September 2012

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Trip Date: September 29, 2012

Participants: Donna and Dave Scanlon (organizer), Barb and Clarence Kornatowsky, Lisa Quattrocchi, Jeff Ross, Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger (reporter)

Difficulty: 3

Report: Dave extended an invitation a couple weeks ago to accompany him on a “fun day hike” to the BCMC’s Mountain Lake hut and Mt. Sheer, and as fans of “fun day hikes”, Brittany and I quickly signed on.  The eight of us met at St. David’s church at 7:30, and reached the Mountain Lake trailhead a bit past 8:30, so we were on our way a bit before 9 o’clock.

More work has been done to improve the trail since I last hiked it in July, and it’s in excellent shape right now.  Travelling at a moderate pace, taking frequent breaks to chat and take photos, we arrived at the hut at about 12:15 and proceeded to open it up.  The hut is in good condition and clean.  A glance at the log book showed that it’s been visited frequently this summer, although on this day we were the only people in the area, presumably due to a questionable weather forecast.  However, we enjoyed nice weather all day, mainly cloudy but with the sun and blue skies occasionally poking through.  After eating, Dave took us down to look at the old mine shaft just a few minutes below the hut, and shortly thereafter we set off for Mt. Sheer.

Brittany and I made an aborted attempt on Mt. Sheer back in July, where we turned back shortly after starting after realizing how much time our party would need to hike out, and so it was good to be back for a second attempt. This time all went well.  We dumped our bags at the col right below the ridge leading up to Mt. Sheer from Mountain Lake, and started up the scrambling part of the ridge.  The ridge goes at class 3 on quite solid rock.  Low on the ridge there is a decent amount of exposure on both sides, but there are holds everywhere and we made quick time up to the gap between a knoll on the ridge and the main summit.  From the gap, the ridge continues over enjoyable scrambling terrain, with the crux being a short near-vertical wall that can be negotiated either via a small ledge to the left, or by heading up the wall on the right side (the recommended route) where there are far more holds than are initially obvious.  Above this, easy scrambling leads to the summit in just a few minutes.

Once at the summit, the clouds on Ben Lomond finally lifted and we enjoyed the views of the mountains and were able to wave at Donna and Barb, waiting in the meadows down below.  The descent off the summit was quick and uneventful.  As I’d already downclimbed from the first knoll a couple months ago, Jeff and I descended below the ridge from the gap, and concluded that although an easier and quicker than following the ridge itself, it simply isn’t an aesthetic, nice, or particularly fun alternative.

Meeting up in the meadows below Mt. Sheer around 4, we set off to return to our vehicles, and reached them a bit past 6 o’clock.  Hoping to avoid having to drive to Brittania Beach in order to make a U-Turn and head south on the highway, we took the road fork down to Furry Creek, only to find the gate locked right above the golf course!  How annoying!  Fortunately we still had a bit of daylight to use to make our way back up to the main logging road above, where Lisa cleverly constructed a sign at the intersection with the road leading down to Furry Creek indicating that the gate lower down was locked.

In all, it was indeed a great fun day trip.  It was great to check out the hut instead of just seeing it from a distance, the company was great, and it turns out that Mt. Sheer is a fantastic little scramble.  Thank you Dave for organizing.

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Tricouni Peak

Trip Date: September 8

Participants: Andrzej Jarzabek, Paul Ng, Arnold Witzig, Will ?, Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger

Difficulty: 2/3.  Easy scrambling, some mild exposure on route

Report: I bought myself a used Jeep Liberty two weeks ago, and now having a 4×4 I decided to change the destination of my trip on the BCMC schedule to Tricouni Peak, which is essentially inaccessible with a 2wd car.  The trip was scheduled for the same day as the Vancouver-Whistler GranFondo bike race, but a bit of investigation revealed that the first road closures would be at 7:15 in Porteau Cove, and so by leaving Vancouver early enough, I determined that we would be able to stay ahead of the road closures and make it up the Squamish Valley to High Falls Creek.

We met at the Chevron station at Boundary & Dominion at 6:15, and quickly head off for Squamish, reaching Squamish at around 7:30, and made our way up the Squamish valley, and then up the High Falls Creek road network.  There is one nasty section of road about 2.5km from the Tricouni Meadows parking area, but after this the road is in fairly good shape until less than 1 km from the landing at the end of the road.  This last section of road is in really rough shape, but we pressed on to the end, and were able to set off on the trail a bit past 9 o’clock.  At this point, the weather was cool and sunny, but it would soon warm up rapidly.

The Tricouni Meadow trail is easy to follow, but ridiculously muddy until near the first lake.  From the first lake, we quickly ascended to the second and third lakes, and from there on up the standard route towards the summit of Tricouni.  The lakes are clear and turquoise, and the flowers in the meadows above the third lake were in full bloom.

We took our time on the ascent and descent, stopping frequently to enjoy the views and the warm atmosphere, but nonetheless were on the summit about 4 hours 15 minutes from when we started.  The route is primarily a hike, but the there is a short scrambling section about 30 minutes below the summit, and the last 10 minutes up the summit ridge itself are over enjoyable scrambling terrain, with mild exposure.  The summit of Tricouni itself is fantastic, with nice places to sit, and views all around.

We lounged about on the summit for nearly an hour, and departed just past 2.  The descent was quick and easy, and we had the time to stop at the first lake for a while, where Arnold and Andrzej summoned the courage to go for a quick swim.  From the first lake it was back to the mud below, and finally back to the cars.  Including the swim stop, the descent took just a few minutes over 3 hours, completing a great trip to cap the summer.


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