LETTER: Dangerous trail | Squamish Chief

LETTER: Dangerous trail

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to our feature, Hiking from the Sunshine Coast back to Squamish published on Sept. 7

Before this experience gets too cold, I have to pass on a few words.

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A flagged and promoted trail as recently travelled by four experienced hikers from the Sunshine Coast, leaves cause for concern.  We just had to discover this for ourselves.

After considerable preparation, we motored over to Squamish and up the Ashlu River valley. We did not expect much of a trail but the trail/ route up to Pokosha Pass proved doable at least for hiking. This is also one of the routes to Sigurd Lake.  

But our path had us turning southward, through the pass and on down the Clowhom River valley.  The whole trip plan, Squamish to Sechelt, was much longer but I will focus on the section from Pokasha Pass to connect with the industrial road, 

(Km 26), in the main valley below Phantom Lake.

An important consideration, at this point, is we were on foot.  We considered ourselves experienced backcountry hikers, aware of mountaineering risks.  And we were not aiming to prove out a mountain bike trail or promote a latest fad, testing the wildest bike skills imaginable.  

As the crow flies, two and a half kilometers over five hundred metres of vertical, of a mostly angled boulder hillside, waited for our passing.  

This difficult section, created by some previous century 8.5 or larger earthquake proved the root problem. If you check a good map, you will find this valley lined to the west with high cliffs.  

Over the eons, these have continued to crumble to the valley.  This type of terrain is not conducive to summer travel.  These boulder fields are full of camouflaged holes just waiting to consume a leg.   

Consider this mountaineering folks!  This is no place to be carrying a forty-pound electric bike.  And there is no other way through.

Okay, to the point. Let’s not get carried away trying to create a trap for innocent participants.   Climbing through this is one thing.  There is no trail and never will be unless some massive effort is made to move and adjust a million boulders.

The main intent of this writing is to prevent an injury/ death of anyone thinking this is a walk in the park.   This is very serious. No one should be tempted to try this without a full understanding and preparation for a full on multi-day attempt at the mountains.

As for biking this route, just forget it.  You are begging for trouble.

There is much more to travelling this somewhat flagged and blazed route. You should be aware and I am not just talking about grizzlies!

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@ Copyright Squamish Chief


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