22 May 2017
With Parag, Madhuri, Pavneet, Caitlin, Dan and Wen
Raspberry Ridge is a well-documented and popular hike along Highway 940 west of Longview. It was the perfect destination for a leisurely day out with our friends in a beautiful part of the mountains. We were blessed with great conditions today – it was sunny but not too hot, and the only remaining snow had just melted enough to allow us to get off the summit ridge quite easily.
Pavneet had suggested to make this a loop route via the less travelled south ridge, a great idea as it turned out. This adds some variety to the day and avoids the “crowds” (well, there were perhaps two dozen other people out on this day) that tend to stick to the main trail.
After following a relatively new logging road around the SE side of Raspberry Ridge, we left the trail and simply thrashed up through light bush and steep, grassy slopes to the south ridge, which became more defined the higher we went. There are some really neat rocky crags and knobs here that just want to make you sit down, take a break, and admire the views! The old fire lookout on Mount Burke can just about be seen from here, as well as the flat expanse of Plateau Mountain, while to the west identifying all the snow-clad peaks is much harder. I think we were looking at Mount Etherington, Baril Peak, and Mount Armstrong (south to north).
The partially treed south ridge is an easy, enjoyable hike up a gentle grade, and higher up a trail even appears to the left of the ridge crest. We tramped up, always expecting the summit to pop up in front of us, but it still took quite a while until we arrived at the new fire lookout station (sadly, there is no more TV to watch here). Never mind the TV – all we needed was a hearty lunch, nice views, some laughs and good conversations among friends, and this spot was perfect for that!
Getting off the ridge was the only slightly tricky part, with that little bit of snow still lingering below the crest. But other hikers had already stepped across, so after a few slips and slides we were down. Caitlin and Pavneet were more adventurous and easily scrambled down a few short but steep rock ledges, completely avoiding the snow.
I was really surprised by how good the main trail is, which really attests to this hike’s popularity. Off the ridge, a beaten path initially zig zags its way down a steepish rib, then flattens out and even widens lower down. It’s impossible to get lost here! The terrain is lovely and features open meadows, stands of aspen trees, a couple of brooks, and cutlines through forest lower down.
An awesome and highly enjoyable hike with an awesome group of people, and Parag & Madhuri’s second mountain ever! Well done guys :).
DISCLAIMER: Use at your own risk for general guidance only! Do not follow this GPX track blindly but use your own judgement in assessing terrain and choosing the safest route.