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[TR] Mount MacFarlane - Trail 11/13/2022


geosean
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Trip: Mount MacFarlane - Trail

Trip Date: 11/13/2022

Trip Report:

Me and @Albuquerque Fred snowshoed/climbed Mount MacFarlane the other day. I figured I would post something just to fill out the website in this time of crap season.

This peak is in SW BC in the Canadian Cascades, only about as far from Bellingham as Heather Meadows. In the summer there is a trail to the summit, but we found it more difficult.

We hiked from the TH at 1100' to about 3100' in sneakers, then switched to boots due to some snow. From there on to Pierce Lake at 4500' there was about 4" of snow on the trail, which is in the first the whole way, and as steep as any climber's trail.

A bit after the lake we switched to snowshoes for a steep climb up to the NE ridge. We found a fixed rope just after we really needed it, so at least we knew we were on route.

It had been cold and shady but still up till now, but as we neared the ridge it got windy, so we stayed just to the north side of the ridge, eventually switching to crampons for the fun of potholing through crust and sugar.

The summit was very welcome. I'm not used to this cold crap yet, remember summer? We lounged in the sun on the summit of Burgundy Spire at 8400' just a month ago. I think we didn't all of 5 minutes on top, then turned back. 

The tough snow conditions made everything slow, we hoofed it down to 4800' where we hit the bootpack to take our first break in hours. While breaking we realized it would be dark soon, so we donned headlamps as well. It was disheartening to realize that we had ~3500' to descend in the dark. Stupid winter. It went fine though and we were thrilled to have extra extra cold ciders at the car. As a bonus the car was still there with all of it's parts.

 Canada, eh.

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Technical snowshoeing.

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Fred and Slesse.

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Gear Notes:
Axe, crampons, snowshoes.

Approach Notes:
Border crossing. Long steep trail.
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Cool!.

I got me a question.  The trailhead is low.  The trail must cross the logging road a couple of times....do people use the trailhead because they can not get up the road due to a gate on the road?  Just wondering for the future becuase...well, I would rather driver higher, and start higher if I could.  Thanks for the info!

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/7/2022 at 4:59 PM, Stefan said:

Cool!.

I got me a question.  The trailhead is low.  The trail must cross the logging road a couple of times....do people use the trailhead because they can not get up the road due to a gate on the road?  Just wondering for the future becuase...well, I would rather driver higher, and start higher if I could.  Thanks for the info!

 

Yeah, the road is gated. It also seemed to be very overgrown at the beginning, but when we crossed it later it was better. In the dark on the way out I'm pretty sure we saw some people with motorized transport, but dirt bikes could obviously pass the gate. 

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