S2S = Sea to Sky Watersprite? More like Ice Sprite (BEARS) - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-18-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
Ryl
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Default Watersprite? More like Ice Sprite (BEARS)

Finally got myself a new ride, decided that the best place to give it a shakedown would be the road up to Watersprite. Why not throw a hike in at the same time?

I got out of town late due to a spun out porsche on the Ironworkers, and started up the trail around 11:30 (June 18, 2017). The new boardwalks and bridges installed by the BCMC in the lower swamp are fantastic, and really make that area a breeze. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures on the way in and I was practically running on the way out, so I can't provide photographic highlights of that great work. Sorry ChrisL!

There's some blowdown on the upper bench, and the snow starts when you hit the forest about 30 minutes before the steep gully. Unfortunately the weather decided to sock in hard about when I reached there, so I chose to bail back and return next weekend. Realizing it was now later in the afternoon with nobody coming down behind me and bears afoot, I beat it down that trail with all haste.

Bears: I found quite a volume of very green bear scat on the trail, and ran into hikers who said they had run into a mother and cub on Friday afternoon on the lower-mid trail below the Prow. There was a trio lurking around the upper trail in the fall, so I would assume these are the same and they haven't moved on yet. Anyone going up in the near future should take all precautions, as it appears they are living off grass and scrubs right now and that can't be good for demeanor...

Bonus: There are fiddleheads abundant at the snow line. Ridiculous, considering it is nearly Canada day.



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Last edited by Ryl; 06-18-2017 at 11:44 PM.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:23 AM
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Thanks for the heads up. We were thinking of going there as soon as, or if, we ever get some sunny weather. All this snow and sustained cool temperatures makes me wonder if there will be much good hiking at all this season. Might just head back to Utah and Arizona.

What kind of 'new ride' did you get? pic?

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
Ryl
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'96 Nissan D21. Having exhausted most accessible stuff over the years, it's time to hit the wayback roads.

Assuming the snow ever melts above the 1k mark, this summer is really not looking promising.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 01:09 PM
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Nice rig. Time for a lift and some bigger A/T tires

“Real adventure is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive, and certainly not as the same person.” - Yvon Chouinard
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryl View Post
'96 Nissan D21. Having exhausted most accessible stuff over the years, it's time to hit the wayback roads.

Assuming the snow ever melts above the 1k mark, this summer is really not looking promising.
That's a nifty rig, looks in very good shape? I'm going on the hunt later this year for an older bush rig too, one that I'm not scared to get a bit pin striped My current jeep is still too pretty to get hacked up

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! It's about 120,000km overdue for a new timing belt, odometer & temp gauges are broke, and every single bushing is shot so it creaks worse than my knees will at fifty...but otherwise it was a ridiculous steal. Frame is utterly rust free, and it gets better gas mileage than my cursed Forester ever did.

Have to get the bugs fixed before the increasingly-short-looking Alpine window opens up this fall.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryl View Post
Assuming the snow ever melts above the 1k mark, this summer is really not looking promising.
That is an interesting thought. Here in Rockies things look 1-1.5 months behind as well. Should there be wet and cold summer, there might not even be alpine season in some areas

I remember 2011 hiking to Burwell on North Shore and tarn below Coliseum still half-frozen in mid-September. This year could be worse.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 11:16 PM
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That is an interesting thought. Here in Rockies things look 1-1.5 months behind as well. Should there be wet and cold summer, there might not even be alpine season in some areas

I remember 2011 hiking to Burwell on North Shore and tarn below Coliseum still half-frozen in mid-September. This year could be worse.
The snow loads across western north america are certainly very high. at the 3300 ft level of Mt Elphinstone snow is still about 4.5 ft deep. I've been hacking my way up there since 1984 and have never seen so much snow for so long.

This is a pic at the beaver tarns on the Elphie trail taken by a fellow hiker a few days ago.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 11:28 PM
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Thanks! It's about 120,000km overdue for a new timing belt, odometer & temp gauges are broke, and every single bushing is shot so it creaks worse than my knees will at fifty...but otherwise it was a ridiculous steal. Frame is utterly rust free, and it gets better gas mileage than my cursed Forester ever did.

