Vicuna & Guanaco – Day Trippers only

September 24th 2011


Vicuna and Guanaco Peaks are two interesting and scenic summits in the northeastern part of the Anderson River Group, in the northern Cascade Mountains northeast of the town of Hope in southwestern British Columbia. Vicuna Peak in particular is a distinct granitic horn that is one of the higher peaks in the region. Both summits are easily accessed via a good trail leading to the col separating the two peaks, with the actual summits gained via scramble routes.

The route begins by crossing the creek on the old logging road, now reverting to ATV track. The road ascends gently into an aromatic montane forest, soon crossing a small gully and entering a regenerating cutblock. At the far side of the cutblock, a sign on the uphill side of the road announces the start of actual trail. Turn uphill here, ascending steeply in forest parallel to the clearcut edge. A number of boulders dot the forest. The trail soon passes the upper limit of clearcut, with the well-defined trail continuing directly uphill into progressively smaller tree forest. A large, granitic slab soon appears above and on the right, with the trail bypassing in more forest before curving back above the upper edge of the slab. The trail continues its aggressive ascent beyond here, climbing into more subalpine forest before ultimately entering a series of cottongrass meadows. The views expand considerably here, although the muddy track requires more attention as the trail ascends moderately towards the base of the enormous slabs flanking Vicuna Peak. The trail fades somewhat through here, but the tread is well flagged, and soon moves back into the subalpine forest. The woodland is short-lived however, as the trees diminish in size and heather becomes more abundant

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