View west from the lookout
Mount Burke II
Even though Dinah and I had hiked up Mount Burke in 2001, I had always wanted to return. It was still early in the 2010 season, but I was betting that by now, others had worked a trail into the snow.
The Cataract Creek campground access road was closed for winter, so we walked about a kilometre to the trailhead and started up Salter Creek. At first we encountered little ground snow, but as we ventured farther the snow became knee-deep. Fortunately, snowshoers had tramped down a trail for us, although it was buried under a few inches of new snow. Unfortunately we missed taking the left fork in the drainage. Actually, had I remembered to bring a map, I would have known there was a fork. We went up Plateau Creek a short distance before realizing our mistake. We climbed over the end of an intervening ridge and dropped back onto Salter Creek.
Here snowshoes and boots had beaten an obvious path. We followed it up the wooded slope to the treeline. On the open slopes, however, wind dogged us to the summit. Although not strong enough to hinder us, the wind caused snow to swirl about our boots or to fly high in the air. It also froze our faces.
We welcomed summit views under blue skies. Too cold to linger, we went back down the mountain, down to Salter Creek. Instead of staying on the creekbed, we followed a good trail into the woods. The trail ran for several hundred metres above the north bank before we lost it because of snow cover, less than a kilometre from the trailhead. If you find this trail take it. It's easier travel than the creekbed.
Postscript: In 2016 we returned and did Mount Burke - North Peak Loop, an enjoyable trip that involves some routefinding and scrambling.
We hike alongside Salter Creek with Mount Burke ahead.
We pass a stack of rocks on the creek.
This must be where the drainage splits; we should've gone left.
When we stepped off the snowshoe track we encountered deep snow (mouse over).
On the trail on the lower slopes of Mount Burke.
Breaking out of the trees
Nothing to see at first
Heading to the lookout (mouse over to look back)
Well up the ridge
Strong wind blows snow.
Blowing snow obscures the lookout.
Crossing a snow drift
I'm looking forward to getting out of the wind.
I watch Dinah from the lookout.
The ridge leads to North Peak of Burke
82 J/7 Mount Head, our descent route
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