazing during the night we all stayed in our tents, as we were entertained by the sounds of rolling thunder and intermittent rain.

By the morning the storm had passed and we decided it was nice enough to hike up another mountain. We were standing on the summit of Chipmunk Peak less than 2 hours later. On the way down we passed through many wonderful meadows full of flowers. All different colours of flowers. In one section the flowers were up to hip high!

The bugs didn’t want us to sit down and enjoy them however, so we marched back to camp and packed up. During the hike out we saw two moose. Everyone enjoyed changing into clean clothes once back at the car. Along the road we saw a deer and a bear.

We each had a different delicious burger at Mile One. It was very nice to split the driving duties as the drive from parking spot to Burnaby was 250 km.”

Iceberg Lake, 6 Aug 2016

Eugene Y. at Iceberg Lake:
“Seven of us went to explore the new Skywalk Trail system near Whistler. We started from Mountain View Drive and proceeded at a relaxed pace along the 19 Mile Creek trail. This well-maintained trail was a joy to follow as it was well-graded and featured numerous bridges and boardwalks. We gradually ascended through a pleasant forest toward the alpine area at the eastern slopes of the Rainbow Mountain. After hiking for about 3 hours, we reached the junction with the Skywalk Trail and then continued for another kilometre along the Skywalk North trail till we finally arrived at Iceberg Lake. This picturesque turquoise lake is located right underneath the Rainbow Mountain glacier. As the name suggests, the lake was partially covered by floating ice. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the lake, taking pictures, and exploring the slopes to the south of the lake.

Bugs were quite bad at the alpine portion of the trail. Also, some of us got stung into the legs by wasps at two separate location: near the big yellow sign about the trail crossing a bike path (about 20 min into the hike), and at another location closer to the alpine. If you take this trail this August, it’s a good idea to wear long pants. Hopefully, wasps won’t return next year, once the trail becomes more popular.

Thank you for all the volunteers for building and maintaining such a great trail!”

Iceberg Lake