Pooya attempting Mt Elsay:
“We started the early hike from Mount Seymour’s parking lot with some light rain and fog. After ascending for half an hour, we found the trail fully covered by snow, and poor visibility made it harder to follow trail markers. While we weren’t prepared for the mid-July snow cover of up to 1 metre at points, our trekking poles helped us avoid serious injury besides a couple of slide-and-scratches.
Even though the plan was to summit Mount Elsay, we decided to turn around at Mount Seymour and not risk injury or getting lost. Let this cautionary tale remind everyone that we’ve had a tough winter and the trail conditions are still spring-like at high altitudes.”
Chris N. on Mt Seymour:
“Snow was somewhat wet and heavy almost all the way to the first peak. If you stuck to the trail, snowshoes were probably not needed (but you would posthole off trail). Given the amount of snow lower down, I had expected more higher up but it may have been due to wind scour. Around the peak, there was a stiff wind crust and small pockets of wind-deposited powder. Many trees were bending under a load of crusty, icy snow and snowbombs were frequent (and dangerous as they were large and icy). Surprisingly, trail traffic was relatively light for a snowy weekend. Temperatures were warm with a slight inversion – slightly above freezing at the peak and warmer than the city at the parking lot. Visibility was outstanding but flurries moved in while we were on the peak. This became rain as we descended below Brockton Point.”
Rob M. at Elsay Lake:
“Last report was 8 years ago by Tim G. By golly, it’s in our backyard, and backyard is where I dialled this – leaving behind my sleeping bag mattress, bug net, camp stove and tent.
Michael proved that you can purchase carefully vetted, off-brand items online that are quite good. His ultralite 8 peg, single pole, low profile wedge tent with interior bug net and floor was impressive. I went with 8×10 SilTarp and light GoreTex bivy. Tamara was sporting MEC’s first ultralite 2 person tent, the Spark 2, weighing in at about 1.5 kg. Its brilliant colours and transparency effectively make it a night lantern.
The lake hike begins with the ease and familiarity of a hike to Brockton Point on Mount Seymour. Just before the ascent to Pump Peak, the trail suddenly digresses east towards Theta Lake. This is the beginning of a rad series of changing micro terrain. The first half follows a cirque-like feature below Runner Peak – a steep 300-m descent through boulder fields, rockfall and a narrow rock-filled gully. The second half is a more genial 300-m descent some of which is through beautiful arboreal forest some of which reminded me of Miyazaki’s anime forest scenes.
BC Parks has a well maintained hut on the north east shore of the lake. It sleeps about 9 in its loft, is surrounded by well established tenting spots and is out of reach of the shadow cast by Mount Elsay towering 600 m above the lake. The shallow lake itself is stocked with fish and was warm the day we were there.
An awesome and challenging place for chillin’ and fishin’.”