Grouse near sweep

After missing Bill's run yesterday, because of a last minute leak in my (water) bladder, I decided to go today for an extended variation. With a new bladder. (The MSR model that look like it's made with a piece of a Zodiac boat.)

        "Prepare your bag the day before, and you will see the future"

Left shortly after 7am from St Mary's Ave in North Van, taking St George's trail. By mistake, I ended up on the lower section of Mountain Hwy, 100m below the main route, with a slow incline. I meant to take Peer Gynt. Not sure how I missed it. This looks like an overgrown utlity route. It's nice though, if kind of close to bushwacking. When this "road" crosses a creek, there is trail flagged on the right that joins back to Mountain Hwy proper.

I wanted to start with Fromme, but by that point I had missed the trail I was thinking of taking, so I looked for the trail that starts right between Fromme and Grouse. Saw some tape, and went right up. But as we all learned in Bagging preschool:

        "One piece of tape, does not a trail make"

I bushwacked my way up, until I found the actual trail about 2/3 of the way. I don't know what it's called, but it's really gorgeous. At the top, I had a look at the (false) North peak, but I'm not climbing that somewhat-exposed little rock in slippery shoes. I went to the true peak, admired Bill and Ean's footprints from yesterday, and went back down the same trail. On a long section, I was running in the fresh footprints of a bear. That's a little spooky. Remember:

        "Bear prints do not a trail make"

The dual lesson is, of course: "Where a bear stepped, you will not post hole." And as it turned out, I had missed the start of trail by 20m.

Followed Mountain Hwy to Grouse, went straight to Dam, keeping Grouse peak for later. The snow on Dam is just fine, not too soft, not too hard. Then Little Goat, also easy. I was only wearing Fivefingers, with no technical equipment.

I tried to go up Goat, but I was quickly stopped on the narrow trail by a wall of very hard snow. I couldn't really make step in it with my feet. With an ice axe, it would have been possible to dig steps and use the axe as an anchor. It looks like everyone has been turning back at that point, except for a few older, melted footprints. Probably Bill and Christine on Saturday. And since I've never been up Goat, I was worried that even if I made it passed that obstacle, it would be like that all the way.

On the way back, bagged Grouse. I even saw the wind turbine turn a quarter of a turn. Very slooowwly. Ran down to the car, retracing my steps.

Crown looks very tempting, not too much snow. I've never been, and it's hard to believe it's a "medium", but the lack of snow at the top may make it accessible right now?

And the "10" essentials for today... (Whistle and compass not shown, tied to the bag).


Ean Jackson's picture

Catching up on my reading...

Wow...  I wish I'd have taken more pictures of the route Bill and I took down the side of Fromme... you'd be very glad you didn't follow our footprints!

Thought it would be more efficient to drop down the side of Fromme as it would save several K of running back to the road, but, uh, the flags were under snow and there was no trail of bear poo to follow: no bears would be stupid enough to go where we went. 

Nice example of the essentials.  Good idea to have extra batteries.  You forgot the hamburgers.

reaganwhite's picture

what a way

to spend a Monday!  :-)

David Crerar's picture

Snow shots very helpful!


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