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Trip report for Monument 83 Snowshoe Hike. Feb 19 – 22, 2009.
I and three friends made our way to E.C. Manning Provincial Park, in B.C. and snowshoe hiked our way up to Monument 83, located at the Canada – US border.
Pics can be found here.
The trail is rated as Moderate,
Length 16km (9.9miles). One way.
Elevation change 859m. (2818feet)
Time: 5 hours. Summer rating.
The start of the trail is located at the Monument 78/83 parking lot. This can be found in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, just off Highway 3. We followed the fire access road which remained level for the first 3 km. This road had three bridged river crossings with water flowing under all three. This section also is part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The trail splits left or right. Right takes the hiker to Monument 78. We followed the Monument 83 route. Our first day was spent wearing our misery slippers (as Kuteny likes to call them) for a 10km (6.2mile) hike with some elevation gain. The weather was cool, little or no wind, and sunny. At camp on the side of the trail, we had some gear issues with our stoves. The MSR stove had trouble lighting, and my Coleman stove would not pressurize. We did manage to get both stoves lit and enjoyed a hot meal of curry with Nan bread, hot tea and latter on we had hot chocolate and a backpackers cheesecake mix(the mix failed some how).
With the second day braking clear, we packed up our camp and proceeded up the hardest 6km (3.7miles). This section has the most elevation gain of the whole trail. With lunch and many stops to catch our breath, we made it to the summit. Though I personally really hated to see the last trail marker announcing 1 km to go. With an up hill view, I knew it would not be easy. We reached the top and found the cabin. One of our party had camped here before and noted how the cabin was in better shape than his last stay. We enjoyed what was left of the day in the sun and took in the views. Awesome views. Not surprised to see no border people. Too far away from every thing.
We had a problem again with one of the stoves, pressurized, but with a three foot high flame. There is NO WAY I WILL COOK IN A TENT. Dinner consisted of home dehydrated chili, pita bread, and tea. The tea was great we just added water and heated!!! Later we shared a pound cake with a hot pudding mix on top.
The cabin itself was Spartan to say the least. Four walls, floor, roof with a look out as a second floor. One door. Two tables suitable to cook on. Some graffiti on walls, logs, ect. All this within 20x20 feet space. Views unlimited.
Breakfast was pancakes, with tea. We packed up and started our hike down. We descended the mountain so quick that in 2 hours we were at our campsite from the first night. We passed the spot where we had lunch first day out well before lunch time. We all found that the trail conditions were not the best. Breaking thru the crust, and then as moving thru the step we would sink thru the next level. Hiking poles really helped. By 3:30pm we had reached the parking lot. 5 ½ hours 16km. A long slog.
We camped in the parking lot for the night. The tailgate dinner consisted of dehydrated spaghetti sauce and noodles. Yes tea again. Later we climbed into the truck for a couple of hours to escape the cold. Anyone who was watching would have thought it strange when bed time came around, one person slept in the cab of the pickup, two in the box of the truck, and one setting up a tent next to the truck.
Morning came and we packed up what we had to and drove down the road to the resort a couple of miles down the road. We changed out of our hiking clothes and enjoyed a good, relaxed breakfast that we did not have to cook. We headed back to Vancouver where we broke up and headed our separate ways home.
Weather was sunny, Temps ranged from -18C. to 0C. Wind was negligible until we arrived at the parking lot. Too large an open area. Depth of snow was around 2 feet. There was a covering of 2in. of dry powdery snow on top of a firm crust. In areas, the snow was very chewed up from us and larger type animals. No animals were seen on the trip, though signs of large ungulates were present.
We were lucky that Trouthunter was not in the area as he would have most likely put rocks in our packs, or thrown rocks at our tents. Where he would have found those things I do not know.
Our load out or pack weight ran around 50lbs. each. All in all a good time was had by all. We saw an area of our Province most people will never see.