Left Vancouver at 8:00 am and we were 1 km below the trailhead by 10:40. You'll need all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive to get there but the road is good. The last km got a little rougher and had some big sharp looking rocks. Changing a tire on a rough uphill grade did not appeal to me so we parked just below the actual trailhead in an obvious pullout. We started hiking at 11:10. At the actual trailhead there were a couple of SUV's and a Subaru... all with tires intact.
103 Hikes warns that the trial to the first lake is muddy but after the summer we've had I figured it wouldn't be too bad. BOY did I figure wrong. This trail is truly disgusting. I can't even imagine what it would be like in the spring or fall. Wear gaiters or better yet, HIP WADERS! The trail follows High Falls Creek through a narrow valley & pretty meadows. It’s not a hard trail. The incline is gentle, getting a little steeper in the last kilometre.
We were at Cypress lake by 12:30. It was so nice to be on solid ground again. Our objective could be seen peeking out from behind a heather covered rise. About 2/3 of the way long the north side of the lake is a trail that veers off and takes you to the next lake, 5 -10 minutes from the first.
We watched a black bear making its way up the lower, rounded peak of Tricouni. We misread our vague directions and went around the northeast side of the lake. It was much more fun than the right route but would have been a bitch on the way back. A combination of steep scrambling, bushwalking and talus slopes brought us to the base of a beautiful waterfall. The holds along side the waterfall looked good so we climbed up that way. There is a much easier route up the talus to the third lake.
The third lake at the base of Tricouni was crystal clear and provided a stark contrast to its rugged surroundings. We stopped here for lunch as we surveyed the peak & chose a route. At 1:45 we pressed on.
Most of the way up is a bit of a slog up talus slopes, broken up by intermittent snow patches. Things got a lot more interesting once we reached the edge of the east ridge. There were a couple of guys working their way down about the same time we were approaching. We asked them how much further it was to the summit and they said that they hadn't gone that far. They said they'd gone "as far as the rope" and that they'd left the rope there and that we'd probably find it really helpful. So off we went. The scrambling was steep and exposed but the holds were good. (Class 3 most of the way with a couple of Class 4 bits due to exposure.) Turns out, "the rope" was 8 feet of plastic twine. We decided to take our chances on the rock ;)
Great view from up there. We could see Whistler and most of Wedge Mountain, Garibaldi Lake and the Barrier which was pretty cool. Unfortunately the clouds were interfering with the view. I'm sure it’s absolutely spectacular on a clear day.
Didn't spend much time admiring the views anyway as falling was not an option. The climbing was fun though.
Fortunately there was a much easier way down than the route we had taken up. We'd been a little worried about that on the way out as there had been a couple of overhanging sections. I'm glad we hadn't noticed this other route sooner as we probably would have taken it and I really enjoyed the route we took.
We were back at the lake right on time. The clouds had followed us down so it was a little damp. Took the path of least resistance on the way out and were back at the truck and very muddy at 7:00.
This really is a fantastic daytrip, even with the mud. It has a little bit of everything and is never boring. Its a good challenge but didn't leave me crippled by the next morning. Take an ice axe & gaiters.
Zero your odometer at the Cleveland Avenue traffic lights in Squamish. Drive north on H highway 99 for 10 km (6.2 mi) and turn left onto Squamish Valley Road. Keep left at the fork at 13 km (8.1 mi). At 33 km (20 mi) the gravel surface starts and you will see that the distance signs on this road, which is called S-Main, are in miles from Squamish. At 38 km (24 mi), about 1.4 km (.09 mi) after High Falls Creek bridge, Branch 200 starts uphill on your right. Zero your odometer again here. At the 2.3 km (1.4 mi) fork, go right. As you lose elevation at 5.1 km (3.2 mi), the High Falls Creek Trail comes in from the right. At the 6.0 km (3.7 mi) fork, go right. Do not go left at 6.5 km (4.0 mi) or 6.8 km (4.2 mi); but do go left at 6.9 km (4.3 mi). If you go too far you will come to the bridge over High Falls Creek in 200m (650 ft). The road has recently been cleared; so at 8.0 km (5.0 mi) swing left onto an older road. High-clearance 2 WDs should drive 1 km (0.6 mi) to just before a creek crossing. A rugged 4 WD may be able to drive to the landing at 10.5 km (6.5 mi).
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Posted By: nature_lover83
- Tue Jul 28 12:42:25 EDT 2009
Commentdescribing this trail as muddy doesn't even give it justice! We were just up there last weekend (July 25) and even after the incredibly dry summer we have had the trail is basically through a swamp. The mosquitoes were truly something awful. They followed us all the way to the alpine and even up to the snow and almost all the way to the peak! However, the view is truly spectacular and it is a nice fitness building day hike or more relaxed overnight.