Date: May 24, 2014
Participants: Brittany Zenger (organizer), Paul Ng, Doug Bull, Maria Poechaker, John Blair, Britt van Rooij, Gusta van Zwieten, Rob Janousek, Geoff Zenger
Difficulty: 2 (trail and snow-walking, very long)
Report: After our unsuccessful attempt on Mt. Outram in early May a couple years ago, Brittany had unfinished business with the mountain, and posted a trip on the BCMC schedule to make another attempt. The forecast for the day was only so-so but 9 of us were undaunted and made our way out to the western edge of Manning Park to march up towards the summit.
We started out on the trail at around 9:40am, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that someone has done substantial work on the trail in the past couple years. The trail is in good shape and was easy to follow until we hit snow, just before the crossing of 17-mile creek (perhaps 150 metres higher than where we hit snow two years ago). There are still a few good snow bridges over the creek, and so we had no difficulty getting over despite the rushing torrent below. We crossed the creek right at noon, and once across the creek, we lost the markers, but as the trail just switchbacks up the ridge, we chose to ascend straight up, and popped out into the open (snow-covered) meadows just metres from where the trail does so. We stopped here for a lunch break as the 4 hour mark of our trip ticked by, and then proceeded up the snow covered ridge to the main summit. Generally the snow quality was good for foot travel, but in places was simply terrible, and the party members who had lugged snowshoes up were glad to have done so. Even from the meadows it’s a surprisingly long ways up the ridge, but we finally made it to the summit a bit before 3:30, for a total ascent time of about 5:45. Success!
Unfortunately, the views from the summit were very limited due to cloud and occasional fog, and so we couldn’t see much of anything, but we were all happy nonetheless to have made it all the way up (more than 1800m elevation gain!) and after a quick break started the long trek down. The snow quality was even worse on the way down, and in people were postholing all over the place until we descended far enough to reach firmer snow. This wouldn’t have been too much of a problem except that it resulted in a couple tweaked knees, which would lead to the rest of the descent being much slower than anticipated. Lower down there were great glissading opportunities until we picked up the trail again just a bit above 17-mile creek, and from there it was a long slow journey down the trail as knees were nursed and the long grind of the day took its toll. The last of us made it back to the parking lot a bit before 8:30pm, and we packed up as quick as we could to go enjoy some food and drink in Hope.
Thank you everyone for coming out! It was a great trip, both long and rewarding with great company. Thank you to Brittany for organizing!