Jun 8, 2016
Weather forecasts were not looking good - I thought I would try to beat the rain and fit in a last minute midweek hike. I arrived at the Branch 200 junction of Roe Creek Road. Last year, I was able to drive almost to the trailhead. Looks like some work has been done to further decommission the last 3.5km of the FSR. Deeper waterbars, plus some piles of rubble in the way. I had to walk it, but I would recommend a bike to save some time.
The crux of the trip was the first creek crossing. Fast flowing, deep water. I looked at one spot where I might be able to jump across. Thought better of it. I almost turned back, but spotted a potential crossing close to some flagging. It required one step onto a rock with ankle deep water (heavy current).
Then, climb up the very slippery wet log (I marked it with a small cairn for the return).
From here, things got easier. the moraine (and its often scary meltwater) is completely snow covered, making for safe and fast travel.
I had to don the Goretex jacket for some light rain, but otherwise reached the col uneventfully. Cypress Peak has an intimidating looking profile.
The scrambling crux was not bad. In fact, the snow level is high enough that it's not much of a crux at all. At first, I was nervous looking at the developing randkluft, but there is still one point where thick snow nearly touches the rock. It was actually easier on the return as I had a better view of where to step.
A short walk along a steepish side slope, then an easy scramble up the west side (which was much easier than it looked from a distance). I didn't linger on the summit. Strong wind and rain made for an uncomfortable perch. It took a couple of tries to get my selfie as the wind kept knocking over my camera.
Back down to the ridge for a more comfy place to sit and a rewarding snack of hard cheese and yummy grapes.
I had fun racing down the snow. A bit too much fun at one point when I tripped and got to practise a self arrest.
I love this hike. It's short but provides a great feeling of adventure. Conditions are excellent right now - good snow coverage, gap between snow & rock is small. The only exception is the first creek. That sort of sucks.
15.7 km return (including the road walk)
1,300m elevation gain