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Mt. Elphinstone Winter Ascent
Timestamp Free: 2018.03.20 - 14:47:59
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
Participants: Natasha Gellatly, Mark Safioles, Rebecca Turner, Chris Sullivan
Difficulty: 2: Given good snow conditions this is a 6-7hr effort with only 500+m elevation gain. Almost half the trip is on a good logging road with minimal alder and only a short effort through bushy 2nd growth is required. No snow, or less than 3ft, and you're looking at a bushwack once you've left the road.
Winter hike up Mt. Elphinstone on The Sunshine Coast above Gibsons. Excellent views for a moderate effort.
Mt. Elphinstone ("Elphie") greets you as the ferry pulls into Langdale on the Lower Sunshine Coast. By the time you've driven to Gibsons the main peak has disappeared and all you see is a long gentle slope coming off the west ridge. Further, in Wilson Creek, the west ridge is seen to be actually 2 distinct sub-peaks, treed, and mercifully free of visible logging cuts at the present. There is a 3rd sub-peak, on the north-east ridge, only visible from the west ridge or main peak. Though the Elphie "massif" is not high (1100+m sub-peaks and 1266m main) you do get to views and into sub-alpine vegetation within an hour of leaving the vehicle - yellow cedar, blueberries, heather and even orchids and other unusuals in the boggy drainages. There are great, long views of Georgia Strait (thanks to a very well-placed old cutblock) and up on the west ridge the only views easily accessible of anything east and north-east of here - The Tantalus, Sky Pilot, North Shore mountains, etc. Though this trip report describes a winter ascent of the main peak via the west ridge, hiking on the old logging roads in the sub-alpine is beautiful and rewarding in any season.
After a few months of reading extreme mountain adventure accounts (Bonington, Krakauer, Simpson, Venables, Hornbein) the 4 of us felt compelled to get out of the house and up on top of a mountain. Everest not being available to us, Elphie would have to do. About 1 km east of Roberts Creek Road, B&K logging road (Sechelt-Roberts FSR 7575 Branch 2) runs through the eastern edge of Cliff Gilker Park and the Sunshine Coast Golf Club. This is marked on Hwy 101 by a large sign for the Equestrian Club located on the powerline ROW. 4.5 kms from Hwy 101, Sechelt-Roberts FSR Branch 3 on the right is the last major road before the spur...
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