Hanes Valley to Grouse - May 28 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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Default Hanes Valley to Grouse - May 28

The weekend predicted rain with 100% probability. I decided there were no scrambles to be done on account of the weather and the sensible thing to do was something “easy”, something North Shore safe.

I figured it was finally time to do the notorious Hanes Valley, and perhaps throw in Crown depending on conditions, then return to Grouse. Righto - clearly no need to take my ice axe.

At 6am the rain pounded the windows. Surely it would ease up I told myself. Hmm…looks like it’s raining hard…better take a poncho for when the Goretex gives up. “Wish I had my poles, the ones I bent last weekend,” thought my inside voice.

Driving the highway to Lynn Valley was depressing. SO…MUCH….RAIN..ugh. “You might have to hike with that damn umbrella”, I thought. A Starbucks stop was becoming more necessary as my spirits sank as fast as a cinder block attached to the ankle of mafia don. I drowned my apprehensions in warm frothy goodness, drank the last taste of happiness I’d have for hours, and willed myself forward.

7:50am
Trail runners dashed before us on the way to Norvan falls and smilingly said, “You must be crazy too”. With my bright yellow rubberized pants and feeling a bit like a floating rubber duckie, I replied, yup go team Quack.




9:30am – The Bridge to Hanes
The lower Lynn valley was mostly fine. Sure sure what was the trail was really a water culvert designed to fully test my Goretex boots, and there were now 6 rivers as opposed to the say the usual 3, and waterfalls came off the mountain like I was walking through Maui but beyond that the trail was well marked (Danger/Closed/ Do not Enter) and snow free.








We were concerned about the river crossings. Things were raging, so I put on my crampons and sunk those metal teeth into the slippery wet logs. Rob crawled across on his hands and knees. It wasn’t great but it was doable.




11:15am
Eventually we made it to the helicopter pad and took shelter under the stairs for a quick snack. It’s important to note here that we enjoyed Ritter Rum Raisin & Hazelnuts chocolate, something that has been unavailable in Vancouver for like 6 years! I found our mutual crack at Meinhert on Granville through such mystery that I can only conclude that the universe knew of my Saturday plans, felt guilty it was planning a 15 year record rain fall that day, and offered some manna from heaven. So other than being very very wet the trail was fine to this point. I looked up into what I predicted might be crux #2 , the boulder field, and thought, nice, most of the snow is gone, onward and upward.




12:00 – Boulder Field
The boulder field is about 90% melted out. In the upper section there is a snow patch you must cross and for this crampons are still a must have item as the run out is rather long. This part sucked for me. I had the crampons but they were almost useless as the snow was utterly water logged. Every step was like sliding quick sand which slushed away and the combination of wet heavy snow and crampons made ice blocks of the teeth. I had to move slowly and very meticulously stomp every step to ensure I had 100% footing before moving to the next step. What veggie belays offered themselves I used for a bit of extra security. Sure wish I had my ice axe!














1:30pm – Crown Mountain / Hanes Valley Col
With a great sense of relief we arrived at the col. My boots had long given up trying to stay dry and the snow travel had made my feet numb with cold. But I was in good spirits thinking, we’re close now…just gotta get up to the lodge. Little did I know this was going to be the WORST part of the journey.



[no more pics after this, it got hairy]


None of the snow pack had melted from the Crown col. We followed some orange flagging and had to navigate boulders and snowy slippery terrain. The winds picked up and if it was possible to rain any harder than it already had, it did. We got to the chains which were under the snow with some bits exposed and decided it was too dangerous to continue in the snow. We veggie belayed and bush whacked up the trees as they offered the only stability around. It was truly horrid. North Shore rescue yellow tape lay on the ground as a morbid forewarning as to why normal people shouldn’t go here. Ahem.

It was exceptionally slow going in these conditions as safety was our primary concern. We worked our way up past the steepest part and then exited out to little Goat to complete white out conditions. The wind howled and blew my poncho around. My core body temperature was dropping…I was mentally done. I asked Rob to lead for a while. We went down the wrong gullies twice. All of the winter route markers had been removed and the summer ones were hiding behind snow.

We were going off of memory of the summer and snowshoe ascents plus had a little Garmin GPS which in these conditions lost signal a lot. Up and over Little Goat was safest as opposed to going around it - side hilling in steep wet snow sucks. Never have I been so happy to see a yellow trail marker. I kept thinking, yup…this is exactly how people die out here - disoriented, cold, and miserable. Ours were the only tracks until we got almost to the bottom of Dam Mountain. In some ways the pipe along the way which I’ve always hated helped to reveal the route. We made it to the flat wide path and still couldn’t see a thing. Couldn’t see the chair lift, couldn’t see the bear enclosure.

