Day 1: Two of us hiked in and setup camp on the ridge by the shelter, then continued on with lightened packs to the peak, returning to our camp after taking too many photos of the blazing sunset. BC Peaks & Trails Hiking GroupMy Flickr Account Day 2: We again hiked the summit and 95% of the second ear (sketchy scramble section of rock right below the peak that I was not comfortable with) ... returned to camp, had a quick early dinner and hiked out.
Conditions & Notes:
A lot of work done on the first 4.5km of the trail before Alder Flats, making it much easier. An entire section that used to be rocky creek bed has been replaced with a smooth 1.5m wide path. It is now wide enough in many places to drive a quad in, which is exactly what the trail guys were explaining was their intentions when I asked. SAR would like to be able to drive almost to Alder Flats if need be.
Peaking: We were able to peak without much contact with the snowfields (which are very small this year), so unless you specifically want to ascend them, you don't need micro-spikes or an ice axe, but you have to be comfortable scrambling rock.
Water availability: We saw a lot of people hiking this trail in the heat of summer with little or no water. There is water just before Alder Flats (5km in) and again up near the Emergency Shelter (6 km from the Alder Flats) so fill up every time you can, especially when it’s 28 degrees with full sun beating down on your head!
Bugs: Blackflies and mosquitoes are in full force on the trail.
Daylight: If you are doing this as a day hike, make sure you're at the park gate when it opens at 7am so that you will have enough time to get back before dark. The last 3.5 km (1.25 hour) of the return trail very easy to navigate but you should always have the 10 essentials anyways when doing an aggressive 10+ hour hike which would include a headlamp!
Overnight Fee: $5/person
Have fun out there, stay safe and see you on the trails!