Tag Archives: Dirt road

Elaho Valley 21/12/08

Christian at Elaho Valley:
“After 1 hour of white-knuckle driving on unplowed highways before dawn, Stuart and I were on edge, as we were each feeling apprehensive about this trip!! We each traveled from different places to reach Squamish. Along the way, we encountered ground blizzards, covered signs, and could not see the edges of the road at times. We met at the Tim Hortons in Squamish and chatted about the weather and conditions before dawn. By dawn, the wind was gone and visibility was great. With a safety plan in mind of being back at the car before dark, we set out for the Elaho Main road. We saw some amazing eagles along the way. I was surprised to see six eagles in one tree (see Flickr). By the time we reached 28 mile, the snow was deep enough that it limited our vehicle speed to 25 km/h. We calculated that we would be spending more time driving than hiking. No fun there! So we turned back. Quickly found a great alternate hike at Alice Lake park. We decided to do the 8 km Lake loop. We broke trail for two hours and had a marvelous time. On our hike in the park, we encountered many families with their little pre-schoolers taking advantage of the small toboggan hills. It was a great day to be out! After our 2 hour hike around the four lakes, we went to the Brackendale coffee shop. We easily chatted away two hours of the day, long before dusk. All and all, a good time spent in Squamish on the Winter Solstice.”

Virgin trail on clear day - Elaho Valley trip, Dec 21

Alpen Mountain 14/12/08

Chris on Alpen Mountain:
“Cara, Darcy, Dean, Mathieu, Roberto, Siegfried and Tania joined me in a search for the Hidden Valley Cabin on Alpen Mountain just east of Squamish. The Mamquam River Main (not the same road as the Mamquam Road that accesses the Elfin Lakes trail – this one is unsigned and just after the parking for the Chief) seems to see a fair amount of local traffic and was drivable to the Alpen Rd. The gate here was open so we drove in and parked just short of the first waterbar (200–300 metres up). Despite ferocious winds on the 99 and in Squamish, we encountered only light breezes even in exposed areas. But temperatures averaged around -10 C. We followed the main road but made a wrong turn about half way up (there are a lot of spurs) which lead us to a dead-end. After an attempt to cross-country to the main road, we gave up and back-tracked to the main road. Part of our party headed higher but still didn’t reach the cabin (locals said that it would have taken 4 – 4.5 hrs from the bottom). The snow varied from a couple inches at the cars to 2 feet of weightless powder around 1200 m.”

Garibaldi Massive from Alpen

Cougar Mountain 07/12/08

Chris on Cougar Mountain:
“Albert, Alex, Cara, Jamie, Nancy, Ribeka, and Tessa joined me in a snowy exploration of the western flank of Cougar Mountain. The road to Cougar Mountain (16 mile creek road) leaves Hwy 99 just after Green Lake. We encountered snow fairly early and the potholes had turned into slushy ponds (doesn’t look like this road is plowed but sledders probably use it later in the year). The hill after the bridge took some effort to drive up and we slipped and slid up to the stables to park. To get to the cedars from there, follow the road up taking a right at an obvious fork and sticking to the main road until you start to encounter faded signs and follow those. The road turns into a gentle trail and we found ourselves in the cedar grove about an hour after leaving the cars. We then headed off-trail following the creek uphill. We topped out at 1200 m overlooking a small pond and temperatures stayed above freezing for the whole route.”

Cougar Mountain - December 7, 2008

Phelix Creek 15/11/08

Chris at Phelix Creek:
“Andrew, Cara, Gloria, Lucy, Midori and Ribeka joined me on a rather wet trip up to the Brian Waddington hut in Phelix Creek. The Blackwater Road was in good 2wd condition with minor potholes and a small amount of slick mud. The Phelix Creek Road is rough 2wd for a couple hundred metres before it becomes fully 4wd at the remains of a rock slide – park 2wd vehicles at a sign warning about mudding about 200 m up the road. We all piled into Andrew’s Jeep and drove to the end of the road (almost as fun as the Lone Goat trip). The trail is well marked with reflective orange metal tags and snow patches started early (1200 m). It took almost 3 hrs to hike / slog / snowshoe to the hut (only 4 km). There was up to 2-3 feet of snow in places but the lake was slushy and not yet frozen (1700 m). Temperatures never dropped below freezing even at night and it rained / drizzled almost continuously. The cabin is outfitted with only a small (size of a large pot) portable white gas heater which did little but fill the hut with fumes so it was soon extinguished. The hut was clean and, because the surrounding hills often have high avalanche danger, provided with much reading material (check out the outhouse log book) and many sets of playing cards. By morning about 6″ of snow had melted off and several people headed up the valley for a bit of exploring before we headed back to the trailhead. The hugely variable freezing level makes this time of year tricky to go hiking.”