Golden Ears, 27 Jul 2013

Stacey A. atop Golden Ears:
“Mark, Mike, and Tanya joined me on an overnight hike to Golden Ears. The first part of the hike to Alder Flats was fairly straight forward with some elevation gain. After Alder Flats, you climb up an old logging road that now resembles more of a creek bed, due to the larger rocks, before the steeper hiking starts just after the stairs. The route is well marked with flagging, but we could see where people could get off the trail if not paying attention (per some of the Club Tread posts). The trail climbs consistently up until you hit Panorama Ridge, at times requiring a bit of acrobatics and fancy footwork with our big packs on! The Golden Ears website said the shelter was at the 9 km mark, but it was closer to the 11 km mark. A good part of the trail is in the trees which made for a nice break from the sun, but as you near the ridge, it becomes more exposed. There was no snow the entire way to the shelter/Panorama Ridge. Lots of snow & run off surrounding the shelter and up towards the summit, so lots of opportunity to get water (but you have to cross a bit of a slippery slope to get to the stream). There was no outhouse to be found at the shelter either. LOTS of biting black flies and mosquitoes the whole way up and at camp. That being said, if you are considering doing this as a two day trip, it is absolutely worth the effort to camp at the ridge!! For the hike to the summit, I believe there is a possibility to complete most of it without needing to get on the snow. The snow is fairly soft and quite slippery. Our crew had crampons and was able to hike straight up the snow to a bit of a saddle just before the final ascent (and we saw people doing it with nothing, although they seemed to be slipping a fair bit). There was a steeper scramble right before the summit. The route we took from the shelter took less than an hour to the summit.”

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