MV = Metro Vancouver Cathedral Mountain, Mount Burwell, & Coliseum Mountain - August 5-6, 2018 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Default Cathedral Mountain, Mount Burwell, & Coliseum Mountain - August 5-6, 2018

I am one of the lucky kids to grow up in Lynn Valley, surrounded since birth by our amazing mountains and canyons. While I never was a big hiker as a kid, being just in the forest always has been fun for me. So now that I am done school, have a stable job, and am moving off the north Shore to Kitsilano, I wanted to take full advantage this summer of being so close to our backyard mountains.

There is no better way to take advantage of these mountains by doing one of the great, forbidden, trails of the North Shore Cathedral. This elusive mountain stands tall over my home, with its striking figure that looks intimidating, yet beautiful. With next to no beta on it, this mountain remains untouched by many. My buddies Nick and Roan were up for a glorious weekend in the mountains. This hike involves breaking some unfortunate delicate rules, and we are aware. I do not condone following what we did, however my stance is that the mountains are there for us to explore and should be treated with our upmost respect.

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We left Lynn Valley on our bikes at 10 AM. Biked the 11 km to the logging road where we stashed our bikes off the LSCR at about half way up. Two other bikes were also already there. From here, the trail climbs quickly and steeply up to Paton Peak (otherwise known as Vancouver Lookout), initially following a mix of new and old growth trees, and later a young and covered forest. A few ropes are there for assistance at tricky spots. This spot is well marked and is only confusing in one spot where there are a lot of blowdowns. 100% recommend this route rather than the Norvan Falls painful 7 km. We reached Paton at 12:30, stopped and had lunch in the gorgeous sun and then moved on to Coliseum. We were taking it slow and chatting and hardly broke a sweat.

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Pushing the bikes up the old logging road off of the demonstration forest

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Locking the bikes up

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Roan with a big cedar behind him

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It's a bit steep, but nothing too crazy.

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Purple rope!

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First viewpoint on the way up at around 800 meters.

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Roan at Paton Peak - looking down over Seymour resevoir

We reached Coliseum at 2 pm, stopped for a photo at the cairn, and then quickly headed down to Cornett Lakes. Probably about fifteen people up at Coliseum and at the tarn in total. The hike down to Cornett Lakes is straightforward and follows granite most of the way down. We dropped roughly 300 meters of elevation down to the first lake and went for a lovely swim. Contrary to popular belief, these lakes filter downstream of Seymour reservoir and are not in the watershed. We enjoyed the views, sun, and bugs before having dinner. Me and Nick got next to no sleep and the 4 AM alarm clock was rough. We new we had to get up early to pack up our overnight gear and get out before the sun was too warm Left camp just after 5 and we were standing on the summit of Burwell at 6 AM to a beautiful sunrise. First time up here for me. The ridge is incredibly easy to follow and is roughly 30 minutes from Coliseum.

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Boulder field before where the trail connects with the main Coliseum trail

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Looking out toward the Needles

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Summit cairn of Coliseum

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Roan and Nick looking down at Cornett Lakes

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Cornett Lakes are beautiful

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Morning light over the lake

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Hiking to the summit in the alpine glow

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Whiskey bag at 6 AM? What is going on with this generation..

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Looking from the summit of Burwell out to Cathedral..

We then dropped down the opposite north west side of Burwell and followed the general route to reach the Burwell-Cathedral col. No route description is really needed as you must find the best way down some granite staircases. We got lost a few times and cliffed out, but eventually started seeing some cairns leading the way down into the bushy ridge. From here, the route is very easy to follow with a narrow footpath and generous flagging. We were surprised that it would be that easy to follow. The bushwhacking was tough, but not unbearable and we made good time to the base of Cathedral. You head left around the west side of the peak, passing two boulder fields before heading up. There is good flagging for the most part. If you ever reach a steep gully with a rope, I would suggest you backtrack ten feet and go up the rock diagonally to the right before cutting left underneath the next set of rocky cliffs. Here you head left through some bushy trees before popping out to another rocky boulder field above the mentioned gully. At this point, flagging took us directly to the summit and we enjoyed some of the best views of all South Coast mountains. Had some water at the summit and headed down in the intense late morning heat. The time back to Burwell was tiring and pretty tough. We ended up taking a new route to Burwell by traversing to the right, which brought us in between Burwell and West Burwell with the radio repeater. We went over and built a cairn on this peak and then came back before doing an exposed class 3 climb up the left side of Burwell.

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Coming down

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Whiskey bagger

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Summit

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Palisade Lake

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Looking back to Coliseum

We took a much-needed dip in the Coliseum tarn before heading home. We were exhausted mentally at this point and not much was said. We ran most of the way down back to our bikes and then ripped home. An extremely tiring day to say the least, but the 30 degrees Celsius sun that we were exposed to for the whole day made it the most difficult. Overall, a gorgeous hike/scramble and a great overnight trip!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 01:00 AM
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I bet that swim felt amazing. It's a good thing that the Forbidden Zone is a long way from the parking lot, or I'm sure it would see more visitors. Those that make it are generally of the conscientious variety.


