We weren't planning on returning to the Coquihalla region so soon after doing the Zupjok-Llama-Alpaca Ridge just two weeks ago, but we were tempted by good conditions for the scramble up to Vicuna Peak and Guanaco Peak. Not too hot, shade provided by clouds, and dry rock!
From previous trail reports, we were well-informed about the state of the alder encroaching on the logging road, and so we parked at the Little Douglas Lake recreation site. The moment we stepped outside, we were greeted by literally armies of mosquitoes. Never have I seen so many--it was insane! They must have been desperate for fresh blood...
We scampered off quickly at 10am and walked the 6km logging road to the trail in about an hour. The road is in very good condition, but unfortunately the alder really does prevent any vehicles from driving up the road. Due to the alder, and the fact that we were booking it to avoid the mosquitoes, we missed the turn off to the trail. There are lots of flagging in the alder, but our heads were unfortunately down. The wooden sign and boulder, as described in 103 Hikes, aren't really visible from the road now due to the alder. We did place a cairn on the road to make the trail more obvious.
Made quick work of the uphill segment, which was marked clearly. Several trees to climb over at the bottom, near the clear cut, but otherwise someone has brushed the trail out well. Then came the mud and bog after the steep forest section, where there was no escape. After a short lunch break at the col, we started heading up Vicuna Peak. Very straightforward and nice solid class 3 scramble. The chain at the crux appears to still be in very good condition--without it, climbing up/down that part could be challenging and tricky.
Headed over to Guanaco Peak to bag the summits before descending back down to the car for a 7.5h trip. Due to the mosquitoes, we planned to unlock the car in advance, jump in immediately, drive away, and remove the mosquitoes that foolishly followed us in the car. Success! I've never been on a hike where we left so quickly!