Keith’s Hut

We did this trip in February 2014 but, for very good reasons I don’t want to discuss, had to delay posting this until now.

A few years ago, we heli’ed up to Keith’s Hut only to find that it was full, and that the heli was unwelcome. We decided to repeat the trip, this time on snowshoes for me and up the traditional winter route.

As I’ve been doing recently, here are the resources:

We set out early from the parking (just off the highway, probably space for 15-20 cars) and the forest section at the start was narrow and tricky. The elevation was gradual but present, and continued as we started to open up into the meadows. Eventually we were deep in the valley before it opens up into a very large bowl. You go to your right (the Eastern side) and make your way up through another wood then loop round into the hut.

Sounds easy? It’s not that easy when you can see, hear and know of all the avalanche risks. We went up on a moderate risk day but it soon became clear that slopes were slipping due to heavy wet snow. We took a conservative, planned approach and were all in possession of avalanche safety gear (all but one person had AST1 and that person was drilled on what to do). Unfortunately it looks like I’ve lost it now, but the other skiers and I were mapping out the avalanches on Backcountry Navigator. I won’t soon forget hearing those rumbles down the mountain.

Anyway, we pitched up at the cozy hut with solar powered lights, an out house and a wood stove. The upstairs is ladder accessed but I chose to stay downstairs for the night, reading a book on my phone (yes this is perfectly possible to do).

The next morning we headed down. The avalanche conditions were much worse. Woomphfing sounds under our feet were making it clear that (what I believe) was an early evening weak frozen surface layer covered in heavy wet snow. This promptly collapsed under us and we had many, many sink-ins that we needed our shovels to get out of.

Pleased to see the cars again!

Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes

Finally! A post that happened reasonably close to the time the hike took place!

Last weekend we were planning to head to Brew Hut and Brew Lake for a summer trip, but the weather turned poor. At the last minute, I identified Lindeman & Greendrop Lakes near Chilliwhack as an alternative.

As always, the links:

The trail starts out level as you enter the forest but then hits you with 300m elevation gain, then you realize it’s coastal rain forest and start to sweat. One thing watch out for deceptive trail markers. We were following them and went in the wrong direction a few times, do not assume you should pass beside it in the same direction, look for the next marker and the one after it.

After about 30 minutes of climbing we reached Lindeman Lake. There are campsites and bear caches here, and it’s more popular with day hikers. You can proceed round the Northern side of the lake (your left) and cross your first boulder field. Then it’s a walkway and some creek scrambling.

You have some more boulder fields ahead. Watch your footing. There are forest sections too and some undulation, but most of the uphill is done. We headed through the forest (again keep an eye on your trail markers) until eventually the sign for Flora Lake comes up. Head past it in the North-Easterly direction (Greendrop is not on the signpost) for another 500m (perhaps 1km). Eventually you’ll see the forest clear and the bear cache/toilet sign to your right. You’ve made it.

There are 2 campsites at Greendrop. The first has two pads and a lot of space (good for larger groups) but not a lake view. If you head round on the Southern side of the lake (to your right) you’ll find a second one, this time just one pad but there is easily room for two tents, perhaps more, and a better lake view. We set up there.

That evening we chilled out and caught up (been a while since I’ve done an overnighter with our usual group) and I discovered I had forgotten a fork in my hurry. My new Kelty Cosmic Down 41 was just right! Well worth the $150 for a summer bag.

The next morning we headed up the Southern side of the lake for a bit. It looks like a path but it becomes clear it’s overgrown and involves a lot of climbing. We turned back as we didn’t think it was passable.

On the way past the first campsite we had to do some cleaning up as the group before us had left, among other things, glass jars of died Krill! Annoying we had to carry it out for them honestly. Clean up after yourselves!

Then it was back to the cars and I had to go off and do a few Chilliwhack jobs.

Well worth it and a great random find!