Steve on the Helm Creek cross-over:
“This was a manly trip. Five rugged men (Ben, Greg, John, Steve and Cam) with full packs dumped a car at Rubble Creek and then entered Garibaldi Park from the Cheakamus River end. We took snowshoes not being sure exactly what kind of conditions we’d be facing. We did really well on the ascent and as we lunched at the Helm Creek campsite we realized we were ahead of schedule and could afford to hike further before camping. There, as the sun beat down on us, I was convinced we wouldn’t need the snowshoes… but I was wrong. Another 200 m of gain and we hit the Cinder Flats completely covered by powdery snow. It was beautiful, and warm, ideal snowshoe conditions. We decided to go up Cinder Cone and take a look, the views of Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge etc. were great from there. Though we had prepared for “chilly” camping, some of us may have been a little under-prepared for a -15 C night on snow (at least I was). My feet have only just thawed as I type this. The exit via Garibaldi Lake (still snow free) was quite scenic as many of the leaves had turned. The Whisky Jacks were in full force and the photo weather of the lake itself as nice as I’ve ever seen it. A big thanks to Cam who shared his Winter camping tips with us!
For anyone planing a trip next weekend into Garibaldi, I’d say your window is closing. Any crossing like we did will be a winter trip for sure. Skis or snowshoes mandatory. And if you are planning going to the lake, I suspect ice and snow are coming soon.”
Irina on Yak Peak:
“The forecast looked quite discouraging for the weekend, but hoping for the famed “Coquihalla high pressure vortex”, Evgeny did a Wanderung callout. Joined by myself and one other brave soul, off we went into the never ending drizzle.
It was chilly above the tree line where we were greeted by falling snow. Better than rain, but our gloves were soaking wet and hands – freezing! September: time to start carrying ski gloves…
With visibility on the poorer side, we poked around looking for ways on or around the snow fields, eventually reaching the summit. No surprise that we no longer felt inclined to continue along the ridge to Nak, let alone Thar. For one, we couldn’t see either; for the other, the perspective of a wet snowy bushwhack down did not appeal. A unanimous decision was to postpone lunch until back in the warmth of the vehicle. So we hurried down to below the snow line, but not before adding more layers and taking a few summit pictures!
Driving through Chilliwack around 2:15pm, we encountered bright sunny skies. Wrong time, wrong place for a hiking choice this weekend :(. Yak is a very pleasant short scramble though! See Irina’s report and pictures on Livetrails.”
Chris M. on Tricouni Peak
“Six of us went up to Tricouni Peak. The final part of the road was rough on our two 4wds. Trail was certainly muddy to start but we were soon on snow from before the first lake. All us of then went fairly straight up the somewhat steep snow slopes. Erica, Ian & his dog waited near the sub-summit while the four of us – Glenn, Brad, Scott and myself – went up on the top. Bluebird day. The much-sliding down might have been the highlight!”
Pablo unwilling to let go of winter at Elfin Lakes:
“My goal for this trip was to build a snowman, so 4 of us headed to elfin lakes to build it. As I posted in the call out, there is a lot of snow on the trail. Snow starts where the hike and bike trials merge, about 1 km passing the campground. We did many parts of the trial leaving a distance of 10-20 m between each other, just in case. We saw a lot of people turning around because they didn’t have proper shoes. This part of the park is where the bears are, we didn’t meet any but we saw lots of traces of them (with bells and smell like pepper spray) in the lower parts. As usual, we ended this hike having dinner in Squamish.”
Chris M. on Brandywine Mountain:
“The 4×4 access road was snow free, unlike the top part of the trail. Glad to have bypassed it. We followed the last branch and quickly entered the meadows. Except for the creek, it is still covered in snow. A collaborative effort in route-finding got us up to the ridge where we set up camp. A site meant for the gods – the views in all directions were fantastic, especially since we seemed to be in a pocket of blue sky. We camped on snow, but rock outcroppings provided a nice place to relax and eat. We went for the peak in the morning with 3 of us reaching the 2213-m summit. Fairly easy scrambling involved. Easy descent and nice drive back to Vancouver by 3 pm. Thanks to Erin, Dorothy and Stacey for making this an excellent experience.”
