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Chris S. 08-15-2018 01:10 AM

Guanaco Peak 08-12-18
10 Attachment(s)
And so I return to The Coquihalla, my favourite hiking region. There is something mystical about this place. Perhaps it's the seclusion from the other more populated hiking areas. Or it could be the undamaged views of the Cascade Mountains. Maybe it's the interesting variety of terrain on the trails that have established. Whatever it is, it is simply magical.

I picked up a few friends from our usual meeting spot in Coquitlam, and headed over for the long drive to the trailhead of Guanaco/Vicuna. This week I had my friends from last week join me, the husband and wife team of a crossfit athlete and a trail runner. Included was a friend who I haven't hiked with in a long time, who is a similar age and condition as myself. This would have been a slower paced hike as my athletic friends were not very experienced scrambling. I was familiar with the trail as I was here last year, check out my trip report of Vicuna Peak. This time it was a tad bit different. We drove right up to, and I do mean right up to the end of the road before you cross the small river. This meant driving through extremely overgrown brush. Do not even consider to travel further than the bridge if you have a nice vehicle. Since I am trading in Friends With Benefits for a Landrover sometime in the near future, I am not too concerned. In it's current state, you will not only receive scratches. You will receive significant dents to your vehicle. The road itself is not the challenge as a high clearance 2WD vehicle is more than enough. It's a matter of not smashing your windshield or any other body parts when going through the heavy brush.

It seems as if it has not been maintained since my last visit last year, no matter the trail is well established and well defined. There are no permanent markers on the trail, only signs of faded flagging tape. It is easy to determine where to go, and from the beginning it is quite steep going upwards. Into the meadows it turned out to be muddier than last year. Past the meadows was the nice boulder area with the natural staircase, where everyone who sees it wonders if it was man made. Past the boulder field towards the base of Vicuna, the trail slightly disappears in certain areas. Overall it is not difficult go find the route, and find the way towards Guanaco is a lot easier than expected. There is technical experience required for this trail, and again it is not for beginners. The technical scrambling required to traverse the first initial boulder field is not difficult but for the inexperienced the possibility of injury is real. Heading up the ridge towards the summit cairn on Guanaco requires some more technical experience as well, however it is nothing difficult for anyone with significant outdoor experience.

The bugs were not as bad as our previous trip to July Mountain, however the views were obscured by the heavy smoke in the distance. It did manage to clear up shortly after our break at the saddle between Vicuna and Guanaco. There are no reliable water sources past the ATV road leading to the trailhead, so be sure to bring plenty of water.

The weather in the morning was very cloudy and it rained throughout the drive from Surrey to Hope. When we reached the saddle it finally started clearing up. On our way back to the truck it turned out really nice, with only the smoky haze blocking some of the views. From start to finish, it took is just slightly over 6 hours.

Overall when I look at it, it is easy to do both summits in one day. The next time I come over here I will finally conquer Vicuna and then head over to Guanaco for a break.

martin 08-15-2018 03:50 PM

Thanks for the report! I have yet to go to this area. Would you say that the road is rideable with a bicycle? Or is there too much bush?

Dru 08-15-2018 07:19 PM


Originally Posted by Chris S

Chris S. 08-15-2018 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by martin (Post 842290)
Thanks for the report! I have yet to go to this area. Would you say that the road is rideable with a bicycle? Or is there too much bush?

You can definitely ride it with a bicycle, however you will still have to go through some heavy brush to get to the trailhead, which you would have to do in foot anyways. It may be troublesome in some areas as the branches may get caught in your bicycle. It is really overgrown compared to last year.

Chris S. 08-15-2018 08:08 PM

2 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Dru (Post 842300)

I suppose we'll continue this conversation, although I was under the assumption that it had been clarified nearly a year ago.

If the word "conquer" offends you or anyone else, then feel free to contact me via direct message and I will most definitely cease. Not once have I received any negativity from anyone on this forum, aside from yourself, regarding my choice of words. I am in no way attempting to offend anyone. I am contributing to this forum, basically on a weekly basis in return for the 2+ years of lurking here while using the valuable trip reports that helped me experience Canada's beauty.

