Chris N. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Both the 250 and 257 buses will take you close to the Baden Powell trailhead near Horseshoe Bay. The 250 will get you closer but is slower and the route is windy (not good if you get car-sick easily). The 257 drops you at the ferry. From here, walk towards the long-term parking lot and follow the sidewalk around to the right. This turns into a trail which takes you to an overpass. Cross over and walk 200 m south to the trailhead. With a fast group of hikers, we made it to the Donut Rock fork in an hour. This trail isn’t as clear as the main one but the only tricky spot is crossing Nelson Creek before the serious climbing starts. Stay low and look for the trail heading straight up after the second branch of the stream. The trail is well marked from here and steep. We encountered snow patches at 920 m and continuous snow at 980 m. The snow was reasonably firm and neither snowshoes or microspikes were needed. Donut Rock was reached in 2.5 hours from the trailhead. From here, we continued up to reach the junction with the main trail and headed south to Eagle Bluffs (much better views than Donut Rock). There’s no snow from the bluffs all the way down the main trail. Flagging on the boulder field was patchy – just head straight down. Return time to the ferry was under 7 hours including 2 hours of lounging at viewpoints.”
Colleen C. at Eagle Bluffs:
“Glorious day to be on a mountain – spring is certainly upon us!
The air was cool through the forest on the way up, keeping the sweat at bay, but was balmy on top. No biting bugs out yet so we basked comfortably in the sun enjoying the views of the tankers, islands, ferries, and several eagles & ravens gliding in the thermals. Lots of grouse are out, and we saw a snail!
There were only tiny patches of snow in a few sheltered spots at the bluffs (just enough for snowballs but you had to work at it). We met one person who had come from the Cypress side, she reported little snow and just wore boots. That said, there are recent reports of heavy snow on other North Shore peaks, so do your best to get current info and be prepared. Spring can be capricious!
This was my first time doing this hike by transit and it worked out well. Take the 250 or 257 to the overpass just before descending into Horseshoe Bay. From there it’s a careful crossing of Horseshoe Bay Dr and short walk back to the Black Mountain trailhead.”
Chris N. exploring the lower Mt Fromme trail network:
“The trail system on Fromme is a true rabbit warren. Even with 2 sets of detailed maps, it often took time to figure out where we were. Besides named trails, there are many minor trails. Signs are infrequent and only on the Baden Powell and Mountain Highway. We started at an unsigned trailhead beneath the power lines at Braemar Road. If you are driving, there is good street parking on the north side of the road here. Otherwise, the 230 bus travels this road. We hiked up Dreamweaver almost as far as the crossing over Mosquito Creek. We then backtracked a bit to Peer Gynt (unsigned) and climbed to the Mountain Highway which we hiked down until we got to Pink Starfish. This is a double-black bike trail but it doesn’t seem to get much traffic these days. We actually lost the trail about halfway down and followed a minor trail down to an old skid road. Going east on the road for a bit, we found Pink Starfish again. We continued east as far as Espresso which we followed to St Mary’s trail. Back along St Mary’s to Boundary and this we followed until we came out at our trailhead again. We found two old cabins on our explorations but both are in the last stages of collapse.”
Paula L. circumnavigating Killarney Lake:
“After a week of rain it was great to escape the snowshoeing crowds on the local mountains and opt for a low level hike. Picturesque views, a little muddy but overall a well drained trail that was not over populated and allowed us to enjoy the bird calls and fresh forest fragrance of cedar, cypress, hemlock and ferns. Great interaction along the trail with our group of 4 hikers sharing legends and knowledge of the local area and flora. Thanks to Chris, Leane and Renate for contributing to a great day out and it was nice to be able to have a civilized departure time of 11 am on a Sunday, returning on the 3 pm ferry.”
