Elevation Gain: 561m
Total Time: 4 hours 21 minutes
Date: November 11th, 2021
The coming Thursday was a stat holiday for Remembrance Day and both Sara and I had the day off as a result. I wanted to take our dog Winston out for another snow adventure and so a trip to the mountains seemed like the best plan. Unfortunately, the sea 2 sky was in a continuous rain cycle and so we’d have to look further afield. I had just been in Manning Park on the weekend for Burnt Knoll and this area was again looking to have the best “weather-to-drive-distance ratio”. I originally picked Windy Joe as our plan, but had a back up of Grassy Mountain, a small forested peak just east of the Manning Park Ski Resort. It’s easily accessed by a trail network that runs through the ski resort and onto a ridge before reaching the summit.
We had a late start on the Thursday and didn’t end up arriving at Manning Park Resort until 11:20am or so. With the sun setting for 4:30ish, I didn’t think we could make Windy Joe in time, so it was time to go with the back up plan. I drove us a bit further down the resort road and stopped at the parking area about a km from the resort, due to a closed gate. By 11:42am we were walking down the road and cut into the forest shortly after to join up with the trail. Once on the trail, the conditions called for snow shoes so put them on right away and the continued our ascent.
The trail was wide and well-packed down in some sections, but I opted to hike through the deeper untouched snow for some training. About 1.5km from when we joined the trail, it opened out onto a ski run. From the ski run the route cut across the hill and then a series of switch backs lead us up to the ridge. Again the trail was already broken, so travelling was easy and straightforward. On the ridge we followed the route to Poland Lake until we reached the last 60m to the summit. The tracks continued past the summit, as it seems few bother to tag an enclosed summit. So, Sara and I broke trail for the last little bit up a steep slope before topping out.
After summitting, I boiled some water and made us hot chocolate to warm up. We had some lunch and then, both close to freezing, packed up and headed down. The return was easy, simply following the existing tracks and we were back at the car with a round trip time of just over 4 hours.
If we had a bit more time, I would have liked to go for Bojo Mountain, further on towards Poland Lake, but it didn’t pan out this time. I would suggest combining the two as it’s an easy day objective. The summit had some good views, so I think this makes for a worthy winter peak to grab.