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Mount Bishop Loop - Backcountry Tour of Seymour Park
Timestamp Free: 2020.09.21 - 06:06:47
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Fannin Range
  (3 days)
Participants: Robin Tivy, Wolf Tivy, Betsy Waddington
Difficulty: 3: Some exposed sections
Loop from Mount Seymour parking lot along ridge above Elsay Lake to Vicar Lakes, then up Mount Bishop. Return via Elsay Lake, and Elsay Lake trail.
I had previously done several overnight trips into the back country of Mount Seymour Provincial Park, and was always impressed with its wilderness character. Incredibly steep terrain, spectacular old growth forests, two highly swimable lakes, and remote peaks. Yet only 8 km north of Vancouver Harbour, and the third largest city in Canada.

Day 1 - Parking Lot to Second Peak
(July 1, hot and sunny) The map contour interval is 40m. We didn't decide to get going until 3:00PM, Saturday July 1. Betsy got some food, Wolf found some old sunglasses, and we threw everything into the car and headed up to Mount Seymour parking lot. I phoned Klaus Haring and told him our plan, and he said perhaps he'd meet us at Mount Bishop the next day, by going up the new "direct" trail. Fortunately, at the last minute I decided to bring my plastic boots rather than my soft leather boots, and I got Betsy to bring one ice-axe. We correctly anticipated some steep snow slopes this early in the season.

From the parking lot, we hiked up the trail and then up the familiar the rock face of Pump Peak. The black flies were bad the first night, but not biting. We met two girls who were going to camp out, who told us that Mount Seymour was not possible to reach due to steep snow, and also that search and rescue said the Elsay lake trail was totally inaccessable, with meters of snow, steep slopes, etc.

Sure enough, when we got to second peak, we noticed that all of the footprints had turned back, with no-one venturing across the steep little exposed slope that drops into the final gap before going up Mount Seymour. Here we camped on the end of the west ridge of Second peak. That night Betsy and I went out with the ice axe and kicked out a route down into the gap - a bit lower than the...

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