Will B. on Skyline Ridge:
“Last Saturday, five of us hiked the Skyline Ridge trail from the Sea to Sky Gondola. Ninety minutes of hiking through the trees up an old logging road, then out into an old clearcut full of blueberry bushes at about 1200 metres. Through some beautiful old-growth forest, then out of the trees and up and down along a lovely alpine ridge towards the Copilot. We got back to the lodge at 6.20, for a little over 8 hours on the trail. Thanks to Andy for driving, and everyone for being awesome.”
Chris N. in Murrin Provincial Park:
“The Loop Trail leaves Browning Lake’s west side and heads up into the forest to ramble around many of the popular climbing routes. We followed it counter-clockwise though I don’t think it makes a difference. It’s marked with the standard orange metal squares (you will encounter may other faint access trails but most are unmarked). There is the occasional section of steep rock with fixed ropes but this is definitely a hiking route, not a climb. We decided to take a well-trod trail labelled “Jurassic Ridge” soon after the Quercus Viewpoint which featured more views and dropped us at the base of a wall. Going left 50 m returned us to the Loop Trail where we turned right and soon returned to the lake. Next, we crossed the road (best done at the entrance to the parking lot) and headed south past 2 rock walls to a faint trail about 15 m past the 2nd wall. Though faint, initially bushy and unyieldingly steep, it is well-flagged. This climbed to a gap in Riant Ridge called Quail’s Gate. We left the trail here to ramble south along the ridge for a bit. Returning to the trail, we descended very(!) steeply via an ancient rope into the Valley of the Shaddai. Here, the trail disappeared and we were left to our own devices in the narrow valley sandwiched between steep rock walls. We bushwhacked gradually northward up the valley until we intersected the Petgill Lake Trail and returned to Murrin.”
Chris N. at High Falls Creek:
“Last Saturday was a reminder that spring weather is changeable. What was initially forecasted to be sunny morphed into 40% chance of showers and was actually drizzle turning to steady rain. Parking at the trailhead is now a small pullout that would accommodate 4-5 vehicles. The trail itself is marked by an indecipherable sign nailed to a tree and starts as what looks like a very overgrown minor road and quickly becomes a trail. I would describe the trail as “scrambling light” as opposed to a hike with a fair number of scramble-y bits with a couple ropes and chains in the first half of the trail. It sticks very close to the precipitous creek gorge – perhaps not ideal for an acrophobe. At one point, we veered off on a minor route to the left which petered out and we bushwhacked 50 m back to the main trail. Higher up, there appears to be a fork at a fallen tree – the main trail goes right. If you follow sporadic flagging left, you will end up in 15 mins at a small recent clearcut. A 20-m bushwhack towards the creek takes you back to the main trail. This used to be the most beautiful part of the forested section of the trail but now the trail borders two clearcuts. We crossed two creeks – one in a mossy grove and another with some logs in it. The snow starts almost immediately after the second crossing and we made this our turn-around point as we were close to the trail end anyways.”
Chris N. on the Skyline Loop Trail:
“The Skyline Loop trail has been a spring classic for me for years. Some info on it can be found at https://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/levette-lake-loop/. I would suggest following the loop clockwise and, unless you are keen, leaving out the 45 minute road walk up to Levette Lake and back.
The road was a bit pothole-y but easily do-able in a low-slung Honda Civic. From the parking area (at the fork to Evans Lake camp), walk 200m up the road and turn left onto a wide path that skirts the camp property. A well-used trail from the camp soon joins in from the left and leads to a communal firepit and benches. Cross 2 bridges and immediately turn right. Later, when you emerge onto an old road with a sign, turn left. Two view-points and a lot of salal-wading later, you will come back to the main road. Turn right and walk a couple hundred metres until you see a pair of red flags and a footbridge on your left. This is the second half of the loop. After the junction to Copperbush Pond, you will come to another old road. Right returns to the cars but the side trail to Silver Summit is worth it. Turn left, cross the creek and then turn right after 20m. This climbs to the best view of the hike and a great place to relax in the afternoon sun for a while. Returning to the cars from here takes 10-15 mins. This trail doesn’t seem to get many visitors these days and there was some minor windfall.”
Chris N. at Brohm Lake:
“After years of driving by Brohn Lake without stopping in, myself and a group of Wanderungers explored some of the trails in the area. There are two parking areas – a small one south of the lake (but you can’t turn into it if you are coming from the south) and the main one beside the lake. There was too much snow in the main lot so we drove back to the south one. The trails are well marked and there are directional signs and maps at all junctions. We explored all of the trails to the south of the lake. Snow covered most trails and ranged from a couple inches to a foot in depth. The forest is typical of the dry bluffs of the Cheakamus canyon – pleasant, open forest with lots of salal. There are 2 picnic spots overlooking the Cheakamus flats on the Cheakamus Loop Trail. We had lunch near an old gazebo-style fire lookout at a highpoint just off the High Trail. We covered about 10 km in about 4.5 hours. Though we saw footprints on almost all the trails, we only saw 3 other people. This hike would probably be best on a warm early spring day after the snow has melted – perhaps plan a trip in April.”
