Total Time: 2 hours 13 minutes
Date: January 30th, 2021
On the last weekend of January, there was a special avalanche advisory spanning the whole south coast mountain range affecting all aspects and all elevations. This left most of the mountains around Vancouver and Squamish out of the picture for a weekend summit. Looking further east, I saw that the avalanche danger was much less and negligible on southern aspects. I decided to try and find something simple in the Manning Park area and Mount Kelly came up on my search.
At ~1908m in elevation, Mount Kelly is rather small mountain and the high starting point for the trail head meant this would be a short ~8km hike round trip. The weather for the weekend was snowy and cloudy everywhere, so a short hike with risk of no views sounded better than a long grueling ascent with limited chance of seeing anything.
I spoke with my friend Mike and he was keen to get outside for the weekend as well. I picked him up Coquitlam on the way out and we made it to the trail head for 11:10am or so. We geared up and got moving by 11:18am.
We both brought snowshoes, but the trail was packed down already and I really only needed boots and poles. Most of the route meandered through the powder covered forest over moderate terrain. There was a bit of deadfall, but otherwise it was a straight forward and fast ascent. We made it to the summit around 12:35 or so. As expected, there wasn’t much to see with the thick cloud cover, but the scenery in our vicinity was still beautiful.
We had a quick snack and then half-skied, half-ran down the first psty of the trail. The soft snow is very forgiving and fun to come back down. I’ll miss that during the summer time when my knees absorb every rocky step down. By 1:30pm we were back at the car and made the 2.5 hour drive back to Vancouver. It was a short hike and no views, but no complaints about being outside.