As far as I know, Manic Peak is a BCMC sanctioned name for a small outlier of the Mamquam Massif. Folks from the BCMC have been hard at work the past year building a trail from the Skookum Dam up to Darling Lake. Currently the trail is complete to Paranoid Creek with a log crossing (and cable hand rail) then it's a flagged route from there up to the alpine. Big thanks to the people that have created this route and for the future work that will be done on a trail up to the lake.
Skookum Dam Road is probably best done with a 4x4 and I had no trouble getting to the gate just before the dam where another vehicle is parked. From there the route follows old roads that have been cleared of alder with a short section of cleared trail through a cutblock too. Paranoid Creek was raging pretty good as I carefully crossed on the fallen log.
EDIT: As of October 2015 the Paranoid Creek crossing has been decommissioned. There is just a naturally fallen log over the creek.
Paranoid Creek and the log crossing it.
I pick up the flagging on the other side and follow it upwards (pink and red tape). Parts of what I think was the old Darling Lake Trail are seen on the lower part. The trail winds its way up through some nice forest. I was hunting around a fair amount looking for the flagging at times on the ascent but coming down later on the tapes seemed more visible and easier to follow.
Gaining the NNW ridge of Manic at 1600m elevation I see 3 guys, one of whom is adm on this site. He'd spent a few days at Watersprite Lake a month back, knocking off near all the peaks in that area and he'd retrieved my rope that I'd left on Fender Peak. As I'd already bought a new one I had told him to keep it.
We all chatted for a while as we followed the ridge then started to drop down towards Darling Lake. These guys were going for Mamquam as a day trip - something I'd like to do next year with better snow cover. Not sure if they made it and what parts of the glacier I could see did look heavily crevassed.
Darling Lake and the guys passing it by.
I took my first break just above the lake as they started up talus slopes towards another lake. Mount Garibaldi was well in view now and grabbed my attention a lot for the next few hours. As I rested I looked at how to approach my little peak and also get a better idea of the terrain around Mamquam for future reference.
Darling Lake and up valley view. I'll be aiming for the col above the small glacier(?) then going right. Delusion SW1 area at left.
By going this way I hoped to make a loop trip in the alpine, coming back down Manic's NNW Ridge. Hiking down to the lake, I checked the temperature - glacier fed and cold. Plenty of melt creeks flowing amongst the talus. After passing the lake I dumped my pack and back tracked slightly to get a view of it from some boulders.
Darling Lake and Garibaldi.
Heading up it's near all talus with some bedrock as I reach the depleted glacier and it's snowcave.
I did not venture in.
Continuing along the side of it I steadily gained elevation to reach the pass. This I was looking forward to as I knew Crawford Peak was beyond and I wanted to see how things looked over there without snow cover.
Like this - Paranoid Peak (with Bucklin behind it) centre left and Crawford centre right.
Manic Peak has two summits of near same height and I was below the slightly lower one. After the talus ascent to get here the heather slopes stretching upwards would provide a nice change of terrain.
The way up Manic subpeak with the peak at right.
Partway up and a view back down towards Darling Lake with Darling Peak at right and Garibaldi in the distance.
Main summit from sub-summit. Sky Pilot to Tantalus on the horizon with Squamish and Howe Sound centre area of shot.
Minor scrambling downwards and up to the peak where I dump my pack and lie down on the really comfy heather. I spent over an hour up here (cell signals are good).
Delusion SW1. Saddle/col I gained from the valley is lower right.
Tantalus Range to Garibaldi. Paul Ridge/Round Mountain (Elfin Lakes approach) coming in from the far left at 9 o'clock.
Paranoid Peak on the right. The Nimbus/Katzie area rear left, Pukulkul Peak centre and Old Pierre on the right. I think Robertson is way back centre area of shot.
Garibaldi Massif black and white 1.
1959m summit shot.
No mosquitoes and minimal blackflies but the horseflies were constant all day from car to summit and back.
Dreadnought Peak is directly south of me. Pinecone and Meslilloet rear left with Martin rear right. Cathedral and Crown also visible way back on the right.
Garibaldi Massif black and white 2.
Labelled shot looking southwards.
Paranoid and Crawford with Judge Howay between them.
I packed up my gear and started down the NNW ridge. A glance up towards the glacier gave me my first view of the other guys since the lake area.
I'm curious to know how they made out.
The way down the ridge was a mild scramble with occasional steep sections then some ups and downs as I worked my way back along to where I gained it earlier in the day.
Pleasant terrain. Manic on the right. Doing the peak on a Monday could have created a couple of subtle musical references.
Less flagging along the ridge but I found the spot where the route drops off. Finishing off most of my fluids here I started back down and found the flagging easier to follow (and more visible). Back across the creek where I refill my bottle then follow the trail back to the dam area.
Skookum Dam/Intake and pooling pond.
Soon I'm back at my vehicle where the beer isn't as cold as I like it but still goes down well and there's a nice breeze to keep me cool. Just over 9 hours round trip and I'm happy with how the day went.
Pyramid, Spire, Darling and Delusion SW1 (I think) from partway down the road.
Map of area and route. Purple is the Darling Lake Trail. Note it is a flagged route after km 2.9
One more shot of Atwell/Dalton/Garibaldi/Tent with Opal Cone below.