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Route Description to Ape Lake
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.04 - 10:50:32
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Edwards Range
  (null days) Damp trails, steep side slopes to negotiate with a potentially heavy pack, cross country navigation required into remote wilderness terrain with no facilities.
Trail and route description to hike into Ape Lake from the Nusatsum Valley.
In the central Coast Mountain Range of British Columbia, there exists a lake which is at the center of an attractive group of peaks and icefields. The lake was once known as Symphony Lake by some early American explorers, but now is officially Ape Lake. It makes an ideal location for an extended stay in the heart of a magnificent wilderness setting. There are plenty of surrounding peaks and icefields to explore, and the following is a route description into the area. The route in is rough with a heavy pack, and some travellers choose to fly in to the lake, and hike out later when the pack isn't so heavy.

From a few kilometers east of Hagensborg along highway 20 in the Bella Coola Valley, drive up the Nusatsum-Noeick FSR to the signed trailhead of Ape Lake. (Note: the trail is signed as Ape Lake, but only leads to meadows above Hammer Lake. Beyond, there is only a route and cross country travel is involved) Hike up the trail to Hammer Lake, the trail in this valley is generally quite wet, and suitable footware would be advised. There are boardwalks in place, but not nearly enough of them.
 The trail ascends to a pond above the lake, and a little further beyond it's difficult to make out the path, and the meadows are again wet. There are orange squares and flagging in places, but eventually I temporarily lost the route in the meadows above. Cross a creek at a convenient location by hopping on rocks or fording. There is another small stream beyond and then ascend east up to a 5200 foot bench on the SW shoulder of Polar Bear Peak. There were cairns in place leading up to the bench.

Cross a steep talus slope beyond, generally maintaining your elevation. There is a short steep meadowed slope beyond which I felt was the crux of the route in. It contains thick grasses...

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