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DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 1 East to Hope, then Highway 3 East and turn on Highway 5 North (Coquihala Highway). Take Exit 217 at the Zopkios Rest Area, and traverse under the highway to the north side of the road. Park there.create
SUMMARY: The elevation doesn't reflect the difficulty of the hike. The cumulative elevation gain is close to 2150 m.
There are no trails for this hike, so you will need a map/compass and good navigation skills.
From the parking lot, walk along the road going back on Highway 5. Just before the ramp, traverse a clearing on the right towards the forest, which leads to an old Ottomite Forest road. Turn left and follow this road. At about 1375m elevation, leave the road and follow some flagging tape up to the col below Zupjok ridge. Instead of going up this ridge, continue straight through the col, down the other side for 30 m and turn slightly right (northwest), to continue parallel to the Zupjok Ridge (belowit) without loosing too much elevation (staying around 1380m). Cross the next open valley towards a few clearcuts (north). This valley slowly turns west. Follow it up and to the west to reach the Gamuza-Llama Ridge. Turn left (South) and follow this long and undulating ridge, which steepens near the summit of Gamuza.
From Gamuza, retrace your path down the first undulation and turn left, dropping down toward the northeast Serna ridge. Follow the ridge which has a few cliff bands. Some scramble is needed to reach Serna summit.
To complete a great loop, go back to the Serna-Gamuza col and at the lowest point (1610m), drop down on the left (southeast) into a valley which has several logging roads. Find your way through the trees to reach the closest road and follow it east towards Llama Peak. The road slowly turns to the north and then to the northeast as you reach a large opening at the bottom of the Gamuza-Llama ridge. Leave the road and head up, staying on the right hand side of the opening close to the trees, to avoid cliff bands, and step on the ridge. Turn left (east) and hike up the west face of Llama.
Once on the summit of Llama, follow the ridge Southsouteast to reach Zupjok. From there, follow the flagging tape down staying as close as possible to the West side as it is less steep. Once back on the basin below Zupjok, turn left and retrace you morning path down to the forest road and back to the Zopkios Rest Area. create
Gamuza - Llama - Zupjok Loop
May 1, 2009
This was an epic day. We started hiking at 4:30am and walked for 15 hours, except for a few hours dedicated to picture taking and to our new sport... cornice jumping :p
It's a great ridge walk that is probably easier when covered by stable snow.