Chris N. at Joffre Lakes:
“About 3/4 of the main parking lot at Joffre is plowed but there’s still enough snow that you’ll lose traction with 2wd if you drive in too far. Parking close to the exit means you won’t need much of a push. There were about 10 cars in the lot when we were there – a far cry from the 200+ you’ll see on a summer’s day. The snow at the beginning was wet and sticky but improved with elevation. All the lakes are frozen but there is a layer of slush covered by another layer of snow on top of the ice on the first lake. The inlets and outlets of all the lakes are ice free so give these areas wide berths. If you follow the winter trail across the lake, you might prefer snowshoes but most of the route can be done in microspikes with minimal post-holing. Weather was changeable – a bit of cloud with the sun trying to peek out at times interspersed with snow showers. Temperatures varied from about 0 C in the parking lot to maybe -5 C with a bit of wind at our high point. We reached the third lake in under 2 hours, had lunch and spent a bit of time exploring.”
Stacey A. at Marriott Meadows:
“A long-weekend two-night trip to Marriott Meadows and Rohr Lake. Four of us made the trip and were fortunate to have a driver with 4WD 🙂 It’s a short access road to the trail head if you have to walk though. Lots of bugs the whole time: mosquitos, black flies, deer flies, you name it, they were biting us. I would suggest bringing bug hats at the least (or waiting until later in the season). One of our crew had a small over-bed mosquito net that pretty much saved us as we could eat under it, etc. That being said, my skin was mostly covered, I used almost an entire small bottle of Ben’s 30% deet spray, and I still managed to get almost 100 bites! The others seemed to have fared a bit better.
First night was spent at Rohr Lake. The trail to Rohr Lake is muddy in several spots. The last steep hill up to the lake is definitely muddy and slippery and requires care! Alternatively, you can head up the boulder field next to the path with ease. There seem to be about 6 spots for camping at the lake. No toilet or cache, and the trees aren’t ideal for hanging food. Lake is cold but swimmable! The hike to Mt. Rohr takes about 2 more hours from the lake. It’s mostly boulder fields, but well cairned for the way.
Second night was spent at the lake just below the Wendy Thompson Hut (we heard the hut was overfull with a large group of 22, plus others). Again the hike was muddy with a few creek crossings on logs. The terrain was varied with forest paths, meadows, and boulder fields. No apparent obvious camp spots on the lake, just put up our tents on a dry patch of grass. Lots of hikes from here to explore. The lake was cold but refreshing and great for swimming!
All around beautiful views for both areas!”
Nicky C. at Cerise Creek:
“With Wanderungers always having their backpacks packed in case of a last minute hiking opportunity it didn’t take long for us to find two others to try the Cerise Creek hike in Joffre Provincial Park! It was glorious weather – sunny and not too hot – on July 13th and after 3 hours driving we – Nicky, Gabi, Michael & Sravan – found the trailhead no problems, unlike others before us it seems. The trail was slightly easier than Joffre (fewer roots and smaller boulder field), but without the glacial blue lakes… We weren’t disappointed though – after 2-1/2 hours hiking (completely snow free) we had passed Keith’s Hut and ventured up on top of the ridge overlooking the glacier. Great lunch spot, although the mosquitoes got to us in the end! The descent took us about 2 hours. Since it was Sravan’s first time in the area we stopped in for a peek at the first Joffre lake on the way back, which only gave us a taste for more hikes like it! I would say Joffre Lakes offers more spectacular views, but the fact that we only met a handful of other hikers/climbers on the Cerise Creek trail made it a very attractive alternative.”
Ben V. on Mt Rohr:
“The wind was calm, the skies were blue, and the snow was perfect for snowshoe travel. We left the city eager for some time in the alpine. The route to the lake was mostly easy to follow along tape, ski tracks, and some nearly buried orange markers. We found the sign for the turnoff to Rohr Lake just above the snow at ankle height. A bit of routefinding was necessary from this point up to a small clearing below the lake. From the lake it was smooth sailing straight up the valley floor with plenty of alpine scenery to enjoy. We approached the summit ridge from the northwest and took a nice line to the top with only one excessively steep section requiring us to drop down on all fours. The summit was surprisingly hospitable and we were able to sit down and recharge while we soaked up the panoramic views. A big thanks to Adrian and Dan for making this a great trip.”
Irina on Tszil and Taylor Peaks:
“Dan, Pavel, Stephan, Carlos and Evgeny joined me, and Saturday morning we started the hike from the Joffre Lakes parking lot. Once near the upper lake, we came across a sign post and followed the route to Tszil glacier. It’s a fairly well trodden trail when on the grass or in the trees, but some route-finding is required on the boulder field.
Spotting the moraine, we first went to the right of it but ran into abundant deadfall. Oh well, let’s see what the moraine is like from the top. It turned out to be quite wide except for a couple of more narrow, half-a-foot wide sections. Then it’s all boulders up to the Tszil-Taylor col. We crossed a couple of small icy snowfields where I would have liked to have and ice axe or traction aides, especially if we were to descend the same way.
While Tszil looked somewhat intimidating from the col, the scrambling turned out to be a lot of fun with no exposure and excellent sturdy rock. The views were spectacular! The whole Cayoosh range was up on display, and Slalok so close! We didn’t even notice how 40 minutes on the top passed, and if we wanted to get to Taylor, we should hurry! So Pavel, Evgeny and I packed quickly and hastened down. From the col, it was 30 min to the top of Taylor, zig-zagging between short cliffs at a good speed. A few quick pictures, and down we go. Back in the col at 5:10 pm, with two hours of daylight left. Dusk descended on us at the second lake, and we caught up with the rest of our group between the first and the second lakes. Huge thanks to Dan who courteously accepted the role of a guide for the other two in the group and descended straight from Tszil, allowing us to bag a second peak.
