Total Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
Date: January 22nd, 2021
Continuing with the theme of “close to home”, I was after an easy-ish hike I could finish up in a morning and have the rest of the day to do other activities. The forecast was clear skies with low avalanche hazard for the whole north shore. As usual, I went to AllTrails and had a look at the trails on the north shore. I found two good candidates: Mount Elsay and Mount Seymour. I figured I’d decide the day of again and go from there.
Friday morning I arrived at the Seymour Ski Hill parking around 10:30am after a slow start. For these reasons, I parred back my objectives even further and decided to do the first two peaks before Mount Seymour: Pump Peak & Tim Jones Peak. I figured, I’d have a look at the route to Mount Seymour if time permitted, but it was essentially off the table for the day.
I was parked at the back country lot about 1.5km from the trail-head with gear on and walking by 11am. As I walked towards the trail head it seems many people had parked in the ski hill parking and saved themselves a bit of time, but I didn’t mind a little extra distance.
The trail to the base of Pump Peak follows an established and well maintained route with out much to speak of. There are a few steep sections, but it’s no struggle in snow shoes, cramp-ons, etc. I was too lazy to put any crampons on and still didn’t have much issue. Once I reached the slopes to Pump Peak, I placed them on and followed a set of tracks straight up the face. The established trail loops around a mellower route, but it didn’t look as interesting.
Once I was up the first slope, there was a small flat spot and then a 20m or so slope to the summit. There were lots of people up top enjoying the view, so I just tapped the summit marker and headed towards Tim Jones peak where there seemingly only 3 or 4 people instead of the 30 or more at Pump Peak.
Traveling from Pump Peak to to Tim Jones, involves losing maybe 100m elevation down to the col and then moderate to steep incline up to the second summit. There’s lots of neat undulating terrain there and the views were spectacular all around. The route to Tim Jones Peak was short and no objective hazards/challenges presented themselves that day. In about 20 minutes I was on the other summit, shared with only 2-3 others.
From Tim Jones Peak, I could see Mount Seymour just a short distance away. After spending 15 minutes at the top, I thought I’d check out the route as I had made decent time. As other trip reports have stated, in the winter it involves a traverse across two steep snow gullies to reach safe ground.
I followed some tracks down to the traverse and at first glance it looked manageable. I figured I’d give it a “light” attempt and so I started across the first gully and made it safely. The tracks ran out about half way across the second one, but I proceeded anyways. As I reached the last track, I realized why the previous person had stopped. I had crampons, but still couldn’t find much purchase with my feet. Without an ice axe, I was getting close to slipping several times and cautioned against going any further.
I turned around and traced my steps back to the top of Pump Peak. I spent another 20 minutes at the top soaking in the sun and having some lunch. From there it was drop down to the Pump Peak/Tim Jones Peak col and then a climb back up to the North side of Pump Peak. I opted to take the established trail down from Pump Peak this time and simply followed the markers all the way back. Once I was linked up to the main “back country” trail, it was basic plod back to the car.
On a sunny day, this hike has some fantastic views and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an easy outing. There can be avalanche danger as Pump Peak and Tim Jones peak trails both run through challenging terrain, so it’s best to go when you are comfortable with the avalanche risk (or the summer). I hope to come back later in the year to take on Mount Seymour and a few of the peaks beyond.