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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hi everyone!

Me and My dad are looking to do a two night, 3 day hike in the middle of August, and our eyes are set on the Indian Arm trail. Is there anyone who has hiked the trail recently who would be able to report on it's condition? It's been a bit discouraging scouring the internet lately with little recent talk about the indian arm trail. It does seem that the two trails; the trail to granite falls, and the trail to fannin lake; which connect to the section built by Don Mcpherson are still well maintained as they are talked about more readily. When we do go on the hike, we will make sure to post lots of pictures and updates on the trail's condition.

Thank-you all!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:14 PM
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Very rough and remote. Doesn't get hiked very often at all. From what I understand, parts are not very well marked and difficult to navigate. Hopefully you have a GPS track or some waypoints to follow.

-Ryan
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2012, 11:47 PM
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It is a remote route, not a trail. Not well marked or maintained and no trail foot bed in many areas. I did the west half a couple years ago and there was no markers or flagging in many areas. You need to be a experienced backpacker and skilled navigator, with a good map of the route. I would allow more than three days.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 12:31 AM Thread Starter
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darn! That's too bad. We'll definitely be on the hunt for a good quality map of the area!
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 04:10 AM
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The route is certainly rough, but that may add enjoyment, depending on your disposition. As for remote, I personally wouldn't qualify anything in that region as remote. As long as you're willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other and you're competent in your back-country skills, 3 days is quite reasonable. Good luck!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:29 AM
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quote:Originally posted by Kid Charlemagne

The route is certainly rough, but that may add enjoyment, depending on your disposition. As for remote, I personally wouldn't qualify anything in that region as remote. As long as you're willing to keep putting one foot in front of the other and you're competent in your back-country skills, 3 days is quite reasonable. Good luck!
So you've done the Indian Arm trail?
If so, I'm surprised you toss it out so casually as an easy 2-nighter to someone whose ability you don't know.
If not, you have no idea what you're talking about.

I did it back in '05. I find some of the chest-thumping braggadocio so common off-putting, I don't participate. Just to show I know what I'm talking, I was in excellent shape at the time (3 grinds in an evening all under 40 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week + whatever the weekend was). Same year I did the Stein traverse in two days, and Howe Sound Crest in 6 1/2 hours.
Took me an evening and two days, 27 hours of trail time, and that's pushing hard with a light pack. It has had very little traffic since then, flagging and clearing was minimal then and worse now. It may not be "remote" in the sense of map distance, but it certainly is in the sense that you will not see anyone for months at a time.
It was a wonderful experience, I loved it. But know what you are getting into. Two nights is optimistic.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 09:51 AM
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Is this it?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 10:05 AM
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quote:timelessbeing Posted - 06/25/2012 : 08:51 AM Is this it?
Um, kind of. That's a starting point from the west, ultimately leading to Elsay Lake from below. But you could also start at the Mt Seymour parking lot.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 11:14 AM
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Personally singinggirl66
I would recommend if your thinking about it to attempt sections of it first. And if so have a backup plan, PLB, spot, sat phone or something. As this is serious stuff

As just the section around granite falls was overgrown and confusing at times.

Just like alexcanuck mentioned you have to be in super fit and willing to suffer. Suffer in the sense that your going ultralight with little comforts.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 11:15 AM
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From the above track, the trail starts from seymour

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quote:Originally posted by timelessbeing

Is this it?
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 11:57 AM
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quote:Originally posted by alexcanuck



So you've done the Indian Arm trail?
If so, I'm surprised you toss it out so casually as an easy 2-nighter to someone whose ability you don't know.
If not, you have no idea what you're talking about.

Issues? I never said it was easy, not sure why you're attributing that to me. Congrats on all of your awesome Grouse Grind times!
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 11:58 AM
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Cool. Do you have the GPS file for that?
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 05:26 PM
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quote:Originally posted by timelessbeing

Is this it?
No, that's not it. That trail is known as the "Indian Arm / Elsay Lake Access" trail. It's an escape trail out of Elsay Lake (I think put in by NSR). I did about half of it last fall (no TR or pics) and it was easy enough to follow up to Vapour Creek (my turnaround point). Do not know about the rest of the trail up to Elsay though.

