Brandywine Meadows & Alpine- Eeek, Cal-Cheak!
Well, Saturday was a beautiful day to be up in the alpine. We stayed overnight Friday at the local Cal-Cheak FS campground to get a decent start
and of course a getaway from the urban hustle. Right on the Cheakamus river, a beauty site. Sounds good except that its so hard to believe that
in 2018 people still have so little appreciation of the outdoors. People arrived and set up tents in random forest spots near people who paid for sites
had already setup? How low can you go? There's more, next door to us were 2 guys who literally spread out all their groceries on a blanket and
left them in the open the whole day(bags of stuff like oranges, bread, hotdogs, chips) there fully exposed to wildlife. After 6 that day I stopped
one, made up a story about a blackbear and 2 cubs in the area with a warning from the site operator and then they backed their card down and
loaded up the trunk. Saturday night, 8 people showed up to camp at their site and the other side of us saw the quiet tent owners rolling out speaker
cables and connecting to the sound system in their pickup! So much for nature and respect for flora and fauna. Just stay home folks, you'll be eaten
or beaten with this mindset!(we packed up)
Sorry, I digress, Brandywine Meadows is a rough drive up for sure but the fact that if your vehicle has the clearance and rubber(one crazy cat
drove his Ford Escape right to the trailhead about 2 km from the snowmobile cabin parking area,, high risk damaging not worth it). You are less
than an hours walk from spectacular meadows, awesome glacier views and an alpine plethora of above tree line exploration options!
We were a group of 4 with 2 dogs. 3 of us went up to what i would call the "grassy west ridge" and that was about 1.5 hours once you reach the
meadows "mouth" or 2.5 hrs from the car. Out 4th person had the wheels to go up to the "rocky west ridge" above us and get the fab view into
the next valley below. Its the one you see below and behind Mt Brew.
The Meadows are easy access but make no mistake, Brandywine Mtn is a long haul, steep, challenging and includes crossing snowfields so not to
be underestimated! I've seen 5 hour one way estimates and I believe it if you are spry or longer and grueling if you are not.
The wildflowers are out, the mosquitos are NOT, a few late afternoon descending but minor discomfort. Lots of water still coming down so the falls
are huge and in concert! One of the few hikes I am always open to repeating.