Scramble to Evans Peak, Golden Ears Provincial Park, BC.

May 9, 2015

Trip Report: Ryan and I were keen on getting some elevation in our legs last Saturday, we decided to check out Evans Peak in the Golden Ears Provincial Park. This was Skeena’s first scramble.

Stats

  • Total distance: 9.2km.
  • Cumulative elevation gain: 992m.
  • Approx. completion time: 5-7 hours (or less, depending on your level of fitness).
  • Great short hike with decent elevation gain.
  • Steep terrain and some scramble sections near summit.

Description

We started in the West Canyon parking lot. After a few hundred meters on the West Canyon Trail, we turned left on to the signed ‘Viewpoint Trail’. The trail was wide and well groomed as it switchbacked up the hillside. We crossed Viking Creek, which required a short scramble step to get down to the creek bed. This was the last water source for a while.

Not too long after crossing Viking Creek, the trail flattened out and traversed south across the hillside. Past the 1.5km marker, we reached a signed junction with an arrow pointing right for the Evans Peak/Alouette Mountain trail.

The first steep part began past the junction; the trail became more of a narrow singletrack, but it was still easy to follow and it was well flagged. The trail climbed steeply up the slope, sometimes going straight up and sometimes switchbacking with bits of braided trail.

We reached the first flat section. There was a bit of a treed view of Alouette Lake below and Evans Peak above. The trail continued up a ridge, skirting a steep stream canyon with views of a small waterfall and a better perspective of Evans Peak.

The trail crested onto a ridge/plateau and we reached the next signed junction: left for Alouette Mountain, right for Evans Peak. We took the right junction and followed the minor ups and downs along the ridge towards Evans Peak.

On the final kick to Evans Peak, the trail steepened again. The first steep, rooty, rocky section had a hand line. Ryan and I spent some time figuring out how to get Skeena up safely. We decided to yo-yo ourselves up in turn, so one of us would always be above and below her at all times.

Skeena, with no prior scrambling experience, bound up the first scramble section without hesitation. We were very proud of her as she did not whine once!

After a few more steep sections along the trail, we reached the second scramble section. This one also had a handline, but it was more vertical and exposed. Skeena started up, but reached a point where she lost forward/upward momentum, after she bumped her head on a branch, and started sliding back. We both helped ease her back down to flat ground and discussed what we should do next. I didn’t want to risk her injuring herself or taking a long tumble. Ryan and I decided to take turns staying with her while the other continued on to the summit.

Ryan rested with Skeena on a large fallen log while I continued the last few minutes up the trail to the summit. I was disappointed Skeena couldn’t make it up the last scramble, as the rest of the trail was easy walking. I took my time and enjoyed the views of the surrounding mountains. I was surprised to see Evans Valley was completely snow free – no snow at all, let alone snow caves.

When I returned, Ryan handed Skeena off and ran up quickly to tag the summit. Once he returned, we carefully made our way down the scramble sections; Skeena was very confident and had no problems at all. We made quick work of the ridge and steep trail down; we were back to the West Canyon parking lot before we knew it.

This was Skeena’s first scramble; not bad for a 10 year old puppy! I was unbelievably proud of how she handled the steep sections along the trail. She seemed comfortable throughout the hike; she had very natural instinct when ascending and descending scrambles. She learned to pick up momentum quickly, when tackling the first scramble. I’m sure she would have been fine during the second steep section, but I was concerned about the exposure, not knowing how she would react. I think with more practice, she will become a regular hiking & scrambling partner.

Throughout the course of the day, we took many more pictures of Skeena.

Diabetes Management

My blood sugar levels fell a little lower than I would have liked, as noted on the chart. To raise my blood sugar levels, I consumed a high number of fast absorbing carbs. Generally, I eat until I ‘feel’ better. In a normal case, with a BG reading of 3.4mmol, I would only need to consume 30-40g of carbs to bring my blood sugars back up to the normal range.

After my first 2 packs of fruit chews, I was still feeling ‘low’. I ate one more pack and checked my blood sugars 20 minutes later, my levels increased to 4.4mmol. I was still feeling ‘low’ and continued to consume more carbs. This eventually spiked my levels to 16.1mmol, which I was quickly able to correct with a few units of insulin.

The feeling I get when I’m ‘low’ takes longer to go away than the actual low blood sugar reading itself. When experiencing the angst of a ‘low’ blood sugar, my goal is to feel better as quickly as possible, and that often results in consuming more carbs than I need, leading to higher blood sugars. If this occurs, I am able to bolus insulin and quickly get back to my normal range. A battle I am constantly faced with is moderating my carb intake during a low blood sugar. Do I eat a logical amount of carbs for my low blood sugar reading or do I eat until I feel better? When in the outdoors, I tend to eat until I feel better to ensure I can keep moving at an efficient pace without taking extended breaks – unless they are absolutely needed.

Pack List (+ the Essentials)

  • Hiking boots < or a good pair of supportive shoes.
  • Trekking poles < help during the descent.
  • 2L of water < min. water sources along trail after Viking Creek.
  • Sunscreen < for the summit.
  • Trail food < enough for a bar/gel every hour; the steepness can zap your energy.
  • Camera

History on Evans Peak, Evans Valley, and Evans Creek (Taken from a Memorial Plaque Near the Summit):

  • Evans Peak was named after Mr. Lesley Evans and his son John.
  • Lesley (known and respected in the community) and John went missing in the area on June 6, 1966.
    • They were last seen climbing with rope, possibly headed for Edge Peak.
  • The search lasted 2 weeks and employed ~200 people from RCMP, SAR, CFB Chilliwack, Corrections and local residents.
    • Among the province’s largest searches to date.
    • No trace was ever found.
  • Family, friends, and community petitioned the fed gov to name the peak, valley, and creek after the family; granted in 1969.
  • Wife’s (Diane’s) ashes were put to rest in the area as per her request in August 2003.
  • A plaque has replaced a cross that was carried up to Evans Peak over a quarter century ago.
    • Original inscription on the cross: “In memory of Lesley Evans and elder son John Evans, killed here on the 6th of June 1966: The cross was placed here by his sons Sgt. George Evans and Sgt. David Evans and members of the Signals Platoon, First Battalion Grenadier Guards, July 1989.”

Media: http://www.mrtimes.com/community/memorial-to-honour-hikers-lost-on-peak-in-north-maple-ridge-1.1065099

– A sad and beautiful reminder of how unforgiving the backcountry can be.

 

Happy Trails!

– Ash

5 Comments on “Scramble to Evans Peak, Golden Ears Provincial Park, BC.

  1. I was just researching this peak, glad I stumbled upon your review. I’m also looking to do it with my dog this week so good to know what to expect! 🙂 Thank you!

  2. I should also mention that I am so proud of you for embellishing the outdoors and overcoming the challenges of Type 1. Its hard enough getting out, never mind overcoming that. Impressive feat of strength and character !

  3. You do know Skeena is a dog that is one of the smartest breeds ever…. Tough love! Remember Nechako was one of the heartiest bush dogs who climbed bluffs and crossed large creeks with me everywhere and never backed down from a challenge. I know Skeena has it in her. I can see it in her eyes. Challenge her! In the spirit of Neckako (RIP).

    • Raveen, thank you for the very sweet note. I baby her too much and I was worried about her taking a tumble.. she’s our 10 year old baby. You’re so right about Skeena having it in her. We’ll be back for another summit and I’ll keep Nechako’s abilities in mind. Come out with us this Summer!

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