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.”
Colleen C. at Harrison Hut/Meager Hot Springs:
“Thanks to our two capable 4WD drivers we made it all the way to the trailhead. There is active logging in this area and the road was being improved in preparation of more. I always feel torn by this. On the one hand it can be hard to see the results of that industry, but on the other hand I use paper products and without these roads I wouldn’t be able to access the mountains that I love to be in.
We made it up to the hut the first day (which we had all to ourselves!) but it was a long slog and just the first of three long days. We went in and out of snow the whole way up. Three made it to the hut without using snowshoes, but two of us put them on after the Barr Creek crossing. The snow will be gone soon which will likely make the crossings more challenging.
The next day we split into two groups. Three summitted Frozen Boot Peak, a steep hike up then a reportedly enjoyable ridgewalk. Fred and I made a loop up to Two Doctors Peak / Mt Andropov with a side goal of seeing the Meager Obelisk. We found it as we were coming down from the summit, tucked in a small cirque. We admired it from the top of the cliffs, then continued over to the col by Pine Peak and back down to the hut. Sometime while we were gone, a bear walked over our tracks near the hut, but we didn’t see one then.
Each group had a walkie talkie so we were able to communicate throughout the day, still we were pleased that everyone got back by the appointed time. We packed up and headed down to the hot springs, getting there just after dark. The hot springs are lovely but popular, at least 30 people were already there. If you choose to visit this site, please not only practice leave no trace but also do your part to maintain the pools – there is no one else to do it for you!
The last day, we hiked out and started the long drive back to Vancouver. A black bear was seen from the trail and another on the logging road driving out. Plus we saw many frogs!
Huge thanks to the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC). We all paid the hut fee and didn’t use any wood, but that feels insufficient compared to the work involved in maintaining an outhouse, hut and trail. A particular thanks to one of our group who has helped out with one of the work parties. Whenever you clamber over a log with a chainsaw cut in it to make it easier and guide your steps, you’ll appreciate his handiwork!”
Bob H. on Locomotive Mountain:
“Back to the Pemberton area again today for another hike in the mountains. Semaphore Lakes is known for its great camping, as it’s a relatively short hike and there are many many spots to pitch a tent. But today, we did a day trip, leaving North Vancouver at 7:30 and making it to the trailhead at 10:45. The worst part of the drive is the last 17 km on the Lillooet FSR and the Hurley River FSR, which are gravel and full of bumps, potholes and rocks. Anyways, we made it to the trailhead in my 2wd Mazda 3. It was a bit nippy today, but the jacket was stripped off about 20 mins into the hike. The trail was very muddy, probably due to last week’s rain. It took us about one hour to make it to the start of the campsite area, 3 km from the start. We headed towards Locomotive Mountain, where 2 members of our group went on to the summit and 2 members explored the valley.
More info, stats and photos here: www.buntzenlake.ca/semaphore-lakes/“
David P. on Mt Currie:
“Participants: Doug I., Lisa S., Ingrid L., Sandra G., & myself
Driving Times & Distances: 2:45 hours from Park Royal South to Trailhead, with short driving break at Nestor’s Mall in Whistler. From Whistler, travel north on Hwy 99. Set odometer to zero @ Emerald Drive. Drive 14.7 km north, then turning right @ Pemberton Speedway (note no signs for the speedway). From the turn off backtrack southwardly direction on dirt roads for ~2.5 km to Green River Bridge, passing by the Pemberton Speedway oval along the way. The Forest Service Road (FSR) starts to climb to the left (northward). Continue ~ 1 km until spotting some old skis nailed to a sign-post. Trail begins here.
Hiking Times & Distances: It took us 3 hours hiking up to the Pemberton Overlook, keeping a good pace. The return was 2.5 hours down keeping good pace too. This well graded & laid out trail is thanks to the efforts of the Pemberton Valley Trails Association, in 2013. Grades are steady, climbing ~1100 metres from the valley to the Overlook, with several fine view points also along the way. We all enjoyed the newness of the trail with its abundance of organic material covering the roots and rocks. A pleasant contrast to the over-trodden & well rain-sluiced trails like the current BCMC Trail on Grouse. However, the slope is dry and made for some dusty conditions. Options for drinking water are limited, with only one clear creek 1/2 hour from the trailhead. The hiking time & distance to the peak of Mt. Currie would about twice that of getting to the Overlook.
There are two peaks to Mt. Currie. The first peak (lower) is easily visible from the Overlook. The main peak of Mt. Currie, itself, can be described as “ipsoot”, or occluded from the Overlook. “Ipsoot” is Chinook Jargon for “occluded or hidden”. Oddly, there are fine views to be had of Ipsoot Mountain and Glacier across the Green River Valley.
There was a slight delay near the trailhead as there was an active helicopter logging show. Quick turn-around times allowed us to see numerous logs slewed, dropped and stacked. The loggers were very nice and let us through when the ‘copter went to re-fuel. However there was no escaping the continuous sound of the “plop, plop, plop” of the Sikorsky’s rotors, for most of the day!
Photos on Dropbox from Sandra and Lisa”
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!”
Chris M. at Semaphore Lakes:
“Six of us in 2 cars went up the newly opened Hurley FSR to Semaphore Lakes for the weekend. The trail in took a little over an hour and had patchy snow sections. We found a nice rocky plateau to set up camp on and then we all headed up towards Locomotive Mountain. Except for the final ridge the entire hike up was still on snow. Ino, Colleen, (another) Chris & myself went the easiest route possible while Cara and Mark tried out a more direct line. There were plenty of fun slides on the way back down. That evening, we enjoyed a variety of beverages while waiting for the stars to appear. The next day, 3 of our group made it to the summit of Face Mountain. Two of us went part way and then returned to camp and relaxed with our 6th member. The hike out was easy.”
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.”