The Indian Arm trail basically starts at Seymour, takes the usual route to Mt. Elsay, and then veers off from there going up and over Curate, and Vicar peaks on the way to Vicar Lakes, and from there towards Bishop, Deacon, Presbyter and on to Fannin Lake.

-Ryan
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 05:57 PM
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The Indian Arm route as described by Don MacPherson (the builder of the previously non-established sections) starts at Seymour, following the Mount Elsay/Mount Bishop route to the west of Mount Seymour and Runner, gaining the ridge briefly before Elsay, skirting Elsay to the west, back on the ridge to Vicar Lakes.
Vicar Lakes can also be accessed via the normal Elsay Lake trail, the Lower Elsay Lake trail or the NSR escape trail flagged up from the Seymour dam area. This route existed as an alternate approach to Bishop, and was improved and flagged by NSR as a non-flooding non-extreme avy risk way to evacuate from Elsay Lake. No option saves much time or effort, the Lower Elsay route adds considerable time. If a bike is used to the the NSR trail out of the Seymour Watershed it'll save a few hours, but then you have to retrieve the bike.
Don built the section beyond Bishop past Fannin lake to Indian River, and also from the end of the established route to Granite Falls the rest of the way to where it joins the Dilly Dally trail at Buntzen.
Note that all the legs mentioned are minimally marked rough bushwack routes except for the normal Elsay Lake trail and the Dilly Dally.
This is far from an easy trail. Close to 5000 meters cumulative. Nothing but straight up, straight down, knee-high brush or slide alder. You know those beautiful rolling ridge walks Manning is famous for? Almost exactly not like that.
It would be great if the route got more use so it stayed at least semi-distinct, but it doesn't. Between Bishop and Buntzen there is almost no traffic except the short section up to Granite Falls.

Edit: Clarify the four alternate routes to Elsay Lake.
"Is this it" mentioned above is the Lower Elsay Lake trail, from the first switchback on the Mount Seymour road to the normal Elsay Lake trai where it starts back up the Elsay Creek. About 3X the time as the normal Elsay trail. I've done that a few times.
I believe Don worked on that one as well. The NSR contribution was mostly just marking a good bailout route to some cabins on Indian Arm to collect people lost from a few sources. Most of the route was cleared and flagged by Don.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-25-2012, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by alexcanuck

The Indian Arm route as described by Don MacPherson (the builder of the previously non-established sections) starts at Seymour, following the Mount Elsay/Mount Bishop route to the west of Mount Seymour and Runner, gaining the ridge briefly before Elsay, skirting Elsay to the west, back on the ridge to Vicar Lakes.
Vicar Lakes can also be accessed via the normal Elsay Lake trail or the above-mentioned NSR escape trail. Neither option saves much time or effort. If a bike is used to the the NSR trail out of the Seymour Watershed it'll save a few hours, but then you have to retrieve the bike.
Don built the section beyond Bishop past Fannin lake to Indian River, and also from the end of the established route to Granite Falls the rest of the way to where it joins the Dilly Dally trail at Buntzen.
Note that all the legs mentioned are rough minimally marked bushwack routes except for the normal Elsay Lake trail and the Dilly Dally.
This is far from an easy trail. Close to 5000 meters cumulative. Nothing but straight up, straight down, knee-high brush or slide alder. You know those beautiful rolling ridge walks Manning is famous for? Almost exactly not like that.
It would be great if the route got more use so it stayed at least semi-distinct, but it doesn't. Between Bishop and Buntzen there is almost no traffic except the short section up to Granite Falls.
We're actually talking about two different NSR escape trails I think. The one you're describing is a b-line from Vicar Lakes down to the Seymour watershed just below the Seymour dam. The one I was discussing is a route off the normal route in to Elsay Lake that makes a b-line for Indian Arm (and then parallels Indian Arm heading south) and emerges at the first major (left) switchback of the road up to the Seymour ski hill.

And I agree - it would be great for this trail to get more use... I'd be interested in exploring it more and eventually doing the full loop myself.

-Ryan

Edit: we edited at the same time and are on the same page AC
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