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Hat Pass Trail, the tough way to Fat Ass Peak.
Timestamp Free: 2019.02.18 - 05:33:00
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Britannia Range
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 1400m
Difficulty: 2: Very steep rock slides and boulder fields, some route finding required.
Description of the Hat Pass Trail
[photo]P1030482.JPG[caption]The old sketch map[/photo]

After I hiked the Tunnel Bluff Trail the first time I went to explore the approach to Hat Peak from that side. There I found a schematic sketch map showing the Hat Pass Trail. When I tried that the first time I found it a work in progress. High up I came into very steep forest with no formed trail and found my light footwear gave me insufficient traction and edge control, so I had to turn around.

Earlier this year I looked for the Hat Pass Trail on the OSM map and found Fat Ass Peak instead. I had never heard that name before and it and the trail were not on bivouac. So I decided to try the Hat Pass Trail again. Since there was still snow higher up I carried my heavy climbing boots in my day pack and also brought my iceaxe. I started in Lions Bay and planned to come down the Brunswick Trail. Near the top of the M Creek spur the snow seemed to become continuos. There were old posthole tracks that seemed to go only up, so I was hopeful they may have gone my planned loop and I would have a packed trail all the way. Then in the steep forest the ground was again bare. When I came to some snow above the turn-off to the hut there were no more tracks. The snow was quite firm and kicking steps made walking quite a bit tougher. I was also worried that the steep traverse below Brunswick might be to dangerous without a beaten path, so I decided to see where the other party had gone.

In the flat area beyond the hut junction there was again snow and the tracks led to a faint trail in the once more dry forest. The trail switchbacked down a very steep slope, an unlikely place for a hut, but after a little while I saw the outhouse and then around a corner the "Hat Hilton". There I met Mike, an older guy...

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