Monthly Archives: May 2017

Metal Dome, 28 May 2017

Chris N. on Metal Dome:
“A trip to Metal Dome requires a drive up the Brandywine Forest Service Road to around the 5-km mark before turning right up the Brandywine Meadows Spur. We were stopped by snow at the 970-m mark on the latter road and conditions on both roads were similar – fairly rough. A 2wd will make it up the first road but probably have traction issues on the second – AWD is suggested. We walked the rest of the road and to a major fork at 3.5 km from the Brandywine FSR (1300 m) where we turned right up the Metal Dome spur. A cat ski cut leaves the end of this road and heads into the alpine. There was about 1-2 m of snow through the forest and 2-3 m in the alpine. From here, you can see the peak. The best route is to head directly to it instead of trying to gain the ridge first. It took about 4 hours to reach the summit where there are good views of Garibaldi, the Tusk, Brandywine, Fee, Cypress and Brew. The trip down took under 2 hours. Back where we parked 8 vehicles were parked all over the road. Half were sledders but they all seem to be headed into Brandywine meadows or further up the valley and we were the only party on Metal Dome. Though there is lots of snow, snowshoes aren’t needed and will only slow you down. You will encounter some random post-holing on the summit but that’s it. Gaiters and waterproof footwear will keep your feet dry given how slushy and wet the snow is.”

Murrin Backcountry, 7 May 2017

Chris N. in Murrin Provincial Park:
“The Loop Trail leaves Browning Lake’s west side and heads up into the forest to ramble around many of the popular climbing routes. We followed it counter-clockwise though I don’t think it makes a difference. It’s marked with the standard orange metal squares (you will encounter may other faint access trails but most are unmarked). There is the occasional section of steep rock with fixed ropes but this is definitely a hiking route, not a climb. We decided to take a well-trod trail labelled “Jurassic Ridge” soon after the Quercus Viewpoint which featured more views and dropped us at the base of a wall. Going left 50 m returned us to the Loop Trail where we turned right and soon returned to the lake. Next, we crossed the road (best done at the entrance to the parking lot) and headed south past 2 rock walls to a faint trail about 15 m past the 2nd wall. Though faint, initially bushy and unyieldingly steep, it is well-flagged. This climbed to a gap in Riant Ridge called Quail’s Gate. We left the trail here to ramble south along the ridge for a bit. Returning to the trail, we descended very(!) steeply via an ancient rope into the Valley of the Shaddai. Here, the trail disappeared and we were left to our own devices in the narrow valley sandwiched between steep rock walls. We bushwhacked gradually northward up the valley until we intersected the Petgill Lake Trail and returned to Murrin.”

Eagle Bluffs, 6 May 2017

Chris N. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Both the 250 and 257 buses will take you close to the Baden Powell trailhead near Horseshoe Bay. The 250 will get you closer but is slower and the route is windy (not good if you get car-sick easily). The 257 drops you at the ferry. From here, walk towards the long-term parking lot and follow the sidewalk around to the right. This turns into a trail which takes you to an overpass. Cross over and walk 200 m south to the trailhead. With a fast group of hikers, we made it to the Donut Rock fork in an hour. This trail isn’t as clear as the main one but the only tricky spot is crossing Nelson Creek before the serious climbing starts. Stay low and look for the trail heading straight up after the second branch of the stream. The trail is well marked from here and steep. We encountered snow patches at 920 m and continuous snow at 980 m. The snow was reasonably firm and neither snowshoes or microspikes were needed. Donut Rock was reached in 2.5 hours from the trailhead. From here, we continued up to reach the junction with the main trail and headed south to Eagle Bluffs (much better views than Donut Rock). There’s no snow from the bluffs all the way down the main trail. Flagging on the boulder field was patchy – just head straight down. Return time to the ferry was under 7 hours including 2 hours of lounging at viewpoints.”