Evans Peak

March 18, 2020

1132m

Golden Ears Provincial Park, BC

Evans Peak is a forested bump right next to the busy West Canyon Trail in Golden Ears Provincial Park but the summit offers some outstanding views. This peak hasn’t caught significant interest in the hiking community until the last several years, when the social media era kicked in. Right now a hike to the summit of Evans Peak is no secret to anyone, but the true challenge is to do it in winter. I had summitted most of the peaks in the Golden Ears Group but had somehow left Evans Peak behind. Wendy suggested us to do something in this past Wednesday and I instantly decided on Evans Peak. The weather was gorgeous and the trail had been broken by parties on Sunday. In addition to the weather and conditions I was also afraid that the gate in Golden Ears Park would be closed soon due to this pandemic, so I wanted to do this hike as soon as possible before they can lock me out by enforcement.

To successfully complete this hike we had to be extra prepared. Wendy hadn’t done much in the way of winter hiking so I packed everything – ice axe, crampons, microspikes, a harness and a 30 m rope. It turned out that we used everything that I brought so the decision was correct. The crux zone required some 40-degree snow climbing with moderate exposure. The gate would open at 8 am so there’s no need to rush. I picked Wendy up and we left White Rock at 7 am, had a breakfast in Maple Ridge’s McDonalds and then drove straight to the trail-head. I had already packed most shits into my 68-L backpack so we didn’t waste much time at the trail-head.

Evans Peak hiking trail. GPX DL

There were two ways to start the hike and we picked the northern side of the loop, which had a more gradual grade. The hike to the Viewpoint Loop / Evans Peak junction was very easy but after that things became steep in no time. The grade wasn’t actually as steep as I remembered from my descent off Alouette Mountain in 2017, but still quite a grunt. Snow appeared at around 700 m and soon became continuous and slippery. Our goal was to reach the viewpoint at just under 800 m without gear transition but we failed. We had to stop and put crampons on for Wendy and at the same time, I swapped my trail shoes for the Trango Ice Cube mountaineering boots. With the rigid mountaineering boots I wouldn’t need traction device. The viewpoint was pretty averaged so we continued charging up. Reaching the Evans Peak / Alouette Mtn. junction was faster than I thought so we were doing pretty good on time.

Morning sun beams through the woods

Wendy starting the hike

The lower trail along Viewpoint loop was very easy

There’s one surprising step to scramble down

Starting the steeper grunt now

Starting to see snow at around 700 m

The snow soon became continuous

Wendy trying to maintain balance without crampons. It was hard..

At the viewpoint looking towards the tip of Mt. Robie Reid

The crampons were strapped on and the going soon became easier

Our objective – Evans Peak

Wendy taking in some views.

The tracks split and became faint after we turned onto the Evans Peak trail. There was some post-holing but nothing worth noting. The trail brought us up and over a flatter bump before the crux section. There was a fixed rope and the rope was visible under the snow, but could not be dug out. I gave Wendy and ice axe and carefully kicked steps up the 40-degree no-fall zone with my mountaineering boots. There was another stretch of 40-degree snow climbing above the crux where we had to be careful. The summit was pretty soon reached once the steepness gave way to the flat summit ridge. We opted to descend the north ridge for a ways for extra exploring.

Wendy on the flatter section on the ridge now

This is right below the crux pitch

Wendy above the second steep step now

Onto the summit ridge, the view suddenly opened up

The east faces of Blanshard Needle and Edge Peak

Alouette Lake where we started from

Mt. Robie Reid which I bagged in August 2017

Mt. Judge Howay with Robertson poking behind

A closer look at Blanshard Needle

Exploring down the north ridge for more views

Partial Summit Panorama from Evans Peak. Click to view large size.

Wendy hiking down to another bump on the north ridge

Northern view towards Mt. Robie Reid

Alouette Lake and Mt. Crickmer

Wendy taking in the views

Me on Evans Peak. Photo by Wendy M.

This northern bump is an ideal spot for Insta shots.

Wendy and Edge Peak

Hiking back across the north ridge

Wendy hiking on Evans Peak ridge

Wendy and I on the summit of Evans Peak

After an hour or so on the summit areas we opted to descend. For the crux zone I pulled out the rope and set up two rappels for Wendy. I then down-climbed with the rope used as a hand line. The snow became soft in no time as we descended further into the woods so the crampons were removed, and then traded off for microspikes, which seemed to offer better grip. I on the other hand, did not use any traction device. Down to where I ditched the trail shoes I couldn’t locate the shoes even after at least three laps of searching. I figured they must be either stolen or taken away by animals. With some great frustration we had to continue descending, and to my surprise I found my shoes at the Viewpoint loop / Evans Peak junction. Thanks a lot to whomever that relocated my shoes to a more visible place. To explore more we descended the southern loop and did a side trip to the “viewpoint”.

One last look at Alouette Lake before descending into the forest

On rappel.

This is the second rappel

Another view of these icicles

Falling in kinda fun…

The typical forested descent where things aren’t steep…

Running out of snow here ,taking microspikes off

Found my shoes! Thanks!

Mt. Crickmer from the lower “viewpoint”. Kinda not worth the detour

Back to the flat trail.

A review shot of Evans Peak from the trail-head.

The round trip time was 7 hours 20 minutes. We thought about to explore the shore of Alouette Lake for more photos but the traffic was horrendous with vehicles lining up to cross a (single lane) bridge. We immediately turned around as we didn’t want to see hordes of people anyway. An hour or so later we were back to White Rock, and I had to get ready for my evening work, and yes I worked to 9:30 pm. That concluded another exhausting but satisfying day.