Mt McGuire 23/08/09

Su-Laine on Mt McGuire:
“New hiking objective for 2010: finish Mount McGuire. We didn’t make it to the top, but the northwest ridge approach that people have been discussing on Clubtread this year is definitely doable as a day hike from Vancouver. It’s a beautiful area.

Getting to the trailhead from King George station in Surrey took an uneventful 2 hours via the Tamihi Creek FSR. There are reports of locked gates and fallen trees on the road, but we didn’t see any. We were in an SUV and the only other vehicle in the parking area was a Delica. Wide trucks might not be able to get past a couple of rocks on the road. The road is better than the one to Cheam, but I doubt 2WD vehicles could make it up there.

In a routefinding error out of the “don’t ask how we managed to screw that one up” department, we climbed the rockslide on the left rather than the right near the beginning of the hike, in spite of the printed instructions we were carrying and some flagging tape. After 45 minutes of some of the toughest scrambling I’ve ever done, we figured out that it was wrong and downclimbed. The rest of the hike was straightforward by comparison, but there were a few scrambles up steep slopes, and we spent quite a bit of time figuring out where the trail and turning points were. The route mostly follows a mountain goat trail, and is very obvious in some places but not others.

I was wearing a helmet, long pants/sleeves, and bicycle gloves and was glad to have all of them, especially gloves because the rocks that you have to scramble over feel like sandpaper.

We reached a meadow in which you descend into a valley before going up to the summit. Views were good from there and we realized that we weren’t going to be able to get anywhere more interesting by our turnaround time, so we relaxed and feasted on wild blueberries before exploring the ridge a bit more and heading back. It was a very fun day, and we’re all more experienced navigators now. I’d be happy to go back.”

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