Have to get the bugs fixed before the increasingly-short-looking Alpine window opens up this fall.
Even if you pay a grand to get it fixed up you'll have a great bush beater, superb

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for posting the conditions! I still have faith that we'll get a summer in the alpine... it's already melted off in the central cascades.

Question- did you take the new or old trail?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-21-2017, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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New trail, old trail is covered in snow and is really not advisable to use except for winter access due to sinking into a bog.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Managed to finish the hike yesterday, this time with a friend. Trail is clear up until the last creek crossing, which currently involves a sketchy combined log/snow bridge. Headwall is full of snow but it was soft enough that traction wasn't really necessary vs. just kicking steps in with my hikers. Just shy of 5 hours moving time round trip, with plenty of dallying at the top.





The lake currently still has ice about 2.5' thick covering most of it, and snow on top of that, with a few very shallow melt pools. I'll be surprised if it fully melts out this year, at this rate.

On the bad news side the trail was full o' Joffre's, including one group of five in sneakers with nothing except heavy metal hand-held waterbottles. Lots of overnighters, and a half-dozen day trippers who hadn't crossed the halfway point of the trail by 3:30pm. Two of these groups I had passed on my way up the road six hours earlier, in rather terrifyingly low clearance sedans. One made it all the way to the parking lot, one parked before the second to last bridge on the Skookum FSR. Everyone had decided to park horizontally along the bench, which reduced capacity by about half...


"Joffre"
Noun: Joffre - A person who struggles up a wilderness trail with wanton disregard for personal safety, dressed for a day in a city cafe.
Verb: To Joffre / Joffre-ing - Hiking without any of the ten essentials and in a way which ensures personal discomfort, often with a focus on sick instagram shots.
Examples: "Yo man, you see those Joffres? Who hikes the Black Tusk in Flippy Floppies?" "Jimmy sprained his ankle and spent the night alone on the mountain, but he was totally Joffreing and didn't even have an extra layer. Lucky he's alive!"

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Last edited by Ryl; 06-25-2017 at 04:25 PM.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 10:45 PM
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Hello Ryl,

I am glad you enjoyed your hike.

As the person who designed and built (with my volunteer crew) the new Watersprite Trail, I must admit I find it entertaining when I hear about the complaints on social media from the running shoe wearing "Joffre's" that my crew and I haven't drained every drop of water and mud from the entire trail, or missed a few downed trees or alders.
It would be nice to have a few of the complaining "Joffre's" come out on a trail clearing trip.

That being said, the new Watersprite Lake Trail has come a LONG way since 2015. We have completed installing three bridges, 90 feet of boardwalk, installed almost 80 steps, and performed drainage and round step installation/construction. Us volunteer trail builders have a lot more to do and are working hard. Our work is made harder by the onslaught of the "Joffre'" masses that have been released upon a trail we have yet to fully complete.
Regarding the upper creek crossing: Our bridging materials (decking and gabions) are now on site for that final upper bridge, but we haven't yet installed it. This is on our itinerary for this summer.

Your friendly neighbourhood BCMC Trail Building Crew Chief.
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Last edited by junglesavage; 06-25-2017 at 10:59 PM.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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The new Watersprite trail is already a gem, really, the boulderfield work is amazing. This was my 6th round trip on it after building the cabin in the fall, I'm intending to make it out to the next bridge-building event if work doesn't interfere again.

In case my post came off as eliting - I just think there's a time and a place for converse all-stars and a 17km trail with a steep snowy section ain't it!
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2017, 11:44 PM
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I agree that the entire Skookum Valley is not the place for running shoes. I've been ice-stormed and thunder and lightening pummelled in that valley on more than one occasion, and if the weather turns bad, a few of the Joffres may been in for a rude surprise. Mamquam Mountain gave me the rain-soaking of a lifetime on one attempt I led back in the 90's.

I anticipate the next Watersprite trail building trip that I will lead/organize will be on Sunday July 2.

I post almost all of my trail construction trips on the BCMC trip schedule. Guest memberships (non-members) are welcome to participate.

We won't be assembling the bridge on this trip, but will be working on the 3 - 6 KM sections.

Last edited by junglesavage; 06-25-2017 at 11:47 PM.
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