Mount Cannell

November 19, 2021


Mission, BC

“Mt. Cannell” is an unofficially-named pimple in the piece of woods to the north of Mission but does boast over 200 m prominence. The only reason I would even think about this bump was to put my fat bike in use. The ascent starts from the same road system as the Instagram hot spot “Hunter Trail“, but veers right instead of left after halfway. The road system is gated at the very bottom and instead of walking I would prefer to bike. There wasn’t much “beta” on the internet but the route seemed obvious enough to just “show up and grab”.

The forecast for this Friday was not brilliant but at least there’s no precipitation. The forecast showed the possible of sunshine but that turned out to be the case only for the high alpine. This “peak” was not tall enough to break through the clouds, unfortunately. I was able to convince Lily to join me on this biking trip and we left Surrey at 7 am. I was able to fit both of our bikes onto my truck’s bed. In an hour we arrived in Mission encountering no traffic delay.

“Mt. Cannell” bike and thrash. GPX DL

The bike ride was literally a no brainer. Between the two of us I had the better bike thank to Matt’s North Shore Bike Shop so I was able to pedal more. For some steep sections we both had to push the bikes but I was able to ride at least half of the uphill distance. The start of the ride was steep but it levelled out for a while before reaching the Hunter Trail junction. We took the right fork and had another short stretch of flat-ish ride. The spur road onto the north ridge of “Mt. Cannell” soon turned steep and rocky and stayed like that until the end.

Bypassing the gate at the start
Lily started pedaling right from the start
Soon we had to push the bikes up…
Uphill biking was tough so we pushed…
The higher spurs were rocky and steep..
The bikes were ditched at the road end

We ditched the bikes and bailed into the bush for the final 30 m gain to the true summit. The forest looked miserably and it sure was. The vegetation was soaked from the recent rain events and the bushwhacking was “BW4” until we broke out of the secondary growth mess. There were even thorny plants thrown in here and there. The true summit was located in some older growth forest so the final section was not too bad. Lily was more keen to look for mushroom while I was determined to find where the highest point was…

The bushwhacking was very intense right off the bat…
Me diving into a particularly bad stretch of the mess…
Not to mention that the bushes were soaked wet from recent rain
Higher up we merged into older forest
The last few meters to the summit
Me on the summit of “Mt. Cannell”

After bagging the true summit we mostly retraced the same route we took to get out of this ugly forest. The downhill bushwhacking was slightly easier but not much better, that by the time we got back to the bikes I was already soaked to the bone. The downhill ride was fast and furious as expected. I thought about to bike to the Hunter Trail viewpoint on the way home but the weather was not clearing so there was no point doing that. While riding the steep hill near the trail-head Lily had her front wheel popped out. Thankfully that did not lead to a nasty crash and she was able to put the wheel back in after some effort. I eventually got back home at 1 pm, earning a couple hours’ napping time before work.

Nearing the summit we had some minor bluffs
Back into the bushwhacking game…
Lily riding down the upper spur road
One of the flatter sections. This was near the Hunter Trail junction
Riding down the lower hill
The discharge of Stave Lake Dam…