Mount Burwell west ridge (via Lynn Lake) - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
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Default Mount Burwell west ridge (via Lynn Lake)

Jul 19, 2015

Do you ever have one of those hiking days where you wish you would have just stayed home? This was one of those days. Perhaps tackling this route on a 32C day wasn’t a great idea. But I did do a few things right:
- did my research ahead of time (thanks oldmatt)
- started early in good weather on a day with long daylight hours
- carried 4L of water
- kept pack light

The hike in to Lynn Lake went quickly. Cool temperatures helped make it a pleasant journey. It was strange to walk along such a quiet route where there should have been the sound of a raging river, or even a burbling brook for that matter. All the minor creeks are completely dried up. Even if you do find water sources, the water quality will be dubious as all the forest creatures will be using those same few precious streams.







From Lynn Lake, head north along the obvious creek bed. North Shore Rescue flagging continues north, but flagging for the route to the west ridge of Burwell starts immediately after the equipment cache.





After a short time, the route leaves the creek and begins tackling the slope to the climber’s right. A lot of effort has been made to carefully flag the route. I was very thankful. The early part of the route is almost beginning to look like a trail. But then the blueberry bushes, devil’s club, and other assorted brush crushed my early optimism.



In case you're wondering, I ate the culprits shown in this bushy photo:


Breaking out of the trees at a rapidly drying out pond was a welcome experience. There were lots of deer and other animals tracks in the mud along the shore.


The worst bushwhacking is over at this point. From here on, it’s a mix of steep hiking and easy scrambling, short bushwhacking sections, solving minor route finding puzzles, and wondering why I thought this destination was a good idea.

Cathedral viewpoint




The ridge to Mount Burwell comes into view:


This rock face can possibly be avoided by bushwhacking up on the right, but there was no way I was going back into the hell-spawned shrubbery. Easier than it looked.


The summit of "Burwell Junior"


Some of the scrambling was quite fun, although my fatigue was seriously detracting from my enjoyment. I was overjoyed to finally see the Mount Burwell summit cairn. Totally mentally and physically done, it was a relief to be back on a real trail. Now I could just walk back down. I was practically giggling in anticipation for a swim in the Coliseum tarn. Perhaps I was losing my mind a bit, but it was every bit as good as I was hoping.


Everything is so dry!


A final view of Paton Lookout before re-entering the forest.


My descent was slow. By the time I was on the last 1-2km stretch from the car, my pace was barely better than a shuffle.

Epilogue
The day after sees me consuming massive calories. It was an interesting experiment to see how far this old body could be pushed, but I’m in no hurry to attempt this route again!



Distance (return): 32km
Elevation gain (cumulative): 1675m

Time stamps
5:45 - park at End of the Line General Store
6:00 - Lynn Headwaters trailhead
9:15 - head of Lynn Lake
11:00 - Cathedral viewpoint, majority of bushwhacking ends
13:25 - Mount Burwell summit
14:00 - swim in Coliseum tarn
16:20 - arrive at Headwaters trail junction
18:30 - back at car

Some unsolicited advice
Don’t attempt this route unless you know what you’re getting into. The bushwhack is very steep, very thick at times, and physically demanding. There is no cell reception anywhere. Carry a satellite device in case of emergency (PLB, InReach, etc). Be aware that deploying a rescue device might be challenging if you’re hanging from blueberry bushes on a very steep slope. Currently, there is no water available beyond Lynn Lake, with the exception of one manky pond that all the animals appear to be using.
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Last edited by guntis; 07-21-2015 at 12:26 PM. Reason: A case of mistaken identity
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 04:33 PM
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Amazing!!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 04:42 PM
Dru
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That's clearly a view of First & Second Summit of the Chief from drone/heli over the third, despite the photoshopped dam at right. The "lake" is Howe Sound
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 05:01 PM
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Didn't know of this route, i'd like to know how many calories are burnt on a good 10-12 hour hike, i looked up a fitness site that said with a 20lb pack, 10 hours would burn 7500 cals, but that's backpacking i think, hiking steep stuff may burn even more.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru View Post


That's clearly a view of First & Second Summit of the Chief from drone/heli over the third, despite the photoshopped dam at right. The "lake" is Howe Sound
Aw darnit, you ruined my fun! But I see it now. Thanks for the correction. I will edit my report.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 06:53 PM
CL
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I just took this one of my "to do" list. Great report.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 09:16 PM
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I just took this one of my "to do" list. Great report.
Hahaha. I just did the same thing!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 11:27 PM
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I'd like to add that Guntis' legs look like he's lost a fight with a dozen alley cats who's ring leader is a seasoned garbage racoon from whom he stole the last chicken leg. I have NEVER EVER seen his legs so scratched up. There might be more red gashes than skin.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Masiar View Post
I'd like to add that Guntis' legs look like he's lost a fight with a dozen alley cats who's ring leader is a seasoned garbage racoon from whom he stole the last chicken leg. I have NEVER EVER seen his legs so scratched up. There might be more red gashes than skin.
My shins really aren't that bad...but it was too hot for long pants and long sleeves. The worst injury suffered was at the hands of a giant solo horsefly on the Cedar Mills Trail. The evil critter drew blood. But when it returned, I gleefully slapped some sense into it. The only bug I met on the trip.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 12:08 AM
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I never knew someone had flagged that route. Guaranteed sufferfest!
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-21-2015, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mick range View Post
I never knew someone had flagged that route. Guaranteed sufferfest!
Yes, the flagging really helps. It's a pretty efficient route, and the worst is over by 1200m at the pond (but of course, by then, the physical toll has done its damage). I did wonder about following the creek the whole way, since it is currently dry, but creeks have waterfalls, so there's the risk of hitting an impassable wall.

oldmatt's 2011 report was in mid-August, with lots of leftover snow. At that time, the creek would probably not have been wise.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 01:30 AM
CL
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Anyone done this since.. I am seriously thinking about it.. Just wondering if my more than capable dogs can drag my butt around this route.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
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Anyone done this since.. I am seriously thinking about it.. Just wondering if my more than capable dogs can drag my butt around this route.
Last time I did it was 2 years ago.
I think the crux for dogs may be the start of the ascent to West Burwell (what Guntis calls 'Burwell Junior") from the flat stadium below it - There are several route choices (none are flagged) but in general you need to scramble over and across some pretty steep bare (or mossy) rock until you gain the more gentle and bushy ridge.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 07-26-2020, 07:26 PM
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Anyone who's hiked it in the last decade, you ever seen any Ptarmigan (grouse-like birds) on there or near Cathedral? Someone here (@bozo) had a pair of Rock Ptarmigan there in 2007, but can't find any info past then.
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