An introduction to the growing sport of snowshoeing, with an exploration of the Mount Ottomite Trail. Ottomite offers moderate terrain and excellent mountain views of the Coquihalla Summit area.
The route passes through old-growth forests of mountain hemlock, amabilis fir, and yellow cedar, toward the subalpine summit of Mount Ottomite. You’ll enjoy snowshoeing on the Coquihalla’s deep snowpack, with frozen waterfalls to view along the way. The route offers safety from avalanches, and professional guides will keep you safe throughout the day. UPDATE: Some of you have heard, or may have guessed, that there is not enough snow to be able to go on the Ottomite Trail as originally planned. We will go instead to Falls Lake, which is off the Coquihalla Highway, not far from Hope. For those who want an additional challenge, you will have the option to take an alternate, more difficult route back to the parking area.
PROGRAM FULL – Online registration closed. Please contact us at 604-869-1274, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to join the wait list in case of cancellations. This is a free program thanks to generous sponsors and individual donations. Please consider donating. You can donate with cash or a cheque on the day of the program. You may also make a tax-deductible donation using your credit card via this Web site (click the “Donate” button at the top) or click HERE. Your support helps to keep these free programs open to everyone. Registration numbers and snowshoes are limited. Please remember to register and let us know if you are coming!
Participants must be in reasonably good physical condition, and there will be lots of opportunities to rest and enjoy the surroundings as you climb. Terrain is moderate, ascending 272 metres (890 feet) over 4 km of distance. Round-trip distance is 8 km, but participants can choose to travel a shorter distance if fitness holds them back from reaching the summit.
UPDATE: Some of you have heard, or may have guessed, that there is not enough snow to be able to go on the Ottomite Trail as originally planned. We will go instead to Falls Lake, which is off the Coquihalla Highway, not far from Hope. For those who want an additional challenge, you will have the option to take an alternate, more difficult route back to the parking area. 9:00 AM – Gather at the Hope Recreation Centre, sign legal waivers 9:15 AM – Leave Hope and drive east 46 km on Highway-5 to Exit # 217 10:00 AM – Arrive at Exit #217, Zopkias Rest Area 10:30 AM – Begin ascent of Mount Ottomite by snowshoe 12:30 PM – Lunch on Mount Ottomite 3:30 PM – Return to parking lot 4:30 PM – Arrive back in Hope
Participants must arrange their own transportation. Participants will gather at the Rec. Centre (1005 – 6th Avenue in Hope), and convoy in vehicles up Highway-5 to the trailhead (Exit #217, 46 km east of Hope). How to Find Zopkias Rest Area Parking Lot: Drive northeast out of Hope on Highway-5 for approximately 50 km. After driving through the Great Bear Snow Shed, start looking on your right for the highway exit into the Zopkias Rest Area – NOTE – THE EXIT SIGN IS MISSING DURING WINTER MONTHS, so the exit will be unmarked by any sign! Be sure to take the FIRST EXIT you see on your RIGHT after driving through the Great Bear Snow Shed. Washrooms are available at the Zopkias Rest Area. Maps and itinerary.
- Snowshoes (bring your own or borrow from us)
- Two ski poles per person – optional, but greatly improves stability
- Lunch and high-energy snack food
- Water (at least 1 litre per person)
- Winter boots or hiking boots (no runners please)
- Warm winter clothes, including jacket, nylon snow pants, gloves, toque, warm socks
- Sunglasses, camera, binoculars
- Foam pad to sit on in the snow
- Snow shovel if you’ve got one (Hope Mountain Centre will bring some too)
Liability Release Form Everyone age 19 & over must sign a liability waiver form in order to participate in this program. Please take the time to read this form because you must understand and agree to it when you sign it. By signing it you are waiving certain rights, including the right to sue. These forms will be available to sign when you check in. Please seek legal counsel if you have any questions. Everyone age 18 & under must have an informed consent form signed by their parent or legal guardian in order to participate. Please contact us if you need this form prior to arrival at this program.
Space is limited and there may be a waiting list, so please let us know immediately if you must cancel.
A NOTE ABOUT LIABILITY
Hope Mountain Centre carries liability insurance and maintains excellent safety records. Due to the nature of outdoor programs, these trips do involve some personal risk. Hope Mountain Centre assumes no responsibility for personal injury or damage to personal property and we will require each participant to sign a liability release and assumption of risk form before participating in this program. Please be aware that activities typical of this program involve many risks, dangers and hazards including, but not limited to: accidents which occur during transportation or travel to and from events; slips and falls; loss of balance; impact, cold water immersion; repetitive strain injuries; dislocated shoulders; hypothermia, frostbite, sunburn; changing and inclement weather conditions including storms, blizzards, whiteouts and high wind; steepness of terrain, tree wells, crevasses; avalanches, cornices, landslides and falling ice, snow and objects; encounters with domestic or wild animals; negligence on the part of releasees and other participants. While we love animals of all kinds, we ask that you please leave your pet at home.
Special thanks to the UFV Kinesiology Department and individual donors whose generosity make this FREE winter program possible. Snow shovels were also provided by Mountain Equipment Co-op through their Grassroots Product Donations Program.