Distance: 7.5 km
Elevation gain: 810 m View map Download GPS track
Today was the second day of our inaugural trip in our new trailer, and as we'd be packing it up for the first time later on we needed a short hike so that if we ran into trouble with the packing we'd have time to figure it out. It was also forecast to be sweltering hot, so we wanted something with a bit of shade too. Enter Whistler Mountain. It's another mountain detailed in Andrew Nugara's scrambling guide
, the mountain would block the morning sun from the west-facing ascent route, and it was very close to the Beaver Mines campground where we were staying.
We left the campground around 7 am and very soon encountered the crux of the trip: The access road! It was terribly potholed and even with the truck some slow maneuvering was necessary to make it through the roughest areas. SUV's can evidently make the journey as well, but there is no way I'd have gotten my Civic in. The trailhead is also well hidden, but I had a GPS track from Matt Hobbs
' ascent earlier this year and so we found it without difficulty. It was then as simple as following the steep trail up.
The trail posed no difficulties whatsoever and the bright red argillite, spring foliage, and wildflowers combined to make this a very colorful and pleasant ascent and within 90 minutes at a fast pace we were standing on the summit. A game camera greeted us as we arrived at the summit as well as a PVC tube that presumably once held a register. After taking in the views we headed over to a slightly lower northern summit that was the site of an old fire lookout (all that remained was the foundation). This short extension was worthwhile if for no other reason than to spend more time on the mountain!
The hike back to the truck was uneventful with the exception of a conversation about ticks we had with a couple of women on the way down (the only other hikers we met all weekend!). Ironically, after a minute or two of talking about the dastardly creatures I saw one crawling up her arm! It was quickly disposed of and it was decided he was probably a hitchhiker from an earlier patch of alders. Sure enough, after passing through the alders on the way back one dropped onto my hat, and we later found another one in the truck.