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Unnecessary Mountain
Timestamp Free: 2020.08.12 - 09:35:29

  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 638m
Participants: Tom Tiedje
Difficulty: 1: Some parts of route have massive root erosion due to heavy foot traffic.
From Cyprus Bowl downhill ski area parking lot to summit of Unnecessary Mountain, 18 km return.
I left the car in the ski area parking lot at 12:30pm on an overcast day. A young couple asked me how to get to St. Mark's Summit. I didn't know. A black bear appeared to be grazing on the vegetation in the lower part of the ski run, and there were multiple bear droppings. A gravel trail has been built recently 2m wide with stone curbs and rock walls on steep sections. It ends at the first high point past the back of the ski hill. After the end of the new trail the route is badly eroded especially in steep sections from heavy traffic, with big outcroppings of roots. There were a lot of people maybe 50 in multiple parties. One guy coughed into his arm and sniffled, I kept moving. At the next high point there was a post with a blue sign saying St. Mark's Summit in the middle of the trail. There were obvious higher points on either side of the trail. On the west side there is a nice viewpoint at the top of a big cliff overlooking Howe Sound. Past St. Mark's Summit two lost girls asked me if St. Mark's Summit were nearby. The route from SMS to Unnecessary is much less heavily travelled and less eroded. I concluded that SMS must be a recommended trip in a popular web site. I reached the south and highest summit of Unnecessary at 3:45pm. Unfortunately it was in a cloud and there was no view. On the way down there was light rain. I met the black bear again in a different downhill run, this time I got within 50 m of him as I came around a corner. He looked at me and went back to grazing. Reached parking lot at 6:30pm. Now I needed to get to the ferry as quickly as possible since traffic was likely to be heavy because the next day was a holiday. The fuel gauge in the car looked worse going downhill from Cyprus Bowl than it did on the way up so I went off the highway into West...

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