Dennett Lake - The Hard Way - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
Off the Beaten Path
Dean1160's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Posts: 804
Default Dennett Lake - The Hard Way

Well, things didn't begin as planned.

I showed up at the trailhead 30 minutes late, so let's start off with an apology to Shakey and ginsengjoe.
They had just left before I arrived, so I hightailed my sorry arse up the old logging road, hoping to catch up with them.

After a few hours, I reach snow and am very close to the summit. Still have not caught up with Shakey and ginsengjoe. They must be really hauling it!

I took a trail off the main road but soon saw a sign saying it goes to Munro Lake. I want Dennett Lake, so I backtrack and continue upward.

The clouds are moving in closer but I figure I'll try the trail where other footprints go. I'm now on a narrow and wet trail, suddenly deep in the rainforest. The trees seem very old here. Soon I see a wall rising far above me: It's a ski cabin. More like a 20-meter alpine chalet.

I continue up the hill and snow. More chalets. I saw at least 7 and they were huge! All were quiet-spooky. I finally reach another false summit after trudging up more snow. There was some purple climbing rope and a cairn made from concrete bricks. Hmmm. But great views of Port Moody, Burnaby, and even Vancouver Island.

What's this sign? “Summit <--” Ok. Finally some direction. So far this is the worst marked mountain I've ever had the displeasure of setting foot on. Must have been marked during the Flagging Tape Shortage of '76. Tough times then.

Anyhoo, I look for the next marker-nothing. I go this way, and then go that way but no sign. So I figure I'll scale this incline, which might lead me to the summit and then the lake. After more hard work: nothing. I don't want to take any more risks and figure that I can always try again some other time. It was still a good work out. Then it starts raining. Time to go home.

As I'm descending, I see two young gentlemen (not unlike myself) sauntering up to my position:
“Are you Dean?”
“Yeah. Sorry I was late.”
“Ya, whatever…^%@#*%@” (just kidding-they were very forgiving)

The well-prepared Shakey and ginsengjoe both brought GPS units and we figured that the lake wasn't that far away. So we decided to continue with renewed resolve.

More snow bushwhacking and very few markers to guide us. Another check and now we're just north of the lake. Time to loose elevation. We finally found some flagging and boot-skied down some steep slopes. Tallyho! There's Dennett Lake!

It was snow covered and partially rimmed by tall cliffs. Time for some food and drink, then a quick retreat. It took us 4 long hours to reach the lake (we thought the total trip would take this long). Thankfully, the return was much faster. We found the main route that goes back to the Ski Village and then we were soon beating a path on the old road. It took half the time to return and we rewarded ourselves: the Après-Hike Greasedown included doughnuts, spicy chicken sandwiches (which were really cheap but tasted unusually fresh), and Fruitopia! We went all out, as you'll later see.

Thanks for the hike Shakey and ginsengjoe. We were very lucky to meet at the top. T'was a pleasure.

Sorry no pictures-I didn't expect it was worth hauling my camera up. I think Shakey will soon add some he took.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 06:44 PM
Headed for the Mountains
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Nice report Dean, the route is a little nicer from Quarry Road IMO, via Munro Lake.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Dean seemed to be a no-show; we figured that he was just stuck in traffic or something and that he'd have to catch up. So ginsengjoe and I set out, taking the south slope trail. We eventually reached this pretty little canyon along Pritchett Creek:

The snow followed soon afterwards and the trail seemed to disappear. It was slow going through thick young second growth with big snow patches everywhere. No sign of a trail; although some slogging and thrashing eventually brought us out onto a soggy road. We followed the road for a while, mostly on snow, until it forked. We obviously chose the wrong fork because soon we were bushwacking again . Glad to have Joe with me, he's pretty quick with the map/GPS/compass. He steered us directly to the main road and things were looking up. By the time we got to road's end the snow was about a metre deep.

Meanwhile, Dean had motored up a different route, with some bushwacking of his own. We found him near the road's end, checking out where to go from there. Bizarre coincidence, considering the number of different routes possible! With recharged motivation, we set off through the subalpine.
tiny tarn
Coquitlam Mtn. through the trees
Eventually, with soggy frozen feet, we reached the lake:

After some snacks and a brief rest we were on our way back, which was the best part. Dean lead us along a different trail through the former Burke Mtn ski village:

We took the main road back to the vehicles (much quicker ).
It was predictably a low reward to effort ratio hike, but I had a great time, thanks guys. Good to meet you.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Glad you got out again Dean.

Hey Ginsengjoe - quit looking so happy [:0].

"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
- Yoda
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,647

Nice to see some reports from this mountain. I remember getting a little lost several years ago on Burke. Seemed to be quite the network of trails without trail signs at junctions. This was mostly northwest of Dennet and Munro Lakes I believe.

'Keep on keepin on'
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 11:55 PM
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Location: Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
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Well, looks like Dean and Shakey covered all the bases, not much more for me to add. Although the lake wasn't much to look at, the little village was definately one of the high points of the hike.

The pics turned out pretty well, eh Shakey? If you look closely in the pic of Shakey and I, you can see the beer Dean made us carry up there (what a lush) [)] Not a bad day at all, but as Shakey said, the effort/reward ratio was definately heavy on the effort side.

Nice to meet you guys too (thanks for not mentioning me locking my keys in my car)

Hiking Nut: I was happy; You should see me when I'm angry
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 12:02 AM
Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Port Moody, BC, Canada.
Posts: 458

Nice trip... The trail from Quarry Road to Dennet is a little more interesting, and a little easier to follow ... and not get lost.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
Albert Einstein
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 01:35 AM
Summit Master
mick range's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Forest Gnome Cabin, , Canada.
Interest: Outdoor stuff...especially scrambling,trailrunning,mountain biking,kayaking,and hiking, and of course photography
Posts: 13,876

Haven't been up there sice the 1980s and it was easy to get lost then too.Good to see you out there Dean-I know it's a challenge to find the time
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