Monthly Archives: September 2009

Mt Seymour 27/09/09

Su-Laine on Mt Seymour:
“Beautiful day! Seymour was a lovely hike as always, and almost bug-free. There were plenty of people on the trail but it wasn’t so crowded as to be annoying. Bandidas Taqueria near 12th and Commercial is my new favourite post-hike place ( Good food, and as it’s near the Broadway and Commercial meeting spot, the people who need to go somewhere else don’t have to stay for dinner.”

Seymour, Sept 27 2009

Mt Rexford and Slesse 26/09/09

Michelle at Mt Rexford and Slesse Memorial:
“Chilliwack rarely disappoints – and these two trails exceeded expectations by miles. Chilliwack truly is full of hidden surprises and we were rewarded with larger than life rugged sheer peaks, pocket glaciers and miles of views. The perfect pair – these two trails are literally just a minute down the road from one another and you CAN skip the 4wd (at this time/in dry season this relatively short FSR trek is 2wd to or close to the Slesse Memorial trailhead (thus making BOTH accessible by 2wd with a little paitience – at least in mid summer/early fall). Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park was the perfect overnight accommodation (just down the road) but Riverside Recreation Area would be even better when open during season if not backpacking. It was neat to be able to see where you were going the next day/where you were the previous day (and gave true appreciation for the steep Rex trail hugging the sheer wall beneith Illusion). Slesse Memorial includes a lovely trail, nice gradual climb, a ridge walk, amazing fall colours, jaw dropping setting, plenty of view points and stunning panoramic views from the Propeller Cairn. Rex at 30% average gradient (much more in spots) is not for everyone. But for those up to a non-stop climb, the first half of the trail (after the old road) was a pleasant surprise – a rapid climb but a well formed lovely forest trail. The second half boasted incredible views that just didn’t quit, but it contends with very steep and often loose/unstable terrain. Early starts recommended for both no matter what season – you’ll want the time to fully explore and enjoy the end destinations (which are only the fantabulous enviable beginnings for the climbers).”

Coliseum Mtn 20/09/09

Rob M. on Coliseum Mountain:
“We first laid rubber an a rolling, museum grade asphalt road, biking towards an underrated jewel on the North Shore, Coliseum Mountain. After this idyllic 9 km, a 1 km Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Logging Road change-up ends at an unmarked but obvious trail. The overtaped Christmas Tree look beginning belies the rugged and unrelenting ascent festooned with small root and rock scrambles through new and old growth hemlock. The trail from the 1000 m Paton Lookout takes you down into a small valley then a grind up through a bolder field and the 1441 m summit of Coliseum. The forces of good prevailed after a dramatic struggle between sun and cloud and we were awash in warm light. Lotsa blueberries along the way and hence one bear encounter, who had better things to do than deal with humans. The Coliseum to Burwell (1521 m) hike is a must-do over a large field of smooth open granite for a modest net elevation gain. We met one intrepid hiker travelling incognito with full pack from Cathedral Mountain. The rangers here are kept busy de-taping The Needles to Cathedral Mountain corridor made by renegade hikers. There are a couple of large, deep R&R tarns before stumbling down the slicker-than-heavily-oiled-banana-peel descent. To take us out of our (dis)comfort zone, Eric led us on an off-trail bushwhack around the summit. The bike ride back was a scream! A full 10-hour day.”

Coliseum Burwell one

Golden Ears 19/09/09

Heather on Golden Ears:
“Bob, John, and Heather did a shorter overnight trip, leaving Saturday afternoon and hiking 5.5 km up to Alder flats to camp. From there, they left the tents Sunday morning and hiked to the peak of Golden Ears, enjoying blueberries and watching the clouds come and go. The peak was clear of clouds with partial views to Pitt Lake and some of the mountains to the north. However, other clouds obstructed Mt. Robie Reid and the Fraser Valley, so the views weren’t quite as stunning as they could be. Unfortunately, the trail was the most littered with garbage of any provincial park that I’ve been in. This included the emergency shelter being a complete mess, and random garbage and graffiti everywhere else. Too bad. Sunday’s total distance, 18.5 km, took us 11 hours with a few nice breaks. A bit of a slog as a hike… I have previously done it in one day by mountain biking 6 km up the east canyon trail, stashing the bikes, crossing the river, and bushwacking up to the main trail, and I think I prefer that strategy to the 24 km slog.”

Tetrahedron 13/09/09

Ahmad on Tetrahedron:
“A big portion of the trail is on an abundant logging road. It is overgrown and it has not been maintained for a long time. I had even doubt that we were following the right way and we took a detour up hoping that we would hit a proper trail. There are many spider webs on the trail. They literally became our trail markers. The trail conditions slightly improves when the steep section starts but this is when we decided to turn back as we were short in time. I estimated we still needed 3 more hours to get to the peak.

Rainy Creek logging road is absolutely rough. I did it before by 2wd car last year but I don’t know how I managed that. Fortunately today, we had a car with high clearance. On the way back, we checked out McNair Creek logging road and it seemed that it was doable by 4×4. I believe this provides a better access point. Another idea is from Mount Steele trailhead.

Our whole trip took 7 hours. I wouldn’t recommend the trail that we did to anyone.”

