Frosty Mountain is located in Manning Provincial Park. We tackled this hike in late
September (2001). Once you've parked, you need to decide your route as there are a couple
ways of attacking it. One way takes you up and along the ridge (past Windy Joe). The
other, and more direct route, is a shorter distance but involves a number of switchbacks.
We opted for the shorter route and then thought when we get to the top we can decide
which way to go down.
The trail begins at Lightning Lake and follows the same initial route as the trail that leads
along the Lightning Lake trail. However, instead of following along the lake, the trail rises
above and then begins the series of switchbacks. This went on for a little while. In places it was
steep, but there always seemed to be a let up - albeit brief ones.
We got to one small bluff where the trail appeared to split. While we decided which route to take
we were greeted by a number of gray jays. Oddly enough I had never encountered them before.
Probably because we usually power hike up the mountain and don't hang around long enough. For
those of you who have not encountered them before, they are pleasant little birds who are tamer
than birds in Stanley Park practically. They will do anything for food. They'll sit on your hand,
shoulder, and even your head.
We then proceeded up a number of switchbacks towards Frosty Camp. As you reach the camp, the grade
starts to level. Frosty Camp has a number of facilities including a small cabin. After leaving the
campground, additional climbing of switchbacks followed by a nice walk through the Larch forest.
As we climbed, the trees become less and less frequent with increasing rock terrain.
We made our way along a small ridge to the base of the rocky part of the hike. A series of
switchbacks on the loose rock made its way up to the junction of the two Frosty mountain trails
(the other coming from Windy Joe). After going along another ridge, a final 100m scramble brought
us to the top. Part way up the scramble we saw ravens circling. I put in the bigger lens to get a closer
shot of them - one even perched itself on the elevation marker.
The summit is 360 degree panoramic (2408m). It is the highest peak in Manning (well, almost - its
the slightly shorter of the dual peaks). You get amazing views of the surrounding ranges including
the mountains within Manning and the Cascades to the south.
The peak isn't exactly a point, but the area is somewhat confined. There appears to be what looks like
an area where one can camp - although its my understanding that its not allowed. Rocks have been
placed in a shelter like shape to help protect against the wind, etc.
If you make your way down the south side of the peak a bit, you'll actually see that there
is a lake on the US side. I don't know what it is called, but it looked like it would have been nice
to have a dip in it!
It was now time to head back. When we got back to the Windy Joe junction, we looked down the
ridge and didn't see that there would be much of
a change of scenery so we opted to take the same route back. Taking the other route is a fair
amount longer and also requires a couple km walk along the road. All in all, it is a very good
hike on well maintained trails - I highly recommend Frosty Mountain.