Monthly Archives: March 2015

Mt Gardner, 26 Mar 2015

Bob H. on Mt Gardner:
“I had to go to Bowen Island today, so I said, why not do a hike too! It was 14 degrees C and cloudy at the start. Deep in the forest it got down to around 10, but that’s it. It was very comfortable all day. Some mosquitoes were bothering me, but no bites – so that’s good! I had the fortune of having the car today, so we started right at the trail head (126 m). If you hike from the ferry, there is an extra 3 km and 175 m elevation gain. From the trail head, we started up the gravel road and then veered slightly left into the forest. We re-emerged onto the gravel road 1.3 km later and continued up the road for another 1.3 km. We entered the forest again and continued our climb to the summit. The trail is very peaceful, with the sounds of birds and small streams. Just before the approach to the summit, there are ropes for assistance, as it’s a pretty steep section – they help, especially going down. When we got to the top (715 m), we stopped for a break on one of the two helicopter landing pads up there. Unfortunately, there was zero visibility at the summit, so no good photos from the top! There are a number of telecommunications antennae and repeaters up there. We saw only two other people today. The round trip distance was 8 km and the total elevation gain was 690 m.”

Great view from here (550 m)

Mt St Benedict, 22 Mar 2015

Colleen C. on Mt St Benedict:
“While the weather wasn’t as clear as I’d hoped, we still had glimpses of the surrounding mountains, including Judge Howay and Robbie Reid which alone would be worth the hike in my book.

After just a couple of minutes driving on gravel we parked the cars by the locked gate. The first hour is uphill on logging roads, but there are nice views and a lovely waterfall to enjoy. After reaching the trail proper (eccentrically marked with an old pan atop of some lashed together branches – can’t miss it) there is pleasant forest, a couple of small but beautiful lakes, a steep section, and then a gentle climb to the summit itself. We had a lazy lunch with plenty of tea and cookies and then made our way back the way we came.

The hike seemed easier than the stats implied (1000 m elevation gain, 15 km), but that could have been due to the pleasant terrain and great company. Special thanks to our two drivers and Katherine who gallantly took the cramped middle seat.”

Stawamus Chief, 18 Mar 2015

Andy G. at the Chief:
“Today’s hike celebrated ten years since I first hiked the Chief, almost to the day. Eddie joined me on a day when even the weather conditions closely matched those of a decade ago, if cloudier with the summits of the Sky Pilot group and Garibaldi shrouded in cloud all day.

The trail is dry and snow- and ice-free and was an absolute pleasure to hike today. It was also delightfully quiet, as we met only a small number of hikers. As we reached Second Peak, a lone hiker was practicing yoga on First Peak and had the space to themselves. It wasn’t long before their peace and quiet was disturbed by a dozen or so hikers and dogs.

So what’s changed in a decade? The trail has been upgraded and re-routed in a few places; the Sea-to-Sky gondola has been realized (which had just been proposed in its original Chief-topping form in 2005); the Woodfibre Mill has closed, improving the view; and the number of people attempting this hike has gone way up.

What hasn’t changed is that the views are awesome, the trail is steep (!), the chains and ladders are fun, the grouse are sounding their booming calls and the descent between Second and Third peaks is a mess of roots and rocks.

Salmonberry is out in full bloom but not much else. Watch out for the chipmunks – their begging and scrounging skills are second to none.”

Stawamus Chief, 18 Mar 2015

Crater Rim Loop, 15 Mar 2015

Steve v. at Crater Rim Loop:
“We lucked out and didn’t have the expected rain until we are back at the car. For a 109 Walk book hike, this is was longer and tougher than I had expected and I seriously question the stats. It was a good trip, but mostly due to the fact we were out and had good company, more than the merits of the trail itself. Going to Purebread in Function Junction didn’t hurt either.