Another epic idea for a couple of young fit guys, there's the Lynn Lake connection. I did it in similar weather (drought, 33C). I recommend waiting for things to cool off a bit.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 01:36 AM
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awesome epic trip, nicely done and such an enjoyable read to carry us along.

thank you for your conscientious details.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 01:55 AM
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I remember that Lynn Lake -- Burwell loop guntis did. As if getting to Lynn Lake wasn't hard enough!

Great job on Cathedral; I always thought of it as sort of rite of passage for North Shore Hiker. There are few classic CT reports floating around. Bush is probably bit more bearable now
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2018, 05:50 PM
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That's awesome, well done! I have yet to climb Cathedral but I did visit Cornett Lakes a few years ago, nice place.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 02:50 AM
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I am speechless. Thanks for the trip report and giving me the inspiration to imagine myself doing this one day!


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by guntis View Post
I bet that swim felt amazing. It's a good thing that the Forbidden Zone is a long way from the parking lot, or I'm sure it would see more visitors. Those that make it are generally of the conscientious variety.


Another epic idea for a couple of young fit guys, there's the Lynn Lake connection. I did it in similar weather (drought, 33C). I recommend waiting for things to cool off a bit.
Yet to do Lynn Lake, but when I do I am sure to try that connection. Thanks for the recommendation
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2018, 12:43 PM
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Great trip, most apt for a younger demographic LOL. Not being in that group anymore I hike these lesser travelled routes, vicariously, through reports like this. Excellent, many thanks
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 11:25 PM
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That is an epic trip with lots of great photos! Thanks for taking the time to describe the route so well!
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 11:44 AM
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Nice work. Cathedral made me thirsty.

My hiking career: a selfish pursuit or a pursuit of self?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2018, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecamel View Post
cathedral made me thirsty.

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2018, 11:43 PM
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Nice report. I've been mulling this for a while and will probably wait until next year.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 12-09-2020, 11:46 PM
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Well done guys! Took me two times to get up there. First time solo a few years ago mid summer without a tent overnighting at Coliseum tarn and the bugs just wouldn't let me sleep. Sapped my initiative and "back thee go". Second time with a friend after Labour day (no bugs). We took a slightly different approach, traversing right and up a mangled boulder shute on the south side of the west ridge of Cathedral with the lake below. Also flagged at that time. I was following a GPS track that I found on a Club Tread post. Joined the main west ridge a little higher. I was 60 at the time and we were a bit slow coming down as it was surprisingly hot. Got back to Coliseum tarn at 6:00, just enough time for a quick dip and pack up the main bags. Not long before the headlamp batteries got a workout . Reached the bikes down on the Seymour Lookout side by 10:00 pm then rode the bikes back along the LSCR lit by the giant Super moon. This is one of the best bike-hikes around and so close to home.
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Last edited by Jaaklucas; 12-09-2020 at 11:55 PM.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2020, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jaaklucas View Post
Well done guys! Took me two times to get up there. First time solo a few years ago mid summer without a tent overnighting at Coliseum tarn and the bugs just wouldn't let me sleep. Sapped my initiative and "back thee go". Second time with a friend after Labour day (no bugs). We took a slightly different approach, traversing right and up a mangled boulder shute on the south side of the west ridge of Cathedral with the lake below. Also flagged at that time. I was following a GPS track that I found on a Club Tread post. Joined the main west ridge a little higher. I was 60 at the time and we were a bit slow coming down as it was surprisingly hot. Got back to Coliseum tarn at 6:00, just enough time for a quick dip and pack up the main bags. Not long before the headlamp batteries got a workout . Reached the bikes down on the Seymour Lookout side by 10:00 pm then rode the bikes back along the LSCR lit by the giant Super moon. This is one of the best bike-hikes around and so close to home.
Thank you so much for sharing your stories of doing it. Going to try to look at the map and get a better idea of the route you took - it sounds fun! I agree that it is one of the best bike-hikes near Vancouver. Another favorite is on the other side of the valley to the Mount Bishop area. Can't beat the granite pools and ledges on this trip though.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 12-10-2020, 04:34 PM
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This is such a great report, re-read it again as Jaaklucas resurrected it. I am very sorry I never made it to Cathedral when I was there; couldn't pull it off in a day like some people do, and could never quite make myself haul overnight gear on steep approach to Coliseum ridge, regardless of route taken. Its a shame because camping by Cornett lakes is worthy on its own.



Purple line on GE Shots from top of report are actual GPS track on the way up? It's bit closer to the ridge after second boulder field than I thought.
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