Monthly Archives: August 2008

Golden Ears 31/08/08

Astrid M. at Golden Ears:
“It took our group 7 hours to reach the small emergency shelter. Recent wet weather created several muddy patches and made the roots and rocks slippery. One bridge over a creek is broken and slanting down southwards (hold onto the north handrail). A good part of the lower trail is more a creek bed than a trail, meaning lots of loose rocks. After setting up our tents at around 5:30 pm we heard distant thunder. Three of us decided to try to summit before the storm moved in but got turned around by hail and lightning. Luckily the sky cleared and we were treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. The next morning we awoke in a cloud. We waited until 11 am to see if the sky would clear, but visibility stayed poor so that the summit was not possible. We returned to the parking lot in 6 hours back.”

sun set, Golden Ears

Stein Valley mini traverse 30/08/08

Merewyn in the Stein Valley:
“Pictographs, cable cars, unlogged old growth forests, a beautiful clear river – the Stein Valley has it all and more! Andy, Maria, Christian, and I spent a wonderful week traversing the Stein from Blowdown Pass to Lytton. The trip started out with intense snow flurries at Blowdown but once we got over the pass and down into the valley we had great weather. We saw no large wildlife but we did see lots of squirrels, mice, ant lions, lizards, and snakes. In fact, we saw as many snakes as we saw people – once we left the Pass, we only saw 8 other people and had every single campsite to ourselves. The section between Blowdown and the Stein is obviously very under-traveled as we saw no other hikers and counted 76 trees blocking the trail within an 8 km stretch. The main Stein trail was infinitely more maintained. An unforgettable area!”

Stein Valley - Thurs, 04.Sep [Day 6]

Joffre Lakes 30/08/08

Anne at Joffre Lakes:
“Three of us took off on the Labour Day weekend for an overnighter trip to Joffre Lakes. The last part of the drive from Pemberton to Joffre Lakes Park was quite painful because we had 3 (!) RVs in front of us – so it seemed to take forever to get to the parking at the trail head. Once we started hiking we were accompanied by light rain most of the time; but it wasn’t too bad because the sun was poking through at the same time. At the second lake we had a pretty dramatic encounter: Kim got attacked by a Whisky Jack and had to give up an entire chocolate bar to the vicious bird! We still made it in pretty good time up to the Upper Lake and arrived early enough to find great camping spots right on the water. By the end of the day almost all camping spots were taken – it sure is a popular destination for a weekend. We had all sort of weather; sunshine, rain and hail. Unfortunately there was not much of evening entertainment possible because it just kept raining and hailing in the evening and it was REALLY cold. (Lesson learned: do not forget your toque!) The next day we woke up to great sunshine, after breakfast we set out to explore the glacier – well, actually we only wanted to walk up a bit on the ridge but somehow ended up right at the glacier. The cracking noise of the glacier and the terrain was a bit intimidating, but we got some great views. During the day the clouds moved in and out, on our way down back to the car we had some more rain. The trail was by then really muddy, so gaiters sure came in handy. Once we got back into the car and started driving back towards Pemberton we encountered a bear right on the street. We finished off a great weekend with a steak in Whistler before heading back to Vancouver.”


Athelney Pass 30/08/08

Chris at Athelney Pass/Salal Creek:
“Attrition due to injuries and work commitments whittled our group down to just 2 but off we went anyway. The Lillooet River FSR is in good 2wd condition all the way to the Salal Creek Road. A creek was flowing over the road at 45.5 km which is probably doable by a confident driver in a 2wd with average clearance but depends on the time of year (earlier = higher water level). The hill beyond had a bumpy bit at the start but was good after that. At the top of the hill is the unmarked Salal Creek Road on the right (47.8 km). Most of the traffic on this road takes a right fork at 1.1 km to go to a mine – the route to the trail is straight over a shallow berm (may require high clearance). Two-wheel-drive traffic will be halted by the heavy rutting caused by water runoff at 1.3 km. We turn left at 5.3 km (straight leads to a new cut) and arrived at the trailhead at 6.0 km. The trail started at the far (north) end of the cut and is flagged by orange and pink flags (some initial confusion due to 2 parallel sets of flagging 10m apart – the best set is the uphill ones). A distinct footpath is rare but the flagging was good even in dense slide paths. Half an hour later we emerged on the gravel flats next to the creek. Whenever the creek hugged the east bank, flags led up into the forest to bypass the section (keep an eye peeled for them). There was one unflagged section of alder travel (100 m but felt much longer). Nearing the glaciers and after the recent rockslide, a faint footpath appeared close to the creek but disappeared after the first side-creek crossing. The 2 creek crossings are unbridged but we rock-hopped over them after scouting for a good crossing point. After that, the route traveled along a glacial moraine until it got too eroded and knife-edgy and we were forced down to the creek again. Much rock travel took us to the volcanic flats from where it was less than an hour to the collapsed cabin at the pass. Over the next couple days, it snowed, our boots froze solid, we visited ice caves at the toe of Athelstan Glacier, travelled down the boggy McPharlon Creek and climbed the Elephant.”

