Monthly Archives: September 2008

Hurley Silver Mine (Blackwater Trail) 13/09/08

Chris in search of the Blackwater Trail:
“Another small group with Cara and Lucy joining me on an exploration of the ridges to the east of Common Johnny Creek in the Cayoosh. Parking was on the north side of the Duffey Lake Road at a gravel pullout just past the Blowdown road. Cayoosh Creek is crossed by a footbridge (with various obstacles designed to stop motorized access). Just over the bridge, a right fork leads to a First Nations protest camp (and, as far as I know, the start of the new WCWC trail up Melvin Creek). We turned left and took the uphill option at all forks beyond that. After the first switchback, there is the remains of a burned bridge but the creek crossing is pretty easy. We reached the site of the old winter cabin (also burned but the outhouse is in great condition) in the alpine bowl in 2 hours – all travel to this point on roads. Here we climbed up a steep(!) meadowed gully on the north side of the valley to reach our camping spot near a small lake (another 35 mins). From here, it was 15 mins to the ridge of the Common Johnny Creek and views in all directions (including to peaks near the Stein and Garibaldi and to Whitecap and further peaks in the Bendor). We spent a good portion of Saturday and Sunday travelling the ridge from a point above Duffey Lake to overlooking Barkley Valley. Walking was easy except for one step that would require confident scrambling skills for 10-15m on crappy rock. The meadows to the east of the ridge also provided easy travel and probably a few good camping spots. All the meadows were a light golden and the blueberries bushes provided patches of red and orange. Only Mountain Monkey Flower and some sheltered Paintbrush were still in bloom. Lower down, the raspberries and thimble berries were ripe. Unfortunately, the Blackwater Trail eluded us. Given the steepness of the meadows in Common Johnny, it’s possible that the trail didn’t cross over our ridge but somewhere else; or was in a completely different valley.”

Mt Laughington 13/09/08

Susie D. on Mt Laughington:
“This hike has been on my “want to do” list for a long time, but for years access was blocked by a gate. Now the gate stands invitingly open, and we could check it out. Access is by a 4×4 logging road off Chilliwack Lake Road. The road is in good shape, but anyone thinking of doing this hike should be aware that the directions in 103 Hikes are not reliable. Check out the Club Tread trail wiki instead.

What a gem this trail turned out to be! It starts through an alder tunnel, then after a short way on a logging road it’s into the bush on a sometimes hard to find trail. However it’s well flagged, and we didn’t have problems. Soon you’re up on a rocky knoll, with unbelievable views over the Lucky 4 Group, Williams Peak, Slesse, and many other peaks. The trail meanders up and along a ridge, sometimes traversing side slopes, sometimes going up and down and then up and down and then repeating. Some lovely little meadows, and all the way VIEWS! VIEWS! VIEWS! The lunch bump provides an interesting view of Cheam and the Lady – you can clearly see the Cheam trail.

This was a fantastic hike, not difficult, tons of blueberries and did I mention views? Fall colours are just starting. Thanks to John, Susanne and Elodie for treating me gently on my first callout!”

BCMC Trail 07/09/08

Dory on the BCMC trail:
“The well maintained BCMC trail supplied our group with some great exercise and fun. It took us roughly 90 minutes to reach the top as this time around it was more crowded than usual due to the phenomenal weather. Once on top we spent some time watching the Grizzly Bears and then took the Skyride down. It is important to note the efficiency and time accuracy of public transport, I was impressed. And as promised – thank you Megan!”

Brew Lake 07/09/08

Heather at Brew Lake:
“Heather, Bob, Seigfried, Phil, Robin, Ming and John took advantage of a beautiful day to hike to Brew Lake on Sept. 7th. I had not done this trip in fifteen years, and didn’t realize that it’s been taken out of the new 103 Hikes edition. There’s been some logging in the area, never the less, it’s a beautiful, varied hike, although not a very well-used trail, and a fair bit of altitude gain to get to the lake. After parking at Brandywine Falls, we hiked south along the railroad tracks for about 30 minutes, then found the little strip of pink tape marking the overgrown entrance to the trail. The first part is fairly steep through varied forest, with very random markings which led to a 20 minute detour when we got side-tracked across a rock slide area. After that there’s a more gentle mid-section with drier, more open areas, and beautiful pine trees. Then we got to a very steep, rocky slide area with interesting cliffs and the views getting impressive as we went up. By the time you’re on the lookouts over this steep area, there are sweeping vistas of the Wedgemount area, Blackcomb, Whistler, Black Tusk, Garibaldi, and all the way down to the Chief in Squamish. The fourth section is a varied sub-alpine mix leading up to the lake, which is in a beautiful, open bowl. The hike took us longer than expected, so we didn’t go farther than putting feet in the refreshing lake, but the ridge rambling would be amazing around that area. It really merits an over-nighter to explore it. With quite a few breaks, the total time took 8.5 hours. Also, there were almost no bugs! Fall hiking is amazing! Thanks for the great company and to Bob and John for driving.”

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Mt Gardner 06/09/08

Paul T. on Mt Gardner:
“I set the meeting place for this trip as the ferry terminal ticket office. Because people will not necessarily be arriving at the same time I think a better place to meet at the terminal is the waiting room in order to more easily identify group members. We wound up a small group (just two of us) but met several other Wanderungers on the ferry on the way to the same hike and joined them. One of them had brought ribbon to better mark the last part of the Crippen portion of the trail. There are now ribbons marking the turn off to Mount Gardner Road. It took us less than three hours to get up via the skid trail, and about two returning by the trail that comes up near the platform on the west side of the north summit.”

