Macdonald Peak 02/08/09

Peter on Macdonald Peak:
“Irina, Evgeny, Henry, Laura, Jen, Nikita, Carolyne, Neil, Ben, Behrouz, Dan and I braved the heat, sun, bugs, stinging nettles, dead fall on the trail and various other challenges to accomplish a variety of personal goals. The removal of a bridge across the Chilliwack River at the original Radium Lake trailhead means we had to start 2 km upstream in the Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, and back track along the Centennial Trail to the junction with the trail. We set out at 10:20am, and set a good pace, climbing steadily to Radium Lake. After a feed and watering, we headed up the classic-looking col between Macdonald Peak and Mt. Webb. The trail from the parking lot to the col is well-marked, but because of recent dead fall in a lot of the upper sections, a little tricky to find and slow-going in some areas. There is a suspension bridge across Radium Creek for the first crossing: it needs repair so caution is in order. Close to the lake there is a beautiful undulating Hemlock forest to enjoy, and two patches of stinging nettles and bugs to hate. The last push up the col is steep with almost no shade: hot and brutal. From the col, most of us summited Macdonald Peak (Nikita and Jen fit in Mt. Webb as well!). The route to the Peak is sufficiently marked with cairns and tape. Scrambling is moderate, with some fun big boulders at the end. Huge granite slabs and excellent views on top. Fires on the forested mountain one valley over meant we had helicopters scooping up water from Radium Lake, landing at the col, and giving us a celebratory fly over when we were on the Peak. After a long and tiring descent, the main group got back to the parking lot at 9:30pm. Plan on 5-6 hours to the summit, and 4-5 hours down. Bring headlamps. A challenging and rewarding hike. Terrific group!”

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