H/FC/C = Hope / Fraser Canyon / Coquihalla Needle peak with overnight at Flatiron lake july21st - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-27-2021, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Default Needle peak with overnight at Flatiron lake july21st

Many times driving over the Coquihalla summit you cant help but notice the sky clearing as you head east leaving the coast weather behind. The nice thing about this trip is that its an easy haul of overnight gear right to the alpine via paved roads.
After a couple of hours driving from Van we reached the trail head at the Zopkias exit. The Trans Mountain pipeline construction is going full bore there. I wonder if I will be able to bike their service road as a continuation of the butchered Kettle valley bike route from Coalmont in the future? Would be nice!
The trip up to the alpine is easy going starting with a forest climb which reaches a ridge that opens up gradually. After a couple of hours theres a junction, Needle or Flatiron. Flatiron we went for an overnight at Flatiron lake which was 45 minutes more. The campsite around the lake is beautiful and reminded me of Wedgemont lake or a bit like the Tarns on Robie Reid. The lake is the remnants of a glacier moraine with Flatiron rising above to the SW.
Late afternoon and we were alone there sizing up a suitable spot as the wind was really howling, moisture-laden and coming up from the coast with authority. As it hits Flatiron it chills and drops down to the lake. Bob got a good spot for the wind and my first choice for my tent proved to be bad. After a quick hike up Flatiron we came back and I moved my set-up tent. The inside of my tent was filled with dark gritty dust so I shook it out and got a more wind sheltered spot. One other group of 2 showed up later.
No fires allowed so after eating we retreated to our tents as it was cooling off in the shadow of Flatiron. We had our warm bags, nice as the lake is about 5,000 ft. elevation.
The wind blew all night and our tents were filled more with the gritty dust by morning. A clear night led to a lot of dark clouds by sunrise blowing by and obscuring Needle peak. We broke camp and headed back to the Needle-Flatiron trail junction and dropped our big packs.
It was clearing up the Needle and the prospect of rain was diminishing. The scramble up and down was alot of fun. The exposure is limited and its like a puzzle through a maze of boulders and ramps. Stay to the left going up is the easiest. I would recommend this as a good introductory scramble for someone who is nervous about using their hands but looking for some exhilaration.
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Last edited by zeljkok; 07-29-2021 at 02:43 AM. Reason: Add H/FC/C prefix
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-27-2021, 04:03 PM
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That is nice; when I dayhiked to Flatiron few yrs back I thought how nice it would be to overnight there.
Alpine further south is fantastic & can be explored for hours, incl. ascent of Portia Peak -- see simonc report
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-28-2021, 02:38 PM
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I hope you went for a refreshing dip in the lake!
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-28-2021, 09:28 PM
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Nice! I remember camping at the lake quite a few years ago, late August. Big winds and I remember plentiful blueberries on these small bushes on the ground that were nice to put in my oatmeal breakfast.
Never swam in the tarn though so it must have been cold.
Previous CT reports (Billygoat?) refer to this tarn as "Tasty Lake"
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-09-2021, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by martin View Post
Nice! I remember camping at the lake quite a few years ago, late August. Big winds and I remember plentiful blueberries on these small bushes on the ground that were nice to put in my oatmeal breakfast.
Never swam in the tarn though so it must have been cold.
Previous CT reports (Billygoat?) refer to this tarn as "Tasty Lake"
Big winds indeed. This area seems to be the last line of defence from the coastal climate. I would have jumped in for a dip but the air was cooling off quickly with a fire ban on. Tasty lake, yea it tasted good. Alot of ground up mineral action evidence. I remember HSCT camp and drinking from Magnesia creek. We called it Milk of Magnesia, very tangy!
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