The trail starts where the old Rainy River Main reconnects with the current road about 120m back from the cars. There is an obvious swath of alder on the west side of the road. Follow the path into a campsite at the river. Then a flagged trail south (along the river) brings you to a nice three wire bridge. Cross the river and continue south on the old road. If you look for it, you should spot the Rainy Mountain trail heading off into the woods a short distance after the first major washout. This trail climbs steeply to open country east of Rainy Mountain. It is well trotted initially and flagged in the semi-alpine.
Before you go attempt anything up the Rainy FSR, you are expected to sign in at the 1st aid station of the Port Mellon pulp mill. To get to the 1st aid station and the bridge across the Rainy River, you have to drive through the mill in a zig-zag course around a fence. Once across the bridge make an immediate left and drive up the Rainy Mainline. There are distance signs on the Rainy FSR. Parking is on the east side of the road shortly after marker 13, exactly 9.3km from the Rainy River bridge. I think there is some work being done on this trail. Can anyone confirm or add to this? the trail is hard to follow and is very rough in places.
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Posted By: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sat Jul 25 21:03:13 UTC 2015
CommentI just went up the first part of the trail. At the 9.3 km mark on the road there is a Post at the junction of the FSR and the ATV type road that starts the hike. Once over the 3 wire bridge turn left and wade through the low under brush for about 150 meters. This is the road portion that is described in the main "Trail description". It is very hard to see the trail for this 150 meters but it is there under the scrub. After the 100 - 150 meters you will see the tail head off to the right. It is a faint trail but very well marked with Tape.
That is as far as i got as i just wanted to check things out.
i drove up to the trail head in a 1990's Suburban just to give you an idea of the road. There are some deactivation ditches that were do-able but just take it slow.
Posted By: trailrunner
- Fri Aug 17 22:14:40 UTC 2012
Upside Great easy long alpine scramble with fantastic view of surrounding peak views, Howe sound, and Vancouver. Peak view is one of the best around to all directions. Complete privacy. This area rarely has any hikers around even on weekends. Downside Elevation between 900-1300m is a overgrown & almost feel like bushwack often and flagging is hard to follow when I got there- but I added about 100 flags. CommentRainy Peak - Tetrahedron Park via Port Mellon/Langdale/Gibsons; Beginner hiker's guide by experience
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
1- A fair portion is of beautiful alpine granite scramble of solid footing which gives continuous gorgeous view of Vancouver, Van Island, Howe Sound and mountains behind. This sort of opens up fairly dramatically and pleasantly at the end of trail at around 1300m level.
2- Flag finding issue at open growth area between 900-1300m elevation can become a challenge for beginners but today added close to 100 flags at key locations to clarify the route. This section almost feels like a bushwack half the time.
3- At alpine, best route for beginners would be to reach the ridge straight up from the trail end point, then follow it until reaching steep wall of East Rainy Peak. Then go around to the left till the wall incline is easy enough. Once you are on top of the wall, then turn right and aim for the ridge again.
4- At descent; remember the location of trail end point(there is cairn) and be aware you are descending on East ridge, not South ridge. They can look very similar from the peak.
Rainy Peak's route taken on 2 photos at top of the page. Green/Blue line is ascent, Pink line descent; this pink diversion is a result of going down to the wrong South ridge and backing up to the correct East ridge. Yellow line is recommended beginner's alpine route. Yellow dot is trail end/scramble start point.
COLLECTION OF SUNSHINE COAST MOUNTAIN TRAIL REPORTS; With Rainy peak, I have ascent all trail accessed main mountains on lower sunshine coast. For your interest go to my profile and find links of my reports. They follow similar format as this report.
Considering the first ferry leaves Horseshoe Bay at 7:20 and you would be at trailhead by 9, all of below peaks can be done relatively easily in part to full day trips from Vancouver in sunny mid summer to early fall days if you know the way(meaning unless you get lost big time like me by not knowing the right way). The reports point out how to keep going in the right direction from trailhead access to reaching the peak. Ferry charge is for only one way unlike the one goes to the island.
Today I challenged myself to Rainy peak for the 3rd time. Got lost many times over again with missing flags between and close to give up several times but managed to find the flagging and finally made to the peak.
Time; From trailhead to the West peak 213mins including about 90mins getting lost. Return; 211mins from East peak including about 100mins getting lost, flagging, photo shooting. (both peaks are within few minutes of each other).
