Max and I went for a pleasant 13 hour ramble starting at 9am and finishing at 10pm; covering 22km and 2200m of elevation. We weren’t too hopeful that the last few days of snow would translate to pow as freezing levels were 2000m and Brunswick (our high point) was only 1800m. It was good that we weren’t expecting much more than a nice tour. Snow was poo; the 15- 20 cms of snow was water-logged and had fallen on a hard crust. Wet slides were easy to trigger but luckily also easy to manage as long as you had space.
We ended up climbing to Brunswick S Ridge then navigating huge cornices on the ridge to the ridge just above the NE couloir which had been our goal. We passed on the NE couloir; it wasn’t that steep (45 deg tops?) but there was no room to manage wet slides. Tried to see if we could traverse to the col E of the Harvey Creek headwaters by the back side but it would have been a hell traverse with tons of exposure. So ended up skiing down and then up to Hat Pass. It was only 4pm; Max and I felt in an exploration mood so we decided down to ski Yahoo Creek. It turned out to be pretty decent; wide open trees from 1450 to 1100m; patchy snow to 1000m as it was west slopes; then we picked up the Hat Pk trail at about 900m after about 100m of character-building bushwhacking. Gratuitious 150m additional climbing up to get our shoes which we left on the Brunswick trail and then skipped back to Lions Bay and out.
Happy because I get to hike in Maestrales while Max gets to pleasure his feet with Atomic plug boots
600m of hiking to get to snowline
Obligatory snow and Howe Sound shot on the Brunswick trail
Coastal bush builds character
Two panos – the first is lower at about 1550m and the second at 1790m shows the heavily corniced south ridge
Closeup of Max giving the corniced south ridge of Brunswick a wide berth
Max and I kept walking and skinning on the ridge to get to the proper summit where the cornice broke and we could take a look at the NE couloir
Transitioning back from crampons to skins. View of Vancouver and the Lions
The guy who brings the helmet gets to go first. Boy do those wet slides ever run easy.
Backing off the NE couloir and figuring out another way down
Our gaper tracks down the slope in shade then a traverse to gtfo of exposure
Just in case you’re curious; the traverse of certain pain to the col just east of Harvey Creek (this is the backside of the bowl between Harvey and Brunswick
Mush-skipping down towards the Deeks Lakes before heading back up to Hat Pass
Lots of natural slides on Hat Pass
Video of the slides – saw 14/15 in the space of 10 minutes
Then down Yahoo Creek navigating some rockslides, alder, tight bush – the usual Coastal shitshow
Convenient map on the trail lets us see where we went
Max is stoked to change from Atomic plug boots to hikers
Elevation profile – last 4 km walking back down the access road is cut off as Max turned off the GPS. Its just the same as the route we came up
Screen shot of the Everytrail map