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crazy valley adventure???

Oct. 12, 2019, 12:30 a.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Any interest in doing a Mercer - Elk loop starting at the Mercer trail head and finishing at Elk?  It would require two vehicles to do the shuttle back to Mercer after. Ride time would probably be in the neighbourhood of 3.5-4 hrs with a good 30-45 minutes of that being sub-alpine ridgetop riding. Plan for a total of 7-9 hrs from Vancouver if there's apres involved.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca

Oct. 12, 2019, 5:53 p.m.
Posts: 1209
Joined: May 4, 2006

Have you done this trail recently? What are the reports like?

I rode Elk twice many years ago. Once as an out and back straight up the the summit, out a long the ridge toward Thurston then back again.

Second time I rode it was a huge loop using a couple FSRs on the east side to get onto the ridge near Thurston. Can't remember exactly which FSR but pretty sure it wasn't Mercer.

Anyway, second time was a crap route with lots of bush-whacking!

So, I'm interested in doing it again. How rough is the Mercer FSR? I have a Subaru Forester so can't take on anything too rough!

Oct. 12, 2019, 9:45 p.m.
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I haven't done it but I am interested. There aren't really any recent trip reports for Mercer out there, but it seems the road is in rough shape in spots. The Mercer trail head uses an old FSR to get up to the alpine and most of it is not in the trees, so the views are good on the way up and would be spectacular on the ridge. There's also the option of going out to the peak of Mercer instead of skipping it and heading straight to Thurston once the ridge is gained.   I'm thinking it would be better to do it east to west as the descent down from Elk to the parking lot is definitely fun in places. Bombing down an FSR doesn't appeal to me that much even if the climb/push up is harder. However, starting at the west end (Elk) means starting the climb at 620m and going up to 1400m before things flatten out vs the east end (Mercer) which means starting at about 300m and going up to 1550m. Either way it's a grunt and a big day and for a more local comparison doing something like Full Pull from the rec centre in Port Moody should definitely be in one's wheelhouse before attempting something like this. It's probably not gonna happen for this year but is something I'd be keen to look at next year.

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