Ahmad on Mt Grant:
“No one signed up. Nevertheless I gave it a humble try. The snow conditions didn’t look good and deteriorated quickly with the day heat. The terrain looked untamed – some ribbons but no trail. It looked too rough. I turned back on my first hard step so I cannot comment on how difficult actually it would have been. I believed it would have been some painful postholing. However, the trail to Eaton Lake was in good condition except the bridges. There were 3 broken bridges out of 4. It adds some difficulty. I also saw a couple with a dog, who refused to cross the last broken bridge. The lake was still covered by a crust of ice. There was some snow on the last 70 m of elevation. I should also say that I liked Eaton Trail. It is a forest hike but a nice one.”
Paula at Lindeman and Greendrop Lakes:
“There is now a road sign on Chilliwack Lake Road to indicate the location of the trail. The first part of the trail is well marked and we found the steady climb to Lindeman Lake relatively easy, after enjoying a snack and photographing the extraordinary colour of the lake we continued on the trail to Greendrop. We encountered some snow and ice patches making the rock slides more treacherous to cross. About 40 mins from Greendrop, deep in the valley, we found ourselves in deep snow. All the group had worn waterproof hiking boots so we decided to proceed to Greendrop. It was quite a challenge to cross the fast flowing creeks, with snow bridges melting fast – a few ended up with feet plunged into the creek (right through the snow bridge) and another group member took a cold bath! We soldiered on to Greendrop which was half frozen and covered in snow too. Finding a small patch of sun we enjoyed lunch and a few attempted to dry out boots/socks a bit. We encountered a lot of rubbish left by campers, including empty drink cans. Walt in our group decided to collect up the cans to carry out of there and was rewarded with a full can of Heineken – nicely chilled too! We proceeded back cautiously over the snow and creeks and enjoyed getting back to Lindeman and the warm sun. Having worked up an appetite we stopped at Jacksons Steak & Grill in Chilliwack and all enjoyed an excellent meal. I would expect that it would be very difficult to reach Greendrop until the snow is completely melted, we were lucky that it was still relatively firm and we could walk across the top of it in most places but it was disintegrating rapidly.”
Erez on Eagle Peak:
“Sadra, Lucy, Dan and I hiked to Eagle peak on a nice sunny Sunday. On the way to the the peak we climbed near Swan falls which unfortunately lacked a good point from which to seem them entirely. The trail was well marked and pretty easy to follow except near the very top where the markers where buried in the snow. At that stage, the peak was visible, though, and we also had some footprints to follow. There was less snow than expected: snow patches started around 800m, and completely covered the ground at ~950m. There was a short section which was a steep and a little icy and required careful attention not to slip. Near the top, the terrain levelled and the snow was deep and soft. Only one of us used snowshoes and mini-crampons. It took as about 5 hours to reach Eagle peak and, a little further on, Triangulation point at 1250 m. We had good views of the surrounding peaks, Indian arm, and Coquitlam Lake and some very nice sun at the top. After seeing that the ridge trail to Lindsay Lake was completely buried in snow and no markers were to be seen, we decided to return the way we came. We just barely made it out of the park before the gate closes at 20:00. All in all, a great hike with great company.”
Chris on Alpen Mountain:
“Cara, Darcy, Dean, Mathieu, Roberto, Siegfried and Tania joined me in a search for the Hidden Valley Cabin on Alpen Mountain just east of Squamish. The Mamquam River Main (not the same road as the Mamquam Road that accesses the Elfin Lakes trail – this one is unsigned and just after the parking for the Chief) seems to see a fair amount of local traffic and was drivable to the Alpen Rd. The gate here was open so we drove in and parked just short of the first waterbar (200–300 metres up). Despite ferocious winds on the 99 and in Squamish, we encountered only light breezes even in exposed areas. But temperatures averaged around -10 C. We followed the main road but made a wrong turn about half way up (there are a lot of spurs) which lead us to a dead-end. After an attempt to cross-country to the main road, we gave up and back-tracked to the main road. Part of our party headed higher but still didn’t reach the cabin (locals said that it would have taken 4 – 4.5 hrs from the bottom). The snow varied from a couple inches at the cars to 2 feet of weightless powder around 1200 m.”