Andy G. at Elfin Lakes:
“Well I wanted a smaller group to return to Elfin Lakes 12 years after my first Wanderung hike, and I got it! Louise, Susan, and Gloria decided to brave the so-so weather forecast, which changed at the last minute to give us mostly sunny skies for the day. Garibaldi gleamed white in its dusting of snow from the day before, and the lakes were often still enough to yield perfect mountain reflections. We enjoyed a sunny lunch at a picnic table by the cook shelter rather than eating on the tent pads (which the other groups seemed to think was OK – a good opportunity to discuss some Leave No Trace principles). The shelter was empty and every bunk now has a ‘reserved’ label on it.
The trail was quite busy – the parking lot was pretty full when we arrived – many of whom were backpackers on their way out. The hikers’ trail out of Red Heather meadows is being upgraded and is currently a bit of a sticky, slippery mud-fest. One of the backpackers on their way out slipped and ended up plastered from head to toe. We stayed on the main trail on our descent which meant keeping our eyes and ears open for mountain bikers (there were quite a few).
The meadows have plenty of great fall colour but precious few berries. Our only wildlife sightings were a falcon and a bald eagle – not even a whisky jack or chipmunk though we heard pikas among the rocks.
Another great day out and a great way to celebrate 12 years with Wanderung!”
Danica at Watersprite Lake:
“Cheryl, Susan, Xiru, and myself embarked on a journey to Watersprite Lake. Various trip reports stated that the logging road was okay for 2wd vehicles, but I’m not entirely convinced. Our driver thought it was one of the rougher logging roads she had taken her car up. We made it to around the 15-km mark before bailing, and hiked the final ~1.7 km to the trailhead. We took the old trail, as could not find detailed instructions about the new trail. The hike follows an old logging road, before turning off to a swamp. Unfortunately we got chatting too much and missed the well marked turnoff. A quick backtrack and we were on our way. We had read reports of a muddy trail, and even in late August this was true. Hopefully the new trail will avoid the mud. The lake is reached after ascending a final boulder field, and the views do not disappoint! We spent 2 hrs swimming and lounging (mostly the latter), before heading back. A total of ~19 km and ~9 hrs made for a long but very worthwhile day. A huge thank you to Cheryl for driving!”
Bob H. at Upper Shannon Falls:
“With a forecast all week for sun for Friday, expectations were high. A little concern about 5 mins from the parking lot, when it rained slightly, but the clouds parted and we were treated with lots of sun today.
Upper Shannon Falls is the 3rd highest waterfall in British Columbia and the hike to the top is well worth it. Today, our group of six parked in the Shannon Falls parking lot, but you can also park in the parking lot for the Sea to Sky Gondola, a short distance to the north. The initial part of the trail is shared with the trail for the Stawamus Chief hike. If you park in the Shannon Falls parking lot, you can see the bottom of the falls before your ascent. The trail is well maintained by BC Parks and there a few bridges to cross. Sections of the trail are steep, with some parts having nicely placed cobbles for steps. The trail was quite busy today and there were about 30 people at the top viewpoint.
The trail rises steeply and there are a couple of viewpoints before the top. There is also a section of the falls, where you can get very close. There is also a nice pool of water in the creek, where you could go in – in the summer, but I would imagine the water is very cold all year. At the top, you are rewarded with an amazing view of the end of Howe Sound, the Stawamus Chief and Squamish. The bluff at the top is a large area and accommodates several people.
Overall, the day turned out perfect and the group really enjoyed the hike.
Blog post here: http://www.buntzenlake.ca/upper-shannon-falls/
Full Flickr photo album of hike here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsktHWSzp“
Chris M. on Mt Mulligan:
“We chose Mt. Mulligan for a Remembrance Day walk in the fresh snow. We were able to drive up fairly high. The road we followed gradually grew in snow coverage and reached a foot deep by the bowl where the road ends. We observed a minute of silence here. Leaving the road, we went directly at the col between the two peaks of Mulligan (one of them is sometimes called Anif). It was enjoyable finding a way through the underbrush that wasn’t completely covered by the snow yet. Then we turned right and made our way up the south peak. Some of us used microspikes but no one used snowshoes. As we reached the summit the clouds pulled back a little to reveal most of the beautiful Sky Pilot Group. The return back down was very simple. Hiking time was 2.5 hours up and 1.5 hours down. A nice early dinner at Howe Sound Brew Pub suited the fun group of Amy, Anna, Nicole, Estafan, Tom & Danielle.”
Chris N. on Alpen Mountain:
“The road up Alpen was a good lesson in the need for good maps. I had always relied upon the excellent 1:20000 maps that iMapBC creates but it turns out that, for the Alpen region, they were missing some recent and important side roads. It was better to use satellite images from Google Earth which showed all the major forks. Armed with maps of several varieties and altimeters, we managed to push our convoy of AWDs and a 4wd to a major fork at 1350 m elevation (about 7.5 km up the Alpen spur). The waterbars in the last 1.5 km caused some scraping for the lower clearance vehicles. A good 2wd driver should be able to make it to about 6 km assuming decent traction. It was a mild bushwhack east and then south towards Alpen. The final push was up a steep slope from the west. From here, we stuck to the ridge running south towards Split. We sidehilled for a bit around Split before again heading straight up the western slopes to the lumpy summit. We didn’t find much in the way of vents mentioned by others but a northern vantage of the peak shows large broken pinnacles as if some giant had taken an axe to the summit. We followed our track back over Alpen to the cars. The whole hike had taken just over 5 hours.”