Central Valley Greenway cycling 12/09/09

Su-Laine cycling the Central Valley Greenway:
“Christine and I cycled the new Central Valley Greenway from Science World to New Westminster. Vancouver and Burnaby were easy and pleasant riding. As others have reported, route signage in Burnaby is not always easy to follow. However, the temporary signs that have been put up are very helpful, and overall the ride was easier than I expected. There are a few steep but fairly short hills heading into New Westminster, and closer to downtown New West the only reasonable option at this time is to ride on the narrow sidewalk and try to ignore the horrible traffic noise next to you. A brief detour to check out Burnaby Lake was a highlight.”

Eaton Peak 12/09/09

Peter A. on Eaton Peak:
“Bahman, Michael, Eric, Thomas, Ben, Irina, Evgeny, and I tackled the tough hike and scramble up Eaton Peak’s west summit. The first 4 km of the trail is a 915 metre climb up to Eaton Lake. The trail was well-marked and generally quite wide. The 3 log “bridges” across Eaton Creek were in good shape, and because it was hot and dry, no problems with the logs being slippery. We reached the beautiful lake in approx 2 hours. From the lake, the route is a bushwhack through forest in a south-east direction to arrive at alpine just below a prominent cliff which can be seen from the lake. To start our bushwhack, we found an obvious trail behind the campsites that led uphill to a small boulder field. Across the boulder field there was a piece of flagging tape. Beyond that point, no tape was visible, and so I led our team to the east on a gradual ascent through very dense trees and bush, not wanting to cut too steeply uphill. The correct direction was to head more directly uphill (south). We eventually found Eaton Creek above the lake, and because the water flow was manageable and the rocks and moss not too slippery, we climbed up the creek to a plateau. We then followed a dry creek bed up a steep gradient and arrived at the prominent cliff face. We traversed below the face, and then climbed a steep boulder field to attain the north edge of the basin in front of Eaton Peak. Access to the west ridge was an obvious notch along the ridge. After crossing the boulder-filled basin, we scrambled up a steep ramp leading to the notch in the ridge. The start of the ridge scramble was very difficult as we crawled and climbed our way through krummholz-overgrown boulders. However, as a result, we avoided the first crux referred to in other trail reports. The second crux (the chimney) was challenging, but fun as the rock is very stable (our experienced alpinist, Bahman, assisted those who needed some suggestions for foot and hand holds. We also fixed a rope for support). Throughout the ridge ascent there were mild to moderately exposed ledges and slabs, and straddling the boulder in the “au cheval” move provided lots of laughs. The summit was beautiful, and our visibility exceptional. Baker and many other notable mountains were clear. Our time from trailhead to summit was approx. 5 hours. On our descent, after carefully down-climbing the chimney crux, we dropped down the steep gully that lies immediately to the west of the ridge and followed this almost to the notch where we had first gained the ridge. Then, during our descent of the boulder fields to the creek, we spotted a black bear feasting on berries. Thankfully, it was on the other side of the fields. We also feasted on huge blueberries and huckleberries. Since the water in the creek was relatively low, we avoided a lot of bushwhacking by descending the creek as far as we could, then bushwhacking west to the campground on Eaton Lake. We left the lake at 7:20pm, and ended up using our headlamps to arrive back at the parking lot. Total time was 11 hours. An outstanding hike with technically challenging scrambles, and a great group!”

Mt Grant 07/09/09

Ahmad on Mt Grant:
“We had to turn back. I had myself no chance to continue. The fresh snow was a formidable barrier that we couldn’t pass through. I didn’t expect it and I was under-prepared for it. It was a good reminder of what frozen feet meant.

Eaton Lake trail was in good condition as it was when I did it 3 months ago. The bridges were still not repaired. The first log was wet and more slippery but doable with good care. The fork to Grant was just after the broken bridge at elevation 1300 m. We followed the south edge of the ridge. There was no trail defined. Some old ribbons and cairns from time to time till we got to altitude 1400 m. The ribbons became abundant in most places. There might be another newer trailhead closer to the third bridge.

The trail is generally bushy before the steep section. I was at the back all the time and I got soaking wet from all the water was on the leaves. The steep slope starts at 1550 m. The rocks were wet, cold, and slippery. We managed to negotiate them till we got to 1850 m.

I believe this hike would be have been a pleasant and quite scenic in good weather. I think the scramble would have been also easy.”

Unnecessary Mountain 01/09/09

Steve on Unnecessary Mountain:
“I didn’t expect such a good response to a mid-week callout. I went with 4 other well matched hikers to Cypress Bowl where we hiked to St. Mark’s Summit, and then on to the dual summits of Mt. Unnecessary. The trail was well marked and easy to follow with 1 minor exception where we got off trail. The weather was variable but we did not get hit with rain. In fact, it was perfect as it kept us cool on the journey, and though it was socked in when we got near the Lions, just as we were leaving, it broke through and offered some moody photo ops.

I really liked this trail, though it was pretty long and the multiple ascents took its toll on my knees. The blueberry factor was phenomenal, and probably added an hour to our trip. One piece of advice I’d offer it to do this as a one way hike and visit the Lions, then descend the Binkert trail. That may actually shave some time, but more importantly allows you to see more peaks on one trip.”