Category Archives: Day hike

Frosty Mountain, 24 Sep 2016

Eugene Y. on Frosty Mountain:
“Seven of us went to explore the legendary alpine larches in Manning Park. We parked at the beautiful Lightning Lake and proceeded along the well-maintained trail toward Frosty Mountain. The trail was in excellent shape and easy to follow. After a two-hour pleasant walk amid bright-red and yellow fall colours we had a lunch break at the Frosty Creek campsite. After another half-an-hour walk we finally reached the Larch Plateau and then continued along the partially snow-covered trail toward the mountain. The larches had just started to turn yellow, so the predominant colour was golden-olive. The snow on the ground was already partially covered by yellow needle-like leaves.

As we started climbing the slopes of Frosty, the snow got deeper and reached about 20 cm at places. However, the final walk along the ridge was mostly snow-free.
Finally, we reached the summit. The views on the surrounding partially-covered snow peaks were truly breathtaking!

The descend was was fairly straightforward, although some portions of the trail were a bit slippery. We didn’t use microspikes, however, we found hiking poles really helpful.

Some stats. At a leisurely pace while taking lots of pictures, it took us about 4.5 hours from the parking lot to the peak and 3 hours to get back to the car.”

The final ascend to Frosty

Skywalk Trail, 18 Sep 2016

Chris N. on the Skywalk Trail:
“Nikolay, Estafan, Kelley, Michelle, Jodi, and Jordon joined me on a hike around the new Skywalk Trail in Whistler. This trail connects a few existing trails and explores the alpine on the east side of Rainbow Mtn. There are a couple trailheads one can use including the Rainbow Lake trailhead, the end of Alpine Way and the end of Mountain View Drive. We chose the latter as there is plenty of parking right at the trailhead (if you opt for Alpine Way, you have to park on Drifter Way and walk the road to the trailhead). The route is well signed with plenty of official and unofficial notices which is helpful as there are lots of trails that branch off in various directions.

We headed up the Lower 19 Mile Creek trail and then up the Screaming Cat Connector to the Flank trail. Finally up the Screaming Cat Lake trail. The junction with the start of the Skywalk North trail is unsigned but is at a clearing within a minute or 2 of the lake. A fainter trail (the one you want) heads left and around the lake. Iceberg Lake is only 100 m higher in elevation than Screaming Cat but the trail rambles up and down through alpine glades so you will feel like half of the elevation gain is in this section. You actually descend 100 m to Iceberg Lake where Skywalk North ends. Pick up the Upper 19 Mile Creek trail about 10 m north of the outlet of the lake. We elected to stick with this trail instead of branching off on the Skywalk South trail about 700 m east of Iceberg. Skywalk South climbs higher and spends more time in the alpine but the weather wasn’t providing much in the way of views. Upper 19 Mile connects with the Flank trail where one has to go east for about 50 m to find the continuation (Lower 19 Mile). There’s many mystery branches off this portion of the trail but the route we wanted was signed at all junctions. It took us about 7.5 hours with a lunch break but not much other lingering due to the cold weather.

A map of the Skywalk trail and its connecting trails can be found at https://www.cheakamuscommunityforest.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Don-MacLaurin-Skywalk-Trail-Map.pdf.”

Watersprite Lake, 4 Sep 2016

Eugene Y. at Watersprite Lake:
“Nine of us went to explore the new trail to the Watersprite Lake near Squamish. Mamquam FSR was in a decent shape, and our Subaru Outback and Forester quickly made it to the bridge across the Mamquam river (~13 km mark). However, the remaining 7 km along the Skookum Dam road were much more challenging. It would be most certainly unwise to attempt this trip in a smaller car.

The trail was fairly well marked and easy to follow. The first couple of hours we were mostly walking along some old logging roads through a large clear-cut area covered with shrubs and small trees. The route offered a good glimpse of the Garibaldi and Mamquam mountains through the clouds.

The trail became more challenging once we reached the boulder field. The last portion of the trail was fairly steep and involved quite a bit of scrambling. Overall, it took our group about 4 hours (8.5 km) to reach the lake from the upper parking lot.

The lake was truly mesmerizing. All those small islands amidst the soft turquoise waters appeared like in some children’s fairyland. The whole atmosphere was one of a dream and meditation.

Thank you for all the volunteers for building a trail to this little paradise!”

Watersprite Lake

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

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