About eight vehicles (including mine) were broken into at the Mount Macfarlane trailhead (Pierce Lake FSR) last night. Many windows smashed (for some reason they smashed two windows on my vehicle). Gear strewn everywhere. I would not recommend parking overnight on Chilliwack Lake Road.
More detailed trip report to follow...
Rest of trip report:
Firas and I hiked up to Pierce Lake on Saturday morning. The bridge/log over the creek is pretty much a disaster, but I guess it's been like that for a while. Lots of campers at the lake, but never seemed that crowded. We camped at the creek inflow, and fished from the small beach next to our camp. The fish are plentiful and ravenous, but the ones we caught were quite small. Had some success with a woolly bugger in the afternoon and a dry fly at around sunset. Some fool was letting off what sounded like dozens of bear bangers.
Sunday, 9am, we set off for the summit of MacFarlane. At the upper lake we decided to climb MacFarlane and then traverse right around the upper lake via the ridge crest, in an anticlockwise direction.
We started by climbing the snow filled gully to left (south) of the standard North East ridge trail. The snow was steep but firm. We wore crampons. We reached the col on the south East Ridge and scrambled the final 100' of the SE ridge to the summit. I would describe this as a moderately difficult class 3 with minor exposure but lots of loose rock and unreliable handholds.
We rested on the summit for 45 minutes and then returned to the South East Ridge. Not wanting to down climb the same route, we skirted around to climber's left and descended some steep and unpleasant scree until reaching the col again. I used my axe on the scree.
We followed the south East Ridge all the way to a high point directly south of the upper lake. The SE ridge was great fun. Easy class 3. Plenty of interesting route finding to avoid exposure. Firm, blocky rock. It's easy enough to stay right on the ridge most of the time. Just before the second col I found the remains of a hawk.
The final high point south of the lake is a little tricky. Almost class 4, but no exposure. We gained it from the south side of the ridge. We then backtracked slightly and dropped down onto a steep and hard north facing snow slope. Crampons and axe were essential.
We then walked along a wide flat saddle in a north east direction around to the east side of the upper lake. There is a very steep descent through trees and krumholtz on the east side of the upper lake, and then it is an easy hike across a brownish boulder field in the north east corner of the bowl.
We were back at the broken down wooden helipad (or whatever it is) at around 3pm, and back at Pierce Lake at around 4pm. We reached the trailhead and our vandalized vehicle at around 7:30pm. Good times.