Runnable part at ascent is up to around 900m elevation. Descent below around 500m elevation. 900-1300m is unrunnable due to semi bushwack state or alpine above 1300m needing significant route finding- there are many 2-3m size mini cliffs and I needed to keep watching where I was going. Also descent between between 900-500m elevation has a lot of hemlock dead needles accumulated on the ground on steep slope and often not even walkable without holding onto something. Very slippery. Now with flagging bushwack portion can be walked with only short stopping.
As you reach Port Mellon pulp mill gate and set Odometer to 0. You just tell them where you are going and they will let you pass.
As you go straight, you will reach a double bridge in 0.6k. Cross it then immediate turn left.
At 9.4k. The road has a slight curve to the right. Then on left side you would see the trailhead mark; 1.5m tall 6x6 post with pointed top standing. And the parking space is available 200-300m before or after trailhead.
It starts on old logging road bed, then in 100m or so, it temporarily goes into woods as foot path, followed by cable bridge. Then after the bridge, back to old logging road base.
At branch out point between Rainy peak trail(to the right) and Tetrahedron trail(straight), there is a flagging on the right in about 200m or so after the washout.
At early stage of trail after turn off, it zig zags on steep incline for a while and later goes up straight along the ridge. Similar feeling to BCMC grouse trail- a rough version. The trail has a fair accumulation of tree branches and hemlock needles. But foot path is originally dug against the slope and relatively easy to identify. I don't recall any or seldom straddling over dead falls. Thank you Bruce for the trail building.
Also there is a waterfall seen at the very early stage.
The ridge straight up section looks like.
Then the trees become sparse and extensive bush grows alternates with semi under canopy(still very bushy with low height tree branches. To this point, it was quick; 30mins or so.
The bush is not tall, but so extensive even there is a trail the grassless part is thickly covered and often it is hard to even walk and completely invisible from eye vantage. From this area till the starting of alpine I got lost half dozen times without being able to see flagging after extensive wondering around and finally gave up and went down 50-100m then found flagging in other direction and went up trying that gain. I repeated this process 6times from here to the end of the trail section.
The trail that has been going along the ridge veers off the ridge after around 1200m elev. point. This is where I missed the flag and lost last time I was here. Today this portion was extensively flagged. Then it goes along very shallow dry creek valley mostly till get to alpine. Also you can guess the rough direction of the trail by being aware of Rainy Valley view below behind the tree.
For beginners, it is important to remember the position of this only cairn I saw in entire trail(No cairn at the peak) shown in the photos below. This marks the end of trail/starting point of scrambling. By referencing the shape of various Rainy ridges, it is relatively simple to relocate it on your way down.
Alpine scramble from here is quite pleasant and technically easy. When I needed to stay away from the ridge route finding became one of more difficult ones out of my limited experience(Tetrahedron, Goat-Temquille Mtn, Panther Peak, Rhor, Capilano). This is because there is no specific valley to follow and it is on relatively flat side angle with many small blocks and ledges. And there was no Matt Gun's route instruction.
But I didn't back track or get lost on ascent and I felt pretty good about that part. Technically very easy scrambling. I immediately reached the ridge as I thought it would be easier to remember how Rainy Peak looked like to easily locate the trail starting point later. The Rainy Peak shape changes quite bit throughout the movement.
When I got lost on descent-divereted to south ridge thinking this was the east ridge I came from. They look very similar from the peak area to me. So for beginners- or anyone with very short memory like myself it would be important to distinguish East Ridge from South Ridge.
Now referring back to the route map; I went up the ridge closely(but other side is sheer cliff for many 100ms), then as I faced a very steep formation of East Peak I went slightly sideways and yet tackled straight. Looking down it was very scary and wasn't going to comedown that way. That perhaps detracted my thinking and stayed away from the ridge too far and got confused South and East ridges. Hence recommended beginner route would be shown in yellow.
But overall movement on solid granite itself felt very pleasant and snow melt water was available till almost the peak and it was nice.
Posted By: ncg
- Tue Dec 21 02:16:38 UTC 2004
CommentAs of Dec14-04 the Rainy FSR is clear of snow and any trees that came down with high winds/mud slides. Rainy Peak trail is gorgeous and after 20-30 mins you come to a SPECTACULAR 100ft+ waterfall (why has no-one mentioned this before?). Once into the snow (after 1-1.5 hrs) the going is tough as snow is soft and easy to break through (should have brought the snowshoes).