Saturday, August 24, 2019

Mount Strachan at Cypress

First time Mount Strachan hike. I'd rate it advanced-intermediate rather than intermediate. And F for signage. Or maybe my navigational skills are an F because we didn't complete the last leg of the hike. Arg! We almost made it onto Old Strachan/Baden Powel Trails but no dice. We doubled back to look for right turnoff but gave up. Super frustrating.

It starts out as a tourist groomed trail, then some pleasant switchbacks. The trail then becomes narrow so we got wet on the bushes. Lots of mud. Trail along creekbed gets steep and tricky (there is hoisting involved), then onto the creekbed which gets trickier and steeper the higher you go (boulders to looser scree, not for anyone with height issues). The summit views must be amazing (it was foggy and drizzly so we barely saw the view, but it was still beautiful). 

There was a lot of variety in the trails which required high concentration, and hand-scrabbling in some places. We have never got this wet and dirty on a hike. Plantlife is stunning and varied in the meadow areas. Mushrooms the size of dessert plates. Would do again but only in cool (clear/dry) weather as the creekbed climb would be miserable in the hot sun.

For future reference:
Step one – take map from kiosk!*
Start on Yew Lake trail, and go right at signpost that quickly appears.
Go left onto the gravel road, and left again towards the green water tower.
Take trail left of water tower (Howe Sound Crest Trail West).
Bunch of switchbacks and pass Bowen Lookout junction on left.
At wooden map board (which seemed useless), turn left.
Between 2 small bridges, barely visible trail to the right along creekbed (tricky climb).
Trail veers onto creekbed (the not-fun part).
Area between north and south peaks at top.
Trail to left goes to north peak (optional lookout). Trail straight ahead is a dead end.
Take barely visible right trail (across the rocky bit) straight up to the south peak.
Face lower ski lift pilon and dead tree (no branches, just a trunk) and look for blazes at left.
Trail goes down to left of that pilon (steep and technical).
T-33 plane crash site.
Here's where we got lost.Continue downhill as it veers left then passes a large rock.
(Didn't see it. Where?!)**
We hit the Collins ski run instead and took it back to the parking lot.  :(

* We had the map and still got lost
** I forgot to look out for it.

Time: 3hrs 45 mins

No comments: