We wanted to try out a summer hiking adventure to one of the BCMC huts in the Sea2Sky area (there are 4 of them). The Mountain Lake Hut seemed interesting as did the potential for day hike objectives from the hut.
The traditional route into Mountain Lake Hut involves access via Britannia Creek FSR or Furry Creek FSR which are both gated at the highway and therefore involve a boring slog over countless kilometers of deactivated forestry road. To make the adventure even more interesting, we heard that the BCMC had built a new trail linking the (sea to sky) gondola trails with the hut. This seemed intriguing and the below map was the only information we had.
This region is quite remote with high mountain peaks, glaciers, and long distances between amenities. Seeing that the trail skirted the summit of Sky Pilot, we decided that it would be fun to start at the gondola, climb Sky Pilot then make our way to the Mountain Lake hut. This turned out to be a big mistake… kind of. The following video explains how that trip in 2021 went:
To make a long story short, we were able to climb Sky Pilot but then completely failed in finding a route down off the cliffs to join up with the route to Mountain Lake Hut area. We would find out later that this is because we completely underestimated this feat – heading south from Sky Pilot requires some mountaineering and we were not prepared at all (especially with the weather). The quest for Mountain Lake Hut was paused…. until the next year!
A year of wound licking and some more intel showed us where we went wrong. Going via Sky Pilot is the wrong idea. The Mountain Lake traverse route requires dropping down at the col between Goat Ridge and Co-pilot and then traversing the slope below Sky Pilot. Following the logical ridge route from there, we passed below Mt. Sheer and made it to the hut. This route is no amateur adventure. It is a full-day grueling 19km hike/scramble/climb. The video below documents our journey and some of the day hiking possibilities from the hut (Mt. Sheer, Ben Lomond, Red Mountain).
For the return journey we opted to exit down Furry Creek FSR and hitchhike back to the gondola.