South Powell Divide, Aug 8-13, 2010 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Default South Powell Divide, Aug 8-13, 2010

I joined Rick and Doug from Powell River to hike the South Powell Divide from Freda Lake north to Emma Lake (Aug 8 to 13). This is basically the drainage divide between Powell Lake on the west and Jervis Inlet on the east. Freda Creek, though, drains into Lois Lake and on to Malispina Strait.The boys delivered Doug's truck, the day before, to the Emma side at the end of B Branch off the Goat Lake Main. On Sunday, we headed up the Stillwater Main, and Rick's mighty little Toyota got us through the tank traps and past the ATV'ers hut to the end of S Branch to start the hike up Skwim ridge. Three nights were in the tents with the last two nights in the Emma cabin. We hiked short days to reach strategic campsites and have a casually fantastic time - we were not worn-out at the end. We did side-trips to Overlook Mt (at 1975m our high point) and to "snowy Mt. The route went over the top of Mt Danelaw, "the prince", which is the highpoint of the actual divide at 1932m. There was a rudimentary, overgrown trail for a few kilometres at the Freda side; then the travel was *over unmarked terrain to Emma. The descent to the parking below Emma was steep and rustic; but it was a pleasing, easy-to-find trail. High clearance 4WD was needed for both trailheads, but a super-duty one was needed for the Freda approach. Our variation of the route bypassed a few bits of the crest where the scrambling may have been too sketchy for the party.*This up-and-down variation provided many vantages from where we could view the full beauty of the divide.
edit: should be Overlook Mt on the map not outlook mt
Trailhead below Plutonic Power Company's R of R transmission line
Soaking wet on Skwim ridge
Looking down to the Goat 2 branch trailhead to Triple Peaks Ridge
Our route around "the boot" to Triple Peaks Ridge

S-W to Mount Freda West to Tom's Thumb

Heading up Triple Peaks Ridge

"the boot" Tom's Thumb

Overlook at left beyond TPR Another bend of the divide

Approaching Overlook

Mt Alfred and his sub peaks fill the sky above the divide
Down TPR to the flat topped boot and the pointy Diadem Mt
On Overlook to the rainbow group at left of Rick and the Beartooth group at right
looking back up to TPR from the north
Past Lorac Lk Heading to "the princess", looking back to Overlook on right
"the princess" ahead
The rainbow and Beartooth groups from "prince-princess" col. Beyond are Vancouver Island, Strait of Georgia and Powell Lk

From "prince" Snowy Mt is below, Mt Alfred beyond. "Emerald Valley" is left of Snowy

All the way back to Diadem and "the boot" with Overlook at right

Pickles 'n Puzzles peak
"prince" while approaching "emerald valley"

Just "pickles and puzzles" left to do then we get a cabin sleep

Emma Lake

Top of Snowy edit:The around-the-lake ridge ramble

Beartooth left and Baldy(plumed) right from near the cabin

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 02:33 PM
Dru
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Good times
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 03:07 PM
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Awesome! Very Inspiring! Thanks for the TR.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 03:21 PM
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Great trip report. It's beautiful over there. There is not much information about this area. Thanks for the pictures!![^]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 04:32 PM
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A great report on exotic area!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:18 PM
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Great job guys! I like your take it easy and just enjoy it approach. Thanks for the info and pics on a great ridgewalk.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:22 PM
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You must be stoked, this is such a great area!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 08:53 PM
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Beautiful! [8D]
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 07:54 AM
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Nice trip Al. Your pictures are superb!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 09:24 AM
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Very interesting TR ... I have done parts of this as day hikes, but never stitched them all together. Emma Lake is one of my very favourite hikes. It looks clear in all your photos, whereas we have had a lot of smoke down at sea level in Powell River. I love that granite slab country, but am surprised at how much snow is still up on top.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by susied

It looks clear in all your photos, whereas we have had a lot of smoke down at sea level in Powell River. I love that granite slab country, but am surprised at how much snow is still up on top.
Susied, it got really smoky the morning we left Emma and the views of the peaks became obscured. We were lucky with timing. We wanted to get up there while some snow was still around - both for good drinking water, and for a smooth cover over some of the boulder fields. We were lucky there too.

I missed your Confederation Lake TR before, but just finished enjoying it from the archives. I first saw the divide last year from Vomit Vista above the lake and said,"Doug, that is where we are going next year!" And thanks to Rick, the traverse was a pleasure. There is a fantastic network of hiking trails in Powell River; and I hear there is a waiting list to get on the trail building crew[^]


Confederation Lk with Beartooth group behind; the line cabin at the lake; vomit vista trailhead.
#4 The divide from vomit vista: right side isTom's Thumb, at centre are the triple peaks and left side shows the prince and princess

[ At Kelly falls, a sample of the exquisite trail craftsmanship!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 01:12 PM
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Wow, that's one amazing looking area. You guys certainly had a great trip[8D].
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 05:17 PM
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Thanks for the report and pics. We stayed at Emma Lake for 3 nights a few years ago and used it as a base to explore the surrounding area. Would love to do the traverse some time. What level of route finding skills would you recommend?
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Pathfinder

Would love to do the traverse some time. What level of route finding skills would you recommend?
Gee, that is a tough question for me, as I am not certain of the level of my own route finding skills[:I] The main problem would be getting caught in low visibility weather when you may have to hole up a bit. In that case you should be very familiar with map, compass and altimeter navigation on mountain terrain. I'm a dinosaur in not being interested in GPS. The traverse can be done in half the days we took, so that would minimize your vulnerability. Next is finding a route that suites your scrambling comfort level. Our route was the easiest, avoiding all scrambling above class 2. Weyerhauser (sp?) put out a topographical recreation trail map (which includes the divide traverse) for their domain around Powell River. Plutonic Power may have done one too? The government chart is 92K1. The 3 different trail maps I saw all had different variations for the traverse.


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post #15 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2010, 10:17 PM
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Fantastic!! When I did the piece of the sunshine coast trail last summer with Stryder I was looking at maps of that area and had recommendations about Emma lake and thought I have to get out there in that area! This makes it a "for certain". There is a lot of good hiking on the Sunshine Coast that just needs a bit more "publicity" like this report.

Thanks, Al.
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