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Mount Gillespie and Bears
Timestamp Free: 2019.11.21 - 22:13:06
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Garibaldi Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1200m
Participants: Scott Nelson, Sandra Nicol
Difficulty: 2: Class 2-3 scramble to get across the toe of the glacier, then another section of Class 2-3 to reach the summit.
An exploratory trip to the summits above Pinecone Lake. We climbed Mt Gillespie the long way, and then returned by a more direct route.
Sandra had been eyeing the Pinecone Lake area for a while, and the week before I had done a trip into Meslilloet from the Mamquam river so the area was fresh in my mind. With a marginal weather forecast, we decided this would be a good objective for the day. The latest edition of 103 documents this hike, and we thought that an ascent of nearby Mt. Gillespie would make a nice addition.

We drove up the Mamquam Main, E100 branch and then the Mamquam E110 branch right to the end, which presented little challenger for our pathfinder. E110 had many spurs, but we were able to pick the right one by generally staying high and on the ridge. Getting through the clearcut to the start of the trail was a bit unpleasant, but we picked up a nice footpath as soon as we were into the old growth forest. The trail climbed gently, and reached open meadows quickly where I stopped to take a GPS waypoint. Sandra went ahead, but was stopped in her tracks by a mother black bear with 2 or 3 cubs. We retreated and bashed left through the meadows to make a big circle around the bears. The mother stared us down with a fierce glare as we backed off, but she never made a threatening move.

We hiked up the meadows along the ridge, which was very pleasant going with a few steep sections. The trail was fairly well worn, taking us up into the alpine to some nice little tarns above the small Pinecone Glacier. We started heading up towards the 2010m peak that is suggested in the 103 hikes book, but then veered off to the right over talus to gain the ridge that would take us across the top of the glacier. The north side of the ridge was covered with many small glaciers that go down to Pinecone Lake, and I was imagining that they would make very nice ski...

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