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Blanshard Needle by Bike - 2014 Notes
Timestamp Free: 2018.12.18 - 07:06:53
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges
  (1 days)
Participants: Daniel Olsen, Brett Logan
Difficulty: 4: Blanchard needle is steep class 4 segregated by bouts of steep hiking, and a bushwhack down to the col from Alouette Mountain.
Mountain bike up Alouette fire road, then hike up trail to summit of Alouette, then bushwack to col and climb Blanchard Needle.
Since the first reports of approaching the needle by bike surfaced some 15 years ago, there has been a bit of trail development/maintenance in the area paving the way for new possibilities.

Ascending: The Alouette Mtn fire road is quite circuitous at first so we opted to ride then push our bikes up the steep "Incline Trail" from Mike Lake which shaves a few kilometres of travel. From the top of the Incline Trail the fire road is an easy pedal to where it joins with the hiking trail up Alouette Mtn. Note: We stashed our bikes where the flagged Alouette Route leaves the fire road, immediately after the second "Shortcut Trail." However, unlike years passed I noticed that the fire road had been cleared beyond this point, and while hiking we passed a trail higher up coming from the direction of the fire road, meaning it may be possible to ride bikes higher than where we did.

The Col: There is a flagged route that drops off the west side of Alouette Mtn about 50m shy of the summit cairn. The route is steep, very bushy, and if it has rained in the past decade extremely wet. Flagging tape is sparse so simply follow the trajectory of where the route was going based on the last seen piece of tape and you will find your way. Despite all this, the route takes you to where you want to go, passing some neat viewpoints of the tight Evans Valley on your right, and spits you out at the base of the steep first pitch of the S Ridge.

Descending: A new mountain bike specific downhill trail - The Eric Dunning Trail - has been created in the past few years, just off the forest service road, at the top of the Incline Trail. What this means is that if you park your vehicle only halfway along the road to Mike Lake, at the Eric Dunning trail outlet (there is a pull-out for 2-3 cars),...

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