3:45pm
We stumbled into the lodge like two maniacs, laughing and grateful to be warm and out of the elements. Tidy tourists and Grouse Grinders in nothing but t-shirts and running shoes sat around feeling a sense of accomplishment. Our first priority was to check in with Guntis to tell him we were alive. As the text messages came flooding in I got the one that said I’m calling SAR if I don’t hear from you by 5:30pm, it shouldn’t be taking you guys this long. Ugh. Yup – WELL THAT SUCKED, we said out loud.



We sat wring drying everything and ordered two hot teas. Another Rum Raisin & Hazelnut chocolate awaited in my backpack. It figures that the day we decided to do the “easy” hike we get a 15 year record rain fall in Vancouver with some 40-50mm of rain and I'm stuck in it for 8hrs. What’s wrong with us I asked Rob? No really. “Perhaps the next time it’s raining we just go out for breakfast”, Rob replied. The next day he bought 10 ponchos from Amazon and I bought a new “extreme conditions Columbia Titanium” jacket from REI. 48 hrs later my gear is still not dry. Mountain morons, I know.

Conclusion:

1) H's are bad (Helm, Hanes, Hanover, Habrich).
2) On a rainy day, go have tea instead
3) We should have picked SUNDAY.
4) We drank zero water (even though I carried 2L on my back) because it all came from osmosis.

Trip Specs
18km, 4495ft/ 1370m gain
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Last edited by Masiar; 05-31-2016 at 12:21 AM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 01:35 AM
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Well, damn! I went up Mt Nutt on Friday and was all proud of myself for braving the rain. Now I feel like the new guy at the gym curling 10lb dumbbells while the guy next to him is bench pressing a small sedan.

Much like you I am now looking to upgrade the ol' rain gear.

Semper fudge
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 02:27 AM
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Masair

My hat off to you for braving the elements in incredible marathon style; to endure that rain and go up that steep chainy part past the Hanes Valley. I did that in reverse order but on a sunny day a few years ago.

You wit and humour made this trip report a very delightful read.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 03:17 AM
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Bravo Maria. I've done Hanes crossover --with side trip up Crown, from Crown col-- but it was August and sunny. With your conditions, this is quite challenging undertaking. But this is North Shore after all.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 03:46 AM
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...ambitious in those conditions! Thanks for the conditions update
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 10:35 AM
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Reading this makes me incredibly thankful I switched my day off to this Saturday.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 03:44 PM
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That is a very ambitious journey in the worst of conditions. Glad you were safe and successful on your objective. I am also very glad that I decided to go visit the sunny peaks in south washington this past rainy weekend...
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 06:15 PM
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Good work with being Persistent in hideous conditions.......
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 06:26 PM
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Also worth noting that 50 mm/rain 24 h is the threshold above which many debris flows happen and that the Lynn Valley trail alone crosses a dozen or so debris flow deposition zones.
We shut down work in the woods when it's this wet, more or less.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 09:23 PM
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You sure there wasn't a LOT of rum in that chocolate? Maybe enough to affect your better judgement LOL :-)

You are a most intrepid outdoors-woman, well done.

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 03:05 AM Thread Starter
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@Dru: I would have made a different choice had I known the sheer volume of rain that was expected. Lesson learnt on that one...I confess the debris flow is not something I took into calculation and should have. Rain threshold 40-50mm in 24hrs - registered into the gray matter. Thank You

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-01-2016, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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@xj6response: I'm sure the mere "fumes" of said Jamaican Rum & Raisin chocolate put me over the legal limit - and if you look at the snow track it's rather erratic zigging and zagging unable to walk in a straight line.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
What’s wrong with us I asked Rob? No really. “Perhaps the next time it’s raining we just go out for breakfast”, Rob replied. The next day he bought 10 ponchos from Amazon and I bought a new “extreme conditions Columbia Titanium” jacket from REI. 48 hrs later my gear is still not dry. Mountain morons, I know.
LOL

CBC Radio and NSR Facebook page reporting a solo hiker was just rescued out of a drainage back there. She's lucky to be ok.

On a lighter note rum fruit & nut is an excellent Ritter Sport. I find it in some of the smaller grocers on Commercial Dr that have imported products.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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@Whyte_Lake: I was just notified of that and I'm glad she was rescued safely :S I had hope my report would have deterred folks, it really was awful up there last weekend. I know I joke a lot but do think twice. As I said and NSR reiterated it's full winter conditions up there and all winter route markers are gone with the summer ones hiding.

Here is what NSR posted...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-02-2016, 05:51 PM
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Sadly, I read that one of the rescuers was injured during this rescue.
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