Date: Sep 1, 2012
Distance done: 30.0km
Elevation done: 1240m
Originally I intended to hit Mt. Burwell, but once up there I found the scrambling to be beyond my comfort level for a solo trip. After fifteen minutes of looking for a safe enough route, I decided instead to go visit the Cornett Lakes. They are gorgeous, nestled in a bowl below Mt. Burwell and surrounded by colourful moss gardens and dozens of small waterfalls, still flowing in September. The mist had started blowing in around 10am, as I had seen earlier from the halfway point at Paton's Lookout, and it continued to blow in and out all the time I was up there. As is usually the case, when I left the summit the clouds began to rise and blue sky appeared everywhere.
This was a fairly standard trip up until this point. On the way down I encountered two park rangers at a junction who were reflagging the trail. I said hello and continued on my way, but they stopped me and after a brief conversation, told me to take the other way, as it was a clearer trail. I wasn't sure about this, but did it anyway. As I continued down, my suspicions grew. I hadn't seen yellow markers on the trees on the way up, but here they were. They did look brand new however, and the rangers had been reflagging the trail... so I continued down, doubts growing very strong indeed. Eventually I got a clear look at the mountains around me and I knew for certain I had missed my turnoff and was heading down entirely the wrong side of the mountain, into Lynn Valley. There was swearing at this point.
Not feeling up to walking all the way back up to the col and finding the junction again I decided to continue down on this trail and walk out, though it turned into something of an ordeal, between anger at my mistake and the general suckitude of the trail on the Lynn Valley side. The next day, after a good long sleep and in a much better mood, I walked back in along the Seymour Valley trailway and picked up my bike.
As an aside, the Lynn Valley approach to Coliseum is really, really awful compared to the Seymour side. Having done both sides in a day, the difference is glaring. The Seymour side is direct, goes straight up and down, and is pretty clear with a good trail bed. The Lynn side is windy, up and down and down and up, dipsy-doodling, muddy, is often a stream bed rather than a trail bed, and is covered in tripwire roots and skunk cabbage. The Seymour side also has a 10km bike ride at the bottom that takes about 20 minutes. The Lynn side has another frickin' hike that takes two hours.