High Falls Creek 30/08/08

Pablo at High Falls Creek:
“First attempt Sea to Sky was closed. Second attempt nobody signed up. Third attempt six of us, following the instructions, we tried again. After the bridge at the power plant we founded a trail with the orange tape that matched the description. We started hiking up what seemed a trail for about 400 m waiting to find a chain after 30 min. We ended up scrambling on animal trails so we took a group decision to go down. We reached the cars around 2 pm and we had lunch. After that we decided to go further on the road and found the real trail. So it’s the second bridge after the power plant, not the first one. Fourth attempt. We decided to try again, the hike was as described in the book, steep, chains, close to the ridge, hard, but compared to our first attempt it seemed easy. We couldn’t find the logging road to go down, so at 5 pm we decided to go back from were we came up.”

Squamish River Valley

Rainbow Lake 30/08/08

Carollyne at Rainbow Lake:
“Seven of us enjoyed each others company on the hike to Rainbow Lake. The trail is in great shape, with the exception of a few mud holes – one large enough to nearly swallow one of our hikers, and after 2 p.m. we had the trail to ourselves. The trail crosses creeks several times with well-constructed bridges, gives views of waterfalls and mountains along the way, and becomes a boardwalk going through meadows – no longer in bloom, but beautiful anyway. When we arrived at the lake for lunch, it was a bit cold, breezy and overcast, but thanks to Donna’s suggestion, we had a further goal – to try to find a trail branch with a glacier viewpoint. We weren’t sure whether to aim for Hanging Lake or Rainbow Mtn, but after looking at the map and Erez’s GPS, we decided to head for Rainbow Mtn, at least until we ran out of time. We never saw a glacier, but the boulder-strewn mountain/meadow vistas were by far the best part of the hike for those who had the energy to get there. This area is worth at least an overnighter to enjoy, and we were very sad to leave. A 5-minute hailstorm once we were in our cars and great burgers in Whistler were some consolation.”

Rainbow Lake Group

Phyllis Creek 30/08/08

Steve at Phyllis Creek:
“No bugs, no bears, no real reason to go back to this one. There were 3 highlights to this trip: the people, the after-hike dinner at Pondok, … and putting the checkmark in my book. Most of the time on this hike was spent wondering if we were on the real trail. Following orange tape can be problematic when at the highway there were 3 spots marked with orange tape. Most of this trip was a logging road, and the true low light was the slippery log section through prickle bushes (though it did explain why Brian Grover quoted such a long hike time). I wouldn’t recommend this especially because though it ends a 2 little lakes, we couldn’t find a way to get near them and no beach was evident at all (we ate lunch looking down over them). Did I mention the powerlines?”

Thimble berry

Hayward Lake 24/08/08

Anne at Hayward Lake:
“Four of us met on an already rainy Sunday morning in Vancouver. We decided that driving all the way to Chilliwack just to find the same rainy conditions there wasn’t probably worth the effort – so we followed Dave’s suggestions to go to Hayward Lake Reservoir in Mission. It’s a 16km hike around the reservoir, half of it gently rolls up and down through the forest; the other half is a flat open railway trail. The trail also passes by the dam, Dave pointed out that sometimes they offer tours there. We actually managed to start with no rain – unfortunately it did not last for long. The rain set in pretty soon and once we left the the forest covered part of the trail we got soaked pretty quickly; at this point it had turned into pouring rain… By the time we got back to the car, it was with and without GoreTex just dripping down on us… Nevertheless we all got a good workout and fresh air (and the proof that we are waterproof hikers!)”

BCMC Trail 23/08/08

Michelle on the BCMC/Larsen trail:
“What a zooo! Grouse was pretty much the busiest any of us had seen. The parking issues a number of us encountered should have given us a hint at the line up we would have to face for the tram down. A few opted to endure pounding the Grind down in reverse rather than standing there helpless in the mile long line. And one actually beat us down! Thankfully the trail itself was quiet and peaceful.”

Tricouni Peak 23/08/08

Ahmad on Tricouni Peak:
“Perhaps the hardest part of the hike is the 10-11 km logging road to the trail head. It is a rough road and there is a little chance that a small car can reach 8 km as it is described in 103 Hikes book. In our experience, a small car could hardly reach even 2.5 km. Fortunately, the other driver had a Jeep and the seven of us jammed inside it with his two dogs. The dogs seemed very amused how jammed we were. Perhaps they liked our camaraderie spirits. There are several turns on the way and I found the instructions of the 103 Hikes confusing. We then found out by trial and error that the road marked with ribbons is the main and the right road. The trail starts with muddy sections, which continues for next 3 km. Gaiters are a must and poles will help too to check out the best spot before you land on it. Heading to the peak requires some scrambling but I didn’t find it too technical or exposed. Perhaps we followed the easiest way up. The peak requires more scrambling but I didn’t find it hard and all of us summited. There are lots of lose rocks and I recommend helmets. We didn’t have many views because of the cloudy weather. We met few groups. One of them climbed up from Roe Creek on a demanding route. Our whole trip took 8 hours. Special thanks for our drivers Andrew and Eric. Thanks for Irina for her tips on the trail.”

Tricouni Peak 198