Reconnoiter Cloudburst Mountain

Access to Cloudburst Mt. 2012 May 6Last year we scouted a slightly new route up Cloudburst, and this spring we were hoping to use it. At this time of year there is a small window of opportunity when the snow has melted off the access roads to be able to drive high on the hill, and while it is still deep and smooth on the upper parts of the mountain. On May 6 we wanted to go and see the situation hoping we were a week or two early. If you know this location, the picture shows the road just beyond the top of the High Falls Creek hike, and at the point where the road turns northward into the valley that provides access to Tricouni Meadows and, across the creek, up this aspect of Cloudburst. The road has been snow-free and dry to this point, but just around this bend there is patchy snow and we had to park.

Washout on access to Tricouni Meadows and Cloudburst MountainVery quickly we encountered the main problem. A culvert has been partially crushed and it has been blocked with debris so the flow of water has washed out the road. The approximate location of the washout is marked on this map. By the time we crossed the creek onto

Crossing the creek on the west side of Cloudburst Mountain

On the bridge crossing the creek on the west side of Cloudburst Mountain

Cloudburst Mountain itself, the snow was thick on the  road. I  am sure that from here we could ski all the way up… but that makes for a long day. We’d prefer to drive up to the location we found last year. Let’s hope that the road is repaired soon this spring.

What is our interest in Cloudburst? It is the first, or southern-most, mountain on the Squamish River — Whistler corridor divide, and because it is so close to the Salish Sea it receives an extraordinary amount of snow (much more than Whistler). By a mutual agreement (that I don’t fully understand) the mechanized winter travellers (snowmobilers and heli-skiers)  have left the alpine parts of this hill to the muscle-powered group (skiers, boarders, and snowshoers). While access is always a chore, the location is spectacular.

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