I don't normally post trip reports here, but let's do one anyway (some say they give you super powers). This one is to the well known Twin Lakes near D'Arcy, BC. The plan was to camp at the lakes, and the next day scramble an unnamed 8600 peak, hike out and go back to the office the next morning.
The 3 recent slides from 3 weeks ago were repaired well enough to drive over in a 4x4. So I drove past the slides, past the start of ATV trail and parked just before the "5 ton" bridge near the end of 2nd clear cut. This saved me 2km from the 1st slide, or 3km from the 2WD parking, which is very welcome.
It was my 1st time hiking this trail so I was a bit surprised what people call an "ATV" track. I could have saved myself the boring road walk and drive at least to the cabin. Most of the road to the cabin is 2WD single lane logging road with only 1 narrow section. Oh, well.
Past the cabin the hiking became much more pleasant as I was finally out of the trees. Flowers, however, were almost completely gone. Bugs were minimal and my bug spray went completely unused on this trip.
Ascending the final ziggy-zaggy section:
At the lower lake I was greeted by an army of marmots, and this one insisted on me photographing him:
Hiked past the upper lake to scout the route for tomorrow. The 8600 peak is in the middle of this picture:
Returned to the lower lake for the night. It started to rain 5 minutes after I went to bed. Couldn't have timed it better. It rained for most of the night.
Next morning started out gloriously. Even the upper lake felt happy enough for a photograph or two:
Beginning my route to the 8600 peak, which was freshly covered in snow after the night's rain:
Traversing the big grassy slope where vegetation was knee high, I really wished I had my hiking pole with me. As if it wasn't slippery enough when it's dry, it was completely soaked as well. Had to pay the dues for my stupidity and take a few falls.
Heading to the waterfalls in the distance:
Ascended the falls. Now my original plan was to go to the col straight ahead and ascend the ridge from there:
But I figured it would be quicker to just go straight up to the ridge from right here:
So there I went:
Looking ahead and keep moving forward:
Once I gained the ridge, I was rewarded with a view to the other side of the peak:
The drop is almost vertical:
And now the objective is just another 300 meters away:
A few more steps to take:
The short life of August snow:
And there it was, waiting for me:
A view of my route. The Twin lakes are hiding in the top-right corner:
The end of Downton south branch:
On the way down I decided to take the planned route up. From the top it seemed like a simple, easy walk. And it was, except for a few scrambling sections half way down.
The rest of the return route:
In the 2nd half of the day, the sky really cleared up and the greenery started to pop:
This was taken on the way in, under cloud cover:
By the time I got back to the lakes I was pretty worn. My feet were wet and I had a few hot spots. Hiking poles would have definitely made it easier. I'm still amazed by how beautiful that lower Twin lake is. I've seen many pictures, but never realized how magnificent it is until seeing it in person. Why do people camp at upper lake?
My track of the trip. Yellow - hiking to the lakes. Green - hiking to the peak. Magenta - return to lakes.