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Hiking the Elsay Lake Trail
Timestamp Free: 2020.09.23 - 18:37:54
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Fannin Range
  (1 days)
Participants: George Hill, Brett Norbury
Difficulty: 2: Class 1/2. Some sections are not well marked and require good knowledge of where you are going or GPS directions. Failure to follow the correct route could lead to dangerous ledges and ravines. For most of the trail it is well marked with steep sections and loose soil/rocks. Bush whacking may be necessary in sections where the path has overgrown. Also Beware the waypoint distance is deceiving as the true length of the trail to Elsay Lake from the parking lot is 11 km due to the elevation changes and numerous switchbacks.
Hike to Elsay Lake via the well known Elsay lake trail.
[photo]MtBaker.jpg[caption]Mt. Baker center, after checking some topo maps I think Mt. Shuksan is off to the left and the Twin Sisters mountain is off to the right. Can anyone identify all three peaks with certainty?[/photo]

June 21st, the first day of summer and oh was it gorgeous. Blue skies so clear you could see past Mt. Baker in the distance.

We started at the parking lot and we took the side trail beside the ski runs starting near the information map for the trail to dog mountain. From there we followed the route up past a small lake just west of Mystery Peak It was still frozen over in parts and had a beautiful greenish blue turquoise comparable to that of the jofree lakes. We didn't go swimming in it as we had only just started the hike and being about 8:45 in the morning it was still a bit cool out.

Past the lake the trail was covered in snow, and I was thinking we should've brought crampons. I was going to but Brett convinced me "oh the snowpack was not very dense this year, we have had a really warm spring". My words upon starting our trek in the snow were something along the lines of "Ha, told you so!"

Up at Brockton Point just past the lake we had great views of Vancouver and Mt. Baker and even (what we thought was) Mt. Rainer in the distance. It was silly of us to think this was Mt. Rainer as it is situated a further 250km south of Mt. Baker. Picture above. Full image viewable here:

We followed the path up the Elsay Lake junction, got slightly confused and made it about 100m up towards Pump Peak before we realized we were off course. Heading back down to the junction we became very confused at where the trail to Elsay Lake was as the small saddle was covered in snow. We decided to follow the left side of the saddle...

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