See full report with geo-tagged pictures on Livetrails: https://livetrails.com/report/1205/0/Tszil_Mountain-Mount_Taylor_loop“
Irina at Joffre Lakes:
“Beautiful winter hike albeit shorter than I expected: took us 1.5 h to get to the upper lake without even trying! Plenty of time to enjoy the views from both sides of the Upper Lake. Saw a group of skiers skinning up towards Tszil; looked temping but we weren’t prepared for travel in the avalanche country. Another group went towards Taylor.
There were several cars in the parking lot when we arrived, and despite abundant snowfall over the past two weeks, the tracks to were deep and well-packed, practically eliminating the need to trail-break. The two lower lakes have started thawing closer to the shore and parts of the trail across the lakes were slushy. With lots of time to spare, we dropped by Nairn Falls on our way back for the view of captivating rock structures eroded by water and finished the day with dinner at the Shady Tree. Thanks to our amazing drivers Cara and Stephen for making this trip happen!
My report with full photo album is on Live Trails.”
Ben on Vantage Peak:
“Dan, Georg, and I left Vancouver early on a quest for fair weather and good snow. The road was clear and we arrived at the trailhead just after 9:00. The route up Cerise Creek was well-packed by skiers and we were able to move quickly. In under two hours we were out of the trees and looking up at the glaciers hanging off the impressive peaks of the Joffre group. We then cut away from the main route and headed for the Vantage-Matier col. The snow was in great condition and we had ski tracks to follow up some of the slopes. Fifteen minutes before we reached the col we were set upon by a thick fog and visibility dropped to just a few metres. On the approach we had scoped out large cornices above and decided not to risk further navigation up the ridge in such conditions. At 1840 m, the col was the high point of our trip. We headed down and spent a couple more hours exploring the valley and checking out the hut. This area is well worth the travel time required.”
Chris on the Scudamore-Van Horlick divide:
“Cara, Dean, Dorothy and I tackled the Scudamore – Van Horlick divide for 3 days. The Van Horlick road is in decent 2wd condition – some minor potholing so you can’t fly along but nothing bad. The Morris spur is in rougher shape with minor rutting and the alders will challenge your paint job. The Morris East spur is overgrown while the Morris West is in great condition. Unfortunately, you can’t drive either because the bridge at 11km from the Duffey has been pulled (leaving some logs but no bridge deck) and you have to walk the 4 km to road end. At the very end of the road, a faint trail starts down towards the end of the Morris East road but quickly disappears. Just continue down in the same direction through the slash, cross the stream at the bottom (there’s a log about 100m upstream from where you hit it) and climb the slash to the alder-choked east road. A sparsely-flagged and sometimes faint trail leaves the end of this road towards the valley end and can be followed to the col. From here, we climbed the south side of the east shoulder to meadows where we camped. The mosquitos have moved beyond epic to positively biblical. On the middle day, we sidehilled to the south and climbed to the North Stein ridge just south of Elf and came back over that peak. The going is a bit scrambly near the top. We dropped down into another saddle and back onto a great ridge with good views. We returned along the benches on the east of the ridge (very little snow in an area that historically has a fair amount even into August), through the saddle and back to camp. On the last day, we ventured into the North Stein meadows and returned to the west road by crossing the creek higher up and bushwhacking to try to avoid elevation loss but you are forced to follow the creek down anyway.”
Ahmad on Cayoosh Mountain:
“The trail name means a horse and it is said that it is named after the tribe chief’s horse collapsed after passing through this area. Whether it is a legend or not, the trail is extremely hard on the knees. The majority of the trail is boulders. There is almost no flat section except the first ~3 km logging road.
Our hike took almost 12 hours in total and we couldn’t finish it. The majority of our approach to the peak was loose rocks. We were 6 in total and 4 changed their mind not to continue. The two of us took a slightly wrong approach close to the false summit and it was a dead end. I wasn’t able to find any way to get to the right way from where we were. There were exposed cliffs from both sides that we both didn’t feel comfortable to continue. We had to go down significantly to go to the right way. We didn’t have time for it. It was frustrating to go through all this without a result. So my suggestion is that you camp at the second, small lake and take your time on the next day. However, it is possible to be done in one day if you have good knees.
The views were great but for me I am done with this trail.”
Chris in the Marmot Gardens:
“Perhaps it was the late callout but I got no takers so it was just Cara and myself on this trip to a remote part of the Stein. The Blowdown Rd is easily 2wd-able until just after the 9 km mark. There’s a waterbar in the middle of the hill around 9.5 and a couple just before the 2wd parking area at 10.3km which shouldn’t be an issue for the average 2wd. The portion of the road up to the Blowdown Lake 4wd parking area seems to be in slightly worse shape than last year but we got my micro 4wd up it. From there to the pass is actually in better shape and it would be no problem to drive a 4wd up to the switchback 20 m short of the pass if you get up to the lake parking. The lupines are in full bloom around the lake and in Marmot Gardens. In the gardens, the mosquitoes were epic and the horseflies started showing up. We also saw a grizzly and, of course, numerous marmots.”