Bagging Fromme


Pat, Liz, Jill and I started at noon (prior committments prevented us from an earlier start) at the Grouse parking lot.  Heading along the powerline we marvelled at the low clouds, hoping they would lift enough to give us a view from the peak.  After crossing Mosquito Creek the plan was to head up the old unmaintained trail skirting the east slopes of the creek. A big sign told us the trail was closed...not wanting to chance being turned around by an impassable mudslide, we headed further east on the BP and took a left and uphill on Cascade trail.  

Eventually, we joined our original planned route and at the sign for the River Kwai Bridge started climbing steeply up Lower Fromme Mountain.  Jill's dog Sammie did a wonderful job herding the 4 of us and scouting for the sometimes faint trail.  

Twice we crossed Mountain Highway, continuing our uphill quest first on Per Gynt, then on Bill's Trail.  Bill's Trail will be very familiar to those peak baggers amongst you, but I bet to wager that it is not a well travelled trail.  We didn't see a single soul.  Only sign of wild life were 2 Grouse (and a warning about a bear at the beginning of the hike).  I guess, Sammie the dog did a good job scaring any bigger mamals away.

Bill's trail is a gem.  It follows a surprisingly gentle slope up to the south peak of Mount Fromme.  The views from the peak were party sogged in, but we still could make out the windmill on Grouse Mountain and the freighters in English Bay below us.  The wind was whipping viciously and cold around our legs, we were soaked from brushing against sodden blueberry bushes and just lingered long enough to take a few photos.  

Unlike during last years excursion up Fromme, when we couldn't find the trail up to the north peak (hidden under snow and too treaherous to follow in any case) we followed the narrow path down to the saddle and up the north peak without problems.  

Getting down was a tad more challenging.  We had hoped to follow Erik the Red trail once at Pipeline and scoring Dam and Grouse in the process...but alas, the downhill took us much longer than anticipated, seemed much steeper that last years snowy descend and saw us sliding on our rear ends for stretches on end.  We took one little detour to a small lake/tarn, but soon realized that we arrived at a dead end.  

Eventually we arrived at Pipeline Pass.   Given that I didn't know the trail around the back of Dam to Thunderbird Ridge and the time of the day, we opted to take a left at Pipeline and headed down to Mountain Highway.  

Our group separated here. Jill and Liz zoomed downhill, one back to the car, the other back to her home in the Lonsdale area.  Pat and I followed Mountain Highway up to the Grouse chalet. No bears were sighted on the grassy slopes.  Pat was nursing a blister and instead of bagging Grouse, we headed straight for the Gondola to get us back to the car.