Heather on Mt Gardner:
“Nine of us ventured over to Bowen Island climb Mt. Gardner on a gloriously sunny, clear day. We picked a slightly longer route – taking the trails through Crippen Regional Park from the ferry to the trailhead. We did a circular route, on the way up we branched off the main trail to circle around the east & north side of Mt. Gardner, then came back down past the south summit back to the main trail. There are some nice views to the North from a few bluffs, and then a steep section to climb up to the North Summit. We passed a few tiny patches of snow, but almost all trails are now clear. All trails on this hike tend to be confusing, but the group managed to follow this route by combining people’s experience from previous hikes, a trail description from 103 Hikes, and a little back-tracking! The views from the top were beautiful, even though you have to circle around a bunch of radio towers and other structures – and the helicopter landing pads are great for stretching out and soaking up the sun! It was definitely busy up there – probably 40 hikers enjoying this classic early season hike. As always, this hike was also fun for the great company – from a number of first-time Wanderungers, to our ultra-marathon runner just back from Antarctica, we always had some interesting conversation going on!”
Paul T. on Mt Gardner:
“There is still over a foot of snow at the North Summit of Mount Gardner (the summit with the microwave towers and the view). The group took the north approach to this summit, the Skid Trail, which has some patchy snow still but none of us felt the need to strap on extra traction in the way of Yaktraks or crampons to deal with it. There is a lot of blow-down between the South and North summits and spotting the trail markers can be tricky. Signage also is confusing. While there are a couple of new, large wooden signs for the South Summit (the highest point on the island but viewless because forested), the only sign indicating the North Summit is small, and the handwritten label so faded that it’s almost illegible. We returned by trail that leads from the North Summit down the south side of the mountain. There is more snow on this side, and the going a bit tricky, but extra traction is not required. Lots of blow-down here as well and easy to lose the trail. We took over an hour out for breaks and the round trip (ferry terminal and back) ended up taking 6 1/2 hours.”
Steve on Gambier Island:
“5 hikers, 2 ferries, great weather, but too much snow.
Who would have thought that hiking the pass between West Gambier’s two mountains would be so snow laden? I had called a local logger to get a feel for the conditions and felt it was maybe a foot deep at worst, but clearly had only gone ¾ of the way. At the ¾ mark the snow started to get very deep and once we hit the highest point (500 m) and started heading down to the lake the trail turned into a raging riverbed (which resulted in many super-soakers), covered with windfall and surrounded by massive snow banks. We climbed, slid, crawled and slipped, but our progress was slowed such that it wasn’t an option to continue, but since I’ve found we might have been within 1 km of the lake, but that would not have been a fun 1 km.
Regardless, this place has serious potential! Three hikes in one area, and I suspect when the snow clears that Gambier Lake will be much faster that the estimated 6 hours, especially for fit hikers (it’s not challenging, just long). Better yet, I suspect the snow was worse in the pass than on the peak trails. Mt. Killam looks like a must do, and should be open soon and was recently laid out in 103 Hikes 6th ed.”
Merewyn at Killarney Lake and Dorman Point:
“Another great Bowen outing! We ended up a boisterous group of 13 (I know, big group but since I got so much response and it’s an easy transit hike I decided to extend the number just a little). We all had a great time exploring the leaf-covered trails on Bowen (they were damp but not very wet or muddy though some of the boardwalks were a bit slick) and then chatting it up over drinks and a late lunch (early dinner?) at the pub post-hike. The weather was a bit grey and foggy but to my surprise, there was no rain (it always rains when I do this hike!) and we did get some views from Dorman Point. Great company, great fun!”
Merewyn in Lynn Canyon and down by the Seymour River:
“Well, the forecast for this day was a little off. We got sprinkled on a little on the trail but we also got a period of cloudy sunshine as well. The group had a very pleasant time exploring the Lynn Canyon and Seymour Demonstration areas. We all had a bit of a scare watching from a bridge above the canyon as a kayaker got caught on some rocks, struggled to regain control, submerged himself face-first in the water, and finally had to roll out of his boat and swim down through the rough patch to re-join his boat and his friends at the other end. But he got through okay and so we continued on our loop back to the suspension bridge where we had started.”