Golden Ears

Trip Date: August 11, 2012

Participants: Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger

Difficulty: 2 (minor 3rd for SW ear)

Report: I last hiked to the summit of Golden Ears almost exactly 10 years ago, in the summer after grade 11, and Britt had never attempted it before, so a mid-summer day with a perfect forecast seemed like a great opportunity to head once again to this popular area.  We arrived in Golden Ears park soon after the gates opened and set off on the West Canyon trail shortly before 7:30am.  The trail is easy to follow and well marked, and we made quick time up to Alder Flats and upwards towards Panorama Ridge, and reached the new emergency shelter (put in just a couple months after I last ascended the peak) just before noon.

We stopped for a quick lunch as the crowds hadn’t yet arrived, and made our way up towards the summit over enjoyable easy scrambling terrain, and reached the main summit at a few minutes before 1.  I quickly made my way over to the lower SW ear (very short section of 3rd class scrambling) to take a few photos, and made it back to the main summit as a couple other parties made it to the main summit.  The day was warm and bug free, and amazingly, while describing the routes up Edge and Blanshard to some of the other people on the summit, I looked over to the ridge of Edge to see somebody (Alexis?) working his way quickly along the ridge, making a solo Blanshard-Golden Ears traverse.  We lounged on the summit for well over an hour before beginning our way down the mountain.

Despite the number of people we saw hiking up the trail to attempt the summit as a day trip, only a handful of parties achieved the summit, as it seems that the majority of day trippers ran out of steam around the emergency shelter.  The route down was pleasant enough down into the forest, after which the mind numbing tedium of the walk out kicked in, eventually leading me to zone out and take a nasty slip on the logging road above Alder Flats.  Nonetheless, we made it out to the car right at 7 o’clock, capping another excellent day in the mountains.

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