Monday, September 21, 2020

Mt. Seymour (almost)

Yesterday was our first time up Mount Seymour. It was misty/cloudy most of the way which was beautiful and atmospheric. Was fairly busy being a Sunday, but not annoyingly so—we were alone most of the time. Rated intermediate, I'd rate it upper-intermediate or difficult-intermediate. There was a mom alone on the trail heading to the last peak with a 4 yr old which to me is insane. BC people are HARDCORE! I wouldn't go here solo let alone with a child (methinks feeding ducks at the park would have been the appropriate choice). It takes 5 hours for an adult, so on those tiny legs, it surely takes all day. Maybe this is the matrix. Maybe none of this is real.

Take Mt. Seymour Rd all the way to the very end where the resort is and park at the far end near the washroom. They had special temporary signs set up past the BC Parks signboard to ensure no one got confused, but there is also a permanent wooden sign with "Mt. Seymour" at the mouth of the trail. The trail was well marked with blazes and signposts until after the second junction sign and the wee bridge. The ski hill you're on curves up steeply to the right, or there is a trail going off to the left. We continued up the ski hill to Brockton chairlift (Mystery Peak) and wasted 15 minutes trying to decide if we should have taken that rando-looking trail. I felt very stupid until a young couple behind us did the same thing. If we had walked two meters down that other trail we would have seen the next signpost (I would have placed a sign at the mouth of the trail but that's just me). At that point, the sun burst through for the only time that day (last photo).

There are three peaks — Pump, Tim Jones, and Mt. Seymour. I think we made it to Pump because there was a signpost but the info was torn off. Thankfully there was a hiker ahead of us because at some point after this the trail veers up to the right over the rocks (could not see a blaze), not straight ahead which is where we were heading. Eventually, you get to a very narrow rock ledge along a cliff with a steep drop. It wasn't what you'd call difficult, but if you slipped here you'd probably be dead or seriously injured, so personally, I was nervous. We lost the blazes when we got to the sheer rock area that looks like a peak, and because there would have been no view anyway, a lot of hikers at the top, and we were already tired, we decided to turn back. I don't think we were even at the second peak yet. We were passed by a hiker, so we later looked back to see where he went and he was going down a trail way in the distance across the valley along the mountain. I will try to figure out how we missed the trail.

On the way back I almost walked right into a bear—I saw black fur moving near a bush and thought it was a dog, I was this close to petting the damn thing (slight exaggeration) until it lifted its head—and it turns out I was also leaving the trail due to poor markings. So luckily we were able to just continue down the trail. Then we saw a bear with a cub at a greater distance. I felt compelled to warn hikers coming towards us, but no one seemed too concerned. "Well, it's the time of year for it." (Note to self—it's the time of year for it.) "Exciting." "Oh, I haven't seen one yet this year." HARDCORE.

It took 4.5 hours and my legs and feet were feeling it but we still felt good at the end. At very few points was this a relaxing stroll. You have to watch every foot placement most of the way. There are ankle-twister rocks to step around, rock faces to shimmy down and crawl up, large rocks to hoist up and over, gnarly roots to climb down and through, and some loose scree areas on the ski hill. The scenery at the plateau area (not sure exactly where we were) was stunning with sheer rocks faces (cliffs, bluffs? I don't know my mountain terminology) on either side (not pictured). I'm sure the views are amazing in better weather! 

I wouldn't normally recommend a product (the evils of consumerism), but I've wondered for years why you can't buy a one serving thermos—something that won't leak in your bag like a travel mug, or looks dude-bro clunky). And then I found Carter, pictured above. Shocker, it even looks good, with no obvious logo. I tested it with boiling water at home and it really does retain heat for hours.

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