You once asked me if I "beat them, take their land, and subjugate them?" I am unfamiliar with the last word, but overall I do understand completely what you are asking of me. I actually understand far better than most people would. So here is my story, not like it is any of your business or anyone else's, however it may perhaps explain my choice of words as to prevent anyone from being upset.

My family arrived in Canada as political refugees. We escaped a war torn third world country. My country of origin was under what the Westernized countries would call "Martial Law". We, the people, the citizens, were taken from our home, our possessions taken from us and our rights ignored. Those who we entrusted abandoned us and we were without any hope. Our fathers, sons and brothers were imprisoned. Our mothers, daughters and sisters were violated. What the Westernized countries know of what truly happens is nothing compared to living the experience.

When I use the word "conquer" it is because I have overcome so much to get to where I am. I have conquered many obstacles to get here, and if you came from something similar then you would understand. Whether it is an extremely challenging hike or learning a new culture, I face these challenges and share these stories. I believe that everyone has a story to share, and the mountains here in Canada are a great story for me.

Oh, by the way. Given my background, I don't get offended by anyone using the word "conquer" around me. But that's just me...

cutthroat22 08-15-2018 09:34 PM

Definition of conquer

conquered; conquering play \ˈkšŋ-k(ə-)riŋ\ transitive verb
1 : to gain or acquire by force of arms : subjugate
  • conquer territory

2 : to overcome by force of arms : vanquish
  • conquered the enemy

3 : to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition
  • conquered the mountain

4 : to overcome by mental or moral power : surmount
  • conquered her fear

5thhorseman 08-16-2018 12:23 PM

Hi Chris, I really appreciate your trip reports and the enthusiasm you bring to this site, but while reading other TRs you've probably noticed that hardly anyone else uses the word 'conquer', mainly because the mountains will still be here long after we are dead and buried. So the idea of conquering them seems, well, rather silly. For this reason I think the word grates on more than a few people, though they don't necessarily say it.

Conquering your own fears, perceived limits, or personal bests, that is another thing, and probably (I hope) what you really mean by the word.

Dru 08-16-2018 03:04 PM


Originally Posted by cutthroat22 (Post 842312)

3 : to gain mastery over or win by overcoming obstacles or opposition
  • conquered the mountain

in what way does easy hiking to the top qualify as "mastering" or "overcoming opposition"? "win"? Is this a contest?

muskeeto 08-16-2018 04:58 PM


Originally Posted by dru (Post 842356)
in what way does easy hiking to the top qualify as "mastering" or "overcoming opposition"? "win"? Is this a contest?


DogOne 08-16-2018 05:15 PM

Good job Chris!

cutthroat22 08-16-2018 05:18 PM

My final word is not about the word, word?

Just be nice or don't reply. The op posted a well written trip report and you replied with a snarky meme about his choice of word, word? Not appropriate for any poster, let alone a mod, word?

Hopefully he can conquer some more of his challenges.

I'm off to conquer a big lunch.

Tomorrow I will conquer another day at work.

Edit* As a mod maybe you can conquer deleting my posts and yours to clean up the thread.

frankhardly 08-17-2018 09:01 PM

Hi Martin. My daughter and I just got back today from doing Vicuna yesterday. We parked at the Zum Recreation campground as someone in a pickup just came over the bridge as we got there and debated whether we should try driving further. If I had a beater truck, I would drive it, but we have a VW Eurovan with all terrain tires and decided not to risk it. We brought bikes and it was a pleasant half hour drive to the berm before the creek. I was a bit dismayed that it seemed mostly downhill by bike and was worried how my legs would handle it on the way back, but it took half an hour return - although definitely more uphill than down on the return. Was a pleasant bike ride and easily done with even just a front suspension bike.

frankhardly 08-17-2018 09:03 PM

Hi Chris, thanks for the posting. I have almost identical shots of yours of the slabs beneath Vicuna.

tedoliver 09-11-2018 04:45 PM

Way to conquer.

Spectrum 09-12-2018 03:19 AM

"If the word "conquer" offends you or anyone else, then feel free to contact me via direct message and I will most definitely cease."

It's 2018 of course it offends me. maybe substitute in a different word Mr. Conqueror of mountains.

P.S. I don't do direct messages.

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