Mount Seymour Peaks
All the hikes this past summer have been fantastic. However, many have been
out of town which makes driving there and back a little too long on some
days. This is especially true late summer and in the fall where daylight is
at a premium. I did the Seymour peaks hike in September on what I would
consider a perfect hiking day. It was very clear, no chance of storms, and
was a good temperature.
We were debating as to what hike to attempt the day
prior. Several came to mind but Seymour was calling because of the short
drive. We got our stuff together and headed out to the trail relatively
early - but not too too early. We were on the trail by 8am. When we arrived
at the parking lot there were only a small handful of cars in the lot. This
was nice - we figured we had the place basically to ourselves.
out of the car we got swarmed with flies. Not that we reek or anything -
they were out for blood. The Muskol (shameless plug) came out pretty quick
and that seemed to keep them at bay for the most part. We got our gear
together and make our way to the first peak.
I had never hiked the upper
part of Seymour before - only the lower trail leading up to the 4th lot. I
can definitely see why people time and time again get lost there in
inclement weather. There are a maze of trails all over that are going in
There is also an abundance of old trails that branch off
which can lead you down the wrong path. We had a few wrong turns, 2 to be
exact, on our way. Not that we are incompetent or anything, but at times it
would have been easier to navigate by bushwhacking directly for the
Well, we finally got our bearings and were making our way along
the proper trail. We came across a few small ponds - essentially breeding
grounds for the local insects. For those who have hiked this area might be
saying right now, "what a whiner". To be honest, I thought it was a very fun
and unique hike - don't let my honesty fool you.
Anyway, we linked up with
the road which took us a little higher before breaking out to another trail.
We caught up to a couple that had a dog - apparently they had a few wrong
turns as well. So not to be hiking on top of them, we decided to wait for a
few minutes and then start up again. We continued along and seemed to not
hear the ringing of their dog's bear bell. We thought it unusual but didn't
make too much of a point about it.
We continued along and as you can
probably guess, the trail seemed a little overgrown in places. First thought
- lovely, we've strayed off the trail again. But we could see what we
thought was the first peak ahead so we figured old trail or not, we were
going to get there. We went steady uphill for a bit getting closer and
Here's where it got fun. The trail went up! It wasn't vertical all
the time (much of it was 60-75 degrees) but it was enough to get the heart
pounding. We essentially climbed the first part of the first peak from the
front side. Part way up I recall joking that there is no way in hell the
couple with the dog went this way. We were about half way up and a couple
times we thought maybe we should try to climb back down and retrace our
Take a guess what we decided to do. Why, you're right. We decided to
proceed. So we did a bit more climbing. My friend was above me and scouting
the terrain ahead and making recommendations from what he could see at his
angle. I took slightly different climbing routes than he did.
eventually got up and climbed over the peak. We hoped that we would see an
obvious way to get back down - there had to be a way. What we did see is
that we weren't quite at the first peak but a lower connected peak to the
first. When we crested the peak the couple with the dog were at the top of
the first and were shaking their heads. :) Oh well...
So here's where the
trail normalized some. We found our way off to the trail itself. It was a
little easier to find the trail when you are above it. We then made our way
up to the first peak. The views from the first peak were quite nice looking
over to the Indian Arm, towards Garibaldi, Vancouver, etc. Basically
We could also see over to the second peak which was calling us to
make our way there. So we decended the first peak and made our way to the
second. The top of the second peak is nice, but there wasn't much new to
see. After snapping a few photos, we made our way to the third peak. In many
of the hiking books they mention that caution should be used on this
mountain due to some steep dropoffs on the trail, etc. Normally this would
have alarmed me but we were quite desensitized from our first ascent up the
face. Going to the third peak reminded me of going to the peak at the Chief.
Very similar terrain getting to the top.
Once at the top of the third peak,
we could see even clearer views of the Indian Arm and Garibaldi. We could
also see the Mount Elsay directly ahead of us that is also in some
of the hiking books I have. I don't know that I would ever bother hiking
that mountain. I think I've seen the scenery I need to see for this
There is also a hike to the lake beneath it, Elsay Lake, but
after looking at it in the Don't Waste Your Time book, I don't aspire to
kill myself getting to a pond. After hanging out for bit more at the top, we
made our way back down.
By this time I think it was about noon. We actually
started descending at 12:15. We figured we would make good time even though
we had to do some reascent going up the second peak before making our way
back through the pass at the first.
On our way back to the second, we took a
few moments to play on the frozen snow. It was pretty cool. That took about
15 minutes to get that out of our system before climbing back and then
ascending the second peak.
Taking the pass and then the trail down the first
peak was then easy. It was rather funny as the trail for the most part
looked unfamiliar as we hadn't taken it on the way up. Also on the way back,
we took a moment to look back and we actually saw someone climbing up the
way we had come back (photo to left). Looking at it from a distance made me think that we
were kinda nuts - but its all in fun.
By this time it was shortly after 1pm
and it was starting to get hot. Thank goodness we started when we did. The
trail also was getting pretty busy. We passed numerous people on the way
down. Finally we came down the last stretch towards the parking lot. We were
in awe seeing all the cars in the lot. The lot was full and there were
actually cars circling the lot waiting for a spot.
We made it down in 1:30 including 15 minutes of snow play - not too bad. All in all it
was a fun day. It was close. Wasn't a long hike which was nice cause it left
the rest of the day. And of course there is a Macs at the base of Seymour -