Though the notable feature of this trip is the suspension bridge, I think this one might put the route outlined in 109 Walks aside and simply park at the Logger’s Lake trailhead and do a quick 20 minute detour to see it. After that, then do a less than 1 hour part of the trail that overlooks Logger’s Lake. In the summer this could be both a nice place to find a breeze, and to swim in the lake itself. I doubt I’d return to do it any other way (we actually got a bit lost at one point with too many roads and trails criss-crossing). Erica, Harris, and Teresa joined me for this trip.”

Crater Riim Loop, Mar 2015

Mara Canyon, 13 Mar 2015

Bob H. at Mara Canyon:
“It was another amazing day for a hike in BC! Starting at 9:30 at the trailhead (350 m) on Tranquille Road in Northwest Kamloops, it was overcast and 10 deg C with a chilly wind. As the two of us proceeded up the west ridge of Mara Canyon, the terrain got steep fast and finding good footholds was challenging; however, the group of 9 California bighorn sheep looking on had no problem with the terrain. We made it up to the first viewpoint (600 m) in 70 minutes. The trail is not marked well at all and I am thankful for the GPS track emailed to me the night before by local hiker. After the first peak, we continued across a large hoodoo and northwards along the west ridge. There is little green up there, but there are plenty of cacti, sagebrush and ponderosa pine. Continuing along the ridge, there are many precarious traverses across slopes with small gravel over bedrock – it was very slippery. A large amount of time I was on all fours, just like the sheep! We made it to the base of Mara Bluff (785 m) at 11:30 and from here the descent into the canyon began. Again, there were many loose rock sections to traverse on the way down. We passed a old rusty car and the backbone of possibly one of the California bighorn sheep. Once in the dry creekbed, there were more trees – further down, there was some water in the creek. The views looking up from the bottom of the canyon were equally impressive as the views from the ridge. We finally made it back to the trailhead at 1:15 pm, after climbing through two train cars in a very long line of a stationary train. At the end of the hike, skies were blue and the temp was 18 deg C.”

Parks sign

Mt Erie, 8 Mar 2015

Stephen H. at Mount Erie:
“You could drive to the modest summit of Mount Erie, but the Salish Sea views are presumably even more satisfying after a couple hours of hiking. Plus you’d miss out on the views from the Sugarloaf, assuming you’d hike in that way. Four of us made the trip to Anacortes and enjoyed a pleasant circuit in the woods. Sightings of hawks, climbers, and bikers added to the scenery.”

Eagle Mountain, 8 Mar 2015

Bob H. on Eagle Mountain:
“A gorgeous day for a hike up Eagle Mountain. It really felt like summer today! We started off at the end of Hickory Drive (325 m) in Port Moody at 9 am and made our way up through the mountain biking trails. We reached Cypress Lake (800 m) 1.5 hours after starting and we met two other guys heading to the same location, but taking a different route. After a short stop at Cypress Lake, we headed to the West Rampart viewpoint via the east loop of the East Bastion Trail. We made it to the West Rampart viewpoint (880 m) at 11:30 and we met the two guys we met at Cypress Lake – it turns out they are the architects of the East Bastion Trail! Anyways, after a 10 or 15 minute break, we headed off to the White Rock viewpoint (950 m), where we arrived at 12:30. After 20 or so minutes basking in the beautiful sun (and listening to the woodpeckers), we made our way back onto the trail and began the descent. We finally made it back to the starting point just after 3 pm. The only snow we saw was a dusting in a shaded area off the side of a logging road.”

Coquitlam Lake

Tunnel Bluffs, 7 Mar 2015

Markus at Tunnel Bluffs:
“Tu Van, Marianne, Ted and Michelle joined me for a beautiful day of hiking to Tunnel Bluffs. Along the way, we stopped at 3 or 4 of the view points along the way enjoying varying degrees of view. Trail is mainly dry with a couple of muddy spots. The dryness did make the hike down a bit slippery so if you plan on doing this before the next rainfall, poles would be recommended.”