Irina on Empetrum Peak:
“After breakfast at Galileo, our group of four started the hike from the Cheakamus Lake parking lot. A 2 km trip to the turn-off for the bridge across Cheakamus River, and the trail starts climbing up. Consistent snow started at 1080 m, near the end of switchbacks. Most of the snow was firm enough to walk on in boots as some older footprints suggested, but after each of us postholed all the way to the thigh, putting on the snowshoes was a unanimous decision.
It was a long but pleasant hike following the markers where we could find them. In 3 hours, we were at the meadows with first glimpses of mountain ranges around us. Heading west, we chose our ascent route which climbed to the saddle between two of the subsummits. Good snow quality due to lack of sunshine certainly helped, and after another uphill, we were on the ridge. Claudio and Malin chose to stay there, and handing them one of our radios, Evgeny and I continued to the Empetrum peak. It was only another 30 min to the summit, where we were treated to the close-up views of Black Tusk from this rarely visited vantage point.
After rejoining, we tried another route on the southern side of the ridge for the way back. Would have been doable with crampons and ice axes but not all in a group had them, so we retraced our steps and descended an even gentler grade along the ridge. Stayed too far west in the meadows though, and ended up crossing the creeks hiking down and up steep-ish embankments.
A good hike and fun conversations along the way made it an excellent outing. Thanks to Claudio for offering to rent a car and drive. See trip report with geotagged pictures on Live Trails.”