Garibaldi Lake 06/09/08

Pablo at Garibaldi Lake:
“Four of us headed to Garibaldi Lake Saturday. Great Group, great weather, no problems on the road. Garibaldi seems easier without snow. The lake and the glaciers looked great as usual. The parking lot was pretty full. We picked up a lost hiker from another group. By the first viewpoint he found 3 members of his group (strange place for a meeting point). When we arrived at Garibaldi Lake, we had already found 28 of his 33-member group. Now I understand why the parking lot was full, with 33 cars for a single hike. After lunch and a nap, we returned to the parking lot and drove back in our fuel efficient hybrid car.”

Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake/Panorama Ridge 06/09/08

Su-Laine at Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge:
“Seven hardcore backpackers plus myself headed up to Taylor Meadows on Saturday. Three went up to Black Tusk that afternoon while us other five mere mortals enjoyed a gentle walk to Garibaldi Lake. After surviving a freezing cold night and morning, when the main topic of conversation over breakfast was winter sleeping bags, we all headed to Panorama Ridge on Sunday. We had the incredibly good luck to be doing this trip on a clear weekend with blue skies, and Panorama Ridge was the most eye-filling hike I’ve ever done. September seems to be a good time to do this trip; the trail was dry, some of the wildflower show was still happening, and there were plenty of good campsites at Taylor Meadows.”

Panorama Ridge Sept 7 2008 - 32.jpg

Mt Gardiner 06/09/08

Tim on Mt Gardiner (NOT Mt Gardner!):
“Tim and Dean climbed Mount Gardiner (2406 m) above Place Glacier on Saturday Sept 6th. We drove up to Pemberton on Friday night after work and camped at at Nairn Falls. On Saturday morning, we ate excellent bacon and eggs at Grimm’s Gourmet on Frontier St. at 7am and were at the trail-head by 9am. The hike to Place Glacier is 1400 m and very steep. It takes about 4 hours. Worth every drop of sweat. There is an impressive waterfall early on. Also a tricky headwall just below the glacier that requires scrambling some narrow ramps with a little exposure. Place Glacier is phenomenal. From the Glaciology Huts (1800 m), it is another 600 m (2.5 hours) to the summit of Gardiner. Matt Gunn’s book is very useful. The mountain is a superb ridge scramble with no real exposure. The weather was good. The views were outstanding. On Sunday we set off to scramble Mount Oleg, but stopped halfway there, at a sub-summit on the NE ridge. Axe and crampons proved useful on the second day. To reach the summit probably requires crossing a glacier with associated hazards. There was much evidence of mountain goats (fresh prints) but no sightings.”

Place Glacier

Howe Sound Crest Trail 06/09/08

Michelle on the southern section of the Howe Sound Crest Trail:
“The scenery did not disappoint! A shady forest trail provided pocket views all along the route. Each summit was more impressive than the last – St Mark’s, South and North summits of Unnecessary provided even more spectacular views than the last. That being said, ignore the mild elevation and grade stats on this hike – your actual gain tackled is far more than 600 m as the trail rises and falls like a roller coaster and is rugged, rooty and rocky. Especially past St Mark’s – think upper Grouse Grind. As well – WATCH YOUR MARKERS! Both ways! There are several trails in the area – make sure you make the turn on switch backs and don’t go straight on by (on what looks like the path). Also, as a friendly couple we passed kindly shared – there are multiple branches on return and many have gotten lost, especially from taking a left fork returning from Unnecessary. When leaving Unnecessary DO NOT take the first trail to the left – stay to your RIGHT and follow the rocky bluffs as far as you can, down to the first no-name mini-summit/bluff you encountered on your assent. Then you will descend back into the forest on marked trail (and again watch your markers).”

Blowdown-Van Horlick divide 06/09/08

Chris at the Blowdown-Van Horlick Divide:
“Jana, Peter and I braved the unknown to visit what turned out to be a beautiful untouched wilderness on the Blowdown-Van Horlick divide. The Blowdown road was in good 2wd condition – some minor rutting and a new culvert at 9 km. Also, a new waterbar on the hill past 9 km and possibly more further along (you may have minor scraping in a 2wd). We intended on taking Branch 4 at 9.5 km but it has just been decommissioned – the culverts and bridges have been pulled and a big rock blocks the road at the start (but could be avoided in a narrow 4wd). The road has been copiously waterbarred (5 in 20 m at one point). We walked the road to the end (just before an avalanche path – perhaps 2 km), bushwacked 100 m and climbed a second avalanche path about 400 m to steep meadows. We sidehilled to the upper valley (tricky due to wet plants) and wandered beautiful meadows to the pass. Descending into the next valley, we camped near some small ponds. In the morning, we checked out the main lake (beautiful) and spotted some mountain goats high on a ridge. We meandered back up to the pass along a different route and descended back into the Blowdown valley along the edge of the scree slopes (lots of rocks and a short brushy bit just before a wetland so slow going). Definitely going back and spending some more time exploring what looks like easy ridges to the NW.”