Alan, Alexis, Mike and Dianne set off with their usual heavy packs for an overnight stay at Elsay Lake. It was nice and cool in the parking lot but as the day progressed it became quite warm. Luckily, there was enough shade to protect the group from the heat.
The trail is 10 km one way from the parking area, and starts up the Mt. Seymour trail for the first 2.8 km before branching off onto the Elsay Lake Trail. The route is very rugged with an overall elevation gain of 2900' on the way out. Several boulder fields are crossed making the going slow at times. The trails follows below the peaks of Seymour, Runner and Elsay giving distant views to Indian Arm as well as the deep valley bottom.
This trail is maintained by the Korean Hiking Club and they have done a great job. The route is well marked.
Now the day would not be complete without some kind of mishap on Mike's behalf. This started prior to the hike by having his car side-swiped on the freeway! Once on the Elsay trail Mike stumbled at least three times-try getting back up from the turtle positon with a heavy pack on a narrow descending trail!
There are a few creek crossings that were not an issue and the bug situation was reasonable. From the low point on the trail, you make the final climb to Elsay Creek and onto the lake. Once at the lake (elevation 2526') which is situated at the base of Mt. Elsay, we set up camp by the Rangers Hut. While the hut is not somewhere you would want to sleep, it did provide us with protection from the evening bugs while we played a record breaking five rounds of "Bones". Winner was Alexis! The lake is quite nice, but the shoreline could be quite muddy if we did not have the current dry spell. It even had lily pads to aid in dish washing as Alexis discovered.
After a so-so sleep (Alan did a bit of yelling in the night in his new tent) we packed up and made the long slow haul up to the Seymour trail. Mike and Alexis had done this trip back in 1998, and I am sure this will be their last trip there. Coming out Dianne took a tumble as her foot went off trail, but other than that we all came out in one piece. Dehydrated, but fine.
Until the next adventure..happy trails!