Mt. Baird

Date: March 8, 2015

Participants: Dylan, Martin, Brittany Zenger, Ed Zenger, Geoff Zenger

Difficulty: 2

Report: A trip report on clubtread of a visit to Mt. Baird in the waning days of February spurred my interest to visit this rarely climbed peak near Hope.  The previous weekend I’d been exploring the roads on the east side of Harrison Lake (long story short, the road to Nahatlatch is washed out just 4km from Nahatlatch) and had tried to approach the Old Settler from the east, but no luck.  This weekend I’d be able to climb Mt. Baird and get good views of the Old Settler from the south east.  The forecast was looking good and a last minute trip posting on the BCMC website managed to fill up my Jeep for the excursion.

We met up at Columbia Station in New West at 7:30 and made our way out to Hope.  The access to Mt. Baird is easy right now via Nickelmine Road which if you follow it is well maintained for by both a local offroad association and for active logging and leads into Emory Creek.   We parked right next to the turn off for spur 3569 (just a bit past the 11 km marker), walked up the short spur, and then ducked into the trees.  We found ourselves on the left side of a creek, and made our way up the left side of the creek through open easy forest all the way up to treeline.  This appears to be the ideal route up the mountain.

We hit snow around 1200m, and by 1400m were on a long ridge heading up towards the summit.  At about 1400m there are some bluffs and we chose to head around them to the left, which we did and followed some snow filled gullies up towards the obvious broad snowslope leading up towards the left of the main summit.  It was a reasonable route, but on the way down we came down the other side (climber’s right) and found it to be even easier going and more straightforward.  The snow leading up to the summit was very pleasant and enjoyable, and at a quarter to 1, less than 4 hours after leaving the cars, we found ourselves on the small rocky summit of Mt. Baird.

The views from the top of the Old Settler were grand as expected, but what was unexpected was the fantastic views of so much more.  From the summit there are great views of the Anderson River group, Needle Peak, Cheam Range, Judge Howay area, Baker area, and even the Outram and Silvertip regions of Manning Park!

We spent a good long time on the summit in the unseasonably warm temperatures before eventually making our way back down to the car.  The descent on the snow was fast and descent through the trees was easy and quick as well, and we made the descent in well under 2 hours.

Thank you to everyone for the great company and great trip.  You need a low snow year like this year, but if you’re able to drive to at least 800m on the logging road, Mt. Baird makes for a great early season or winter trip!

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Mt. Lincoln

Trip Date: April 22, 2012

Participants: Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger

Difficulty: 2

After a hard Saturday of labour on my granddad’s farm, Brittany and I had a free Sunday to work with.  We had originally intended to go ski touring in the Squamish area, but the forecast was significantly better out in the Fraser Valley, and so we decided to head out for one of the low-elevation 103 hikes that we hadn’t done before and set out Sunday morning for Mt. Lincoln.  It was a pleasant drive out to Hope in the morning, and we made our way to Yale, where we had no difficulty finding the proper parking area and setting out from the car at around 10:30am.

At no point was the trail difficult to follow, although the ground was covered by a layer of moss in places and it’s clear that the trail would be in better shape if it saw a bit more traffic.  Except for a few views down to the parking area and to Yale, the ascent is entirely in the trees, and the trees are infested with ticks.  On the way up I found no fewer than 3 ticks on Brittany’s shirt while hiking behind her, and so I highly recommend that anyone hiking this trail carefully inspect themselves for ticks after returning home.

From the summit the only interesting views are of Mt. Breakenridge as well as a broadcast tower situated near the summit (and which is supposedly why the trail exists).  There is a viewpoint a few minutes below the summit that actually has a better view of Yale than can be obtained from the summit area itself.  The ascent took us a bit over an hour (definitely less than 1:15), and due to the steepness of the trail it took us a similar amount of time to descend back to the car.  By the time we reached the car, it was sweltering, with the car thermometer reading 25 degrees.  The trail itself wasn’t very interesting or enjoyable, but at least good weather had arrived!

According to the lists at the back of the 103 hikes book, the Mt. Lincoln trail has the steepest average grade by quite a substantial margin, and having done the trail, it’s easy to see why: the trail goes up, and keeps going up.  The vast majority of the trail is just steep dirt, although there are four places where hand-lines have been installed to give hikers some additional confidence where there is some exposure.  This exposure was the most surprising part of the trail to me:  there are many hikers out there who would feel very uncomfortable descending a trail this steep.

Verdict: 1/3.  It’s there, it can be done, but you probably won’t return.

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