Sunday, October 18, 2009
The South Needle - the Last of the Bagger Challenge!
Where the trail head starts.
Making our own trail down!
Today Neil and I met up with Wendy Montgomery at the Gazebo (the location of the former Gazebo - it was demolished in the snow this winter!) in LSCR with our bikes to ride 5km to Hydraulic Creek where the trail head is located for the climb up the South Needle (1163m). It was a misty day but no heavy rain like yesterday. We found the trail head and then stashed our bikes in the bush. The climb went straight up. It was very dense forest with "needles" covering the trail. There were many fallen decaying trees along the trail that we managed to maneuver over. It was a steady steep climb for aprox 1hr:45minutes. I needed my hands to pull myself up several times. Wendy and I bush whacked a few times to avoid the wet exposed slippery rocks. Those little blueberry bushes are quite strong - they must have deep roots as I choked many of them today on the way up and down! There were some sections today that had a very steep drop off. Ean described it as a kilometer drop without a bounce! Today the fog disguised the steep drops which really helped Wendy and I. I'm sure if we could have seen what was below us we would not have been happy climbers! Coming down was not as slippery as I had anticipated when we were going up. I kept thinking this is going to be terrible going down but the thick "needles" really helped prevent severe slipping. When in doubt Wendy and I just go down on our butts and slide! This is a technique we have used on a few descents now! Round trip back to the Gazebo approximately 4 hours. A great way to end the Bagger Challenge for us. The weather forecast is for a few good days this week but Neil and I have a full slate at work and can't get away - unlike a few other Baggers we know! Bagger Challenge wrap up party and prize giving is Friday night!