Headed for the Mountains
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Baby Munday 08-06-17
Baby Munday. Lots of stories from experienced hikers about this trail. As an avid explorer, I truly enjoy the excitement of trails I've never experienced before.
I met up with Tina, Gilberto and Andrew in Vancouver. From there we drove towards the wonders of Chilliwack and it's majestic hiking trails. I'm more than familiar with the area as I've conquered a few trails in this area before. It was also reassuring considering I would be the least fit in this group. Andrew is extremely fit, one of the fastest hikers in my Meetup group. Gilberto is also in considerably better physical condition than I am. And Tina has experience hiking all around the Swiss Alps, and when she is tired I am exhausted. Overall this was one of the most physical groups I've been with in a while, so I knew we would do quite well.
I parked right before the bridge leading to the Airplane Creek Road. What a mistake that was. At first it seemed like the branches were overgrown and I would damage my truck. If I only knew how well maintained the road was, how easy the road was and how I would only suffer a few light scratches to save us 2 hours of hiking up gravel. Now I know for next time that we'll drive right through to the trailhead, and if necessary I'll be sure to bring a chainsaw.
The trail itself is well marked, and easily one of the most diverse trails I have experienced in a long time. With different technical requirements, considerably steep descents and ascents, this is one trail that truly deserves the difficult rating. Andrew, being the fastest of us took the lead at first until we reached the river. Then I took over from there. The technical requirements to ascend to the campground from the river as for those who are really experienced and have good upper body strength. Unlike some trails I have been on, there are many places for a hiker to be easily injured due to poor footing, while there aren't as many places to risk immediate death.
Unfortunately, despite being an extremely physically capable group, we only made it to the campground. Even then, we all made a pledge to return one day to conquer this mighty mountain. This was the first time in my life I blew through 3 litres of water before the halfway mark. Even Andrew ran out of water, as did Gilberto. Tina's lack of sleep due to the fireworks and my lack of nourishment prevented us from travelling further. I pushed my middle-aged body as much as I could, being around these younger adventurers gives me a sense of feeling young again but the cramps in my quads were just too much for me to continue. I fought my body's aches and pains but eventually the sensibility returned. After all, I did have to make it back to the truck and I did have to drive everyone home. We took a side trip over to Stewart Mountain and stopped by the last remaining water source to fill up. Thanks to Gilberto for bringing a water filtration device. That literally saved us!
It was extremely humid, and the haziness of the forest fires prevented the views in the morning. By the time we were leaving the haziness dissipated enough for us to take better pictures. What didn't change were the bloody black flies. I thought yesterday's Eaton Lake mishap was bad, this was just as bad if not worse! Well, no, it wasn't worse as I truly enjoyed this experience.
The alpine area reminds me a lot of Mount Cheam. I can see how people would camp here and conquer the Cheam Range on a weekend. I must say though, it would be quite a task to bring up camping gear through the ascent past the river.
Overall, this was easily the best experience of the year. Even topping Mount Frosty (if you wish to call it the true summit or not is up to you, I don't care) and the many others I have conquered previously since I started hiking this season. We will definitely return!
The Outdoor AND Culture Club Meetup