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Overnight on Mt. Elsay · Mon. Aug. 22nd - Tue. Aug. 23rd

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Organized by: Duncan MacIntyre.

Start: Monday, Aug. 22nd, 8:00 am
End: Tuesday, Aug. 23rd, 10:00 pm
Pre-trip meeting: Saturday, Aug. 20th, 10:00 am
Pre-trip meeting location: Zoom


I’ve never been to Mt. Elsay (just behind Seymour) but it sure sounds fun. And it sounds like it would be even more fun to camp at the top.

We’ll start by hiking past the ski resort and down Wes’s Staircase on the Elsay Lake Trail. This supposedly leads to a tarn.

Plan A

If we find water at the tarn, we will fill up our water bottles and scamper up the boulder field to Mt. Elsay and try to find a good place to camp at the top. The next day, we can return via the Mt. Elsay Trail, passing Mt. Seymour and then heading back to the parking lot. We could probably take a short detour to one of the lakes near Suicide Bluffs for a swim. Under Plan A, the entire trip will be about 15 km with 600 m of elevation gain.

Plan B

If we do not find water at the tarn, we will go back to the Elsay Lake Trail and continue down it until we get to Elsay Lake, camping next to the lake. Maybe we can find some short scramble for the morning before retracing our steps to the parking lot. Under Plan B, the entire trip will be about 20 km with 600 m of elevation gain.


First, under Plan A, we will have no water availability from when we leave the tarn (Monday afternoon) to when we get to the parking lot or Suicide Bluffs the next day (Tuesday afternoon). Therefore, everyone should be ready to lug lots of water (minimum 5L, probably more) and everyone must make their own water budget beforehand. See below for an example.

Second, beginners are welcome, but note that I myself am a backpacking novice and so this won’t be an instructional trip. If this is your very first time backpacking, please email me first so that I can help you have a great trip and answer any questions you might have.

Third, I have not been to Mt. Elsay before and cannot precisely say where we will find a comfortable place to camp. We’ll figure it out together.

Water budget example

5.5 L total after we get to the tarn:


1 L for hike from tarn to Mt. Elsay and before dinner

0.5 L for cooking dinner 

1 L for after dinner


0.5 L for morning before we leave camp

0.5 L for breakfast

2 L for hike from Mt. Elsay to parking lot

Pre-trip meeting

The pre-trip meeting will take place on Saturday, August 20 at 10:00 am on Zoom. Just before the meeting starts, I will email a Zoom link to everyone who is signed up. At the meeting, we will (1) go over the route, (2) figure out who is coming and arrange rides, and (3) talk about questions or suggestions that people might have.

If you cannot make the meeting, you are still very welcome to come on the trip, but please email me before the pre-trip meeting so that I can make a spot for you.

What to bring


Come join us!

This trip promises to be fun and with great views. Hope to see you there!


Posted: 2022-08-01 23:57:13
Last modified: 2022-08-02 00:05:29