Only an 1100 metre elevation gain and scramble until you’re atop Yak. From there the 360° view is all mountains, all the time; but if you squint carefully you might be able to pick out your vehicle parked at the maintenance area near the Coquihalla Summit.
To me, a good match means a trail pulling me further into the mountains. Aside from the fun of picking one’s way across the creek to the other side, this trail to Opal Cone always seems reminiscent of the journey to Mordor – especially in deep fog.
A few years ago, once at the col we had the choice to either head south or go north up to Mount Webb, since time would not allow us to bag both peaks. So while not exactly a new horizon, a climb to the summit of Mount MacDonald may definitely find a spot on next year’s todo list.
When a trip to Joffre Lakes isn’t quite spectacular enough, head up to Mount Tszil and beyond. You can circumnavigate this small glacier, but walking up to the edge and touching the ice provides a restful minute.
One of the joys of climbing up mountain sides can be the lack of thinking. Other than watching your step, finding routes around or over obstacles and slogging ever upward, not much else occupies the mind other than the final destination: the summit and the feeling of accomplishment.
Sometimes happy is the absence of everyday worries.
Part of the Canadian Cascade Mountains, Silvertip sits about 25 kilometres north of the Washington/British Columbia border. Photo taken from Claimstake Mountain just south of Silverdaisy Mountain (just had to get another silver in there), both of which would be part of E.C. Manning Provincial Park except for the pre-existing and still semi-operating copper mine.
Stepped out to have a look at the scenery and next thing you know I’ve lost the car somewhere 1100 meters below. Which way next? But seriously, we were on a hike up Avalanche crest in Glacier National Park and the long grey line below is Highway 1 through Roger’s Pass. Glacier Park Lodge, a visitor information centre and the Parks Canada management facility are the wider grey area with green roofs right in the middle of the photo. Below is a shot of Avalanche Mountain. Went past the end of trail and up along the ridge on the left until the easy scrambling ran out.
Not sure how many mountains in British Columbia have survey monuments because I only notice them if I trip over them or sit on them – usually the view takes precedence – just after I catch my breath. If you grab the number you can access the government database which relates the installation date, latitude, longitude and elevation, not a lot of information but it does confirm where you were and how high. Strangely enough, it does not include the name of the mountain, in this case – Mount Flora – which seems hard to understand if it is a named peak. Perhaps more government secrecy run amok 🙂 What’s really scary is the possibility of a seven year hiatus in prison should you steal this little brass plaque. Probably wired to set off an alarm in the Premier’s office and an air assault mission to place an offender under arrest.
Almost at the saddle and the final route to the summit in sight. Just scurry around that knoll on the right and head straight up. After the 1300 meter hike from the trailhead at Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, through the forest, over a couple of dilapidated bridges, past Radium Lake and some stepping through the remaining snow patches, the final 300 meters looks almost too easy. That’s when we began to understand the ‘ball bearing sand’ referred to in some trip reports. You couldn’t really see the particles but you sure became quickly aware of them underfoot. They must lay in wait for unwary travelers and spring out of their dusty crevasses as footsteps approach. Comfortably manageable on the ascent, the descent required more careful navigation to avoid the slippery spots.