Looking down the trail towards the upper lake in early September 2018.
|Access||Roe Creek Road|
|Caretaker||Varsity Outdoor Club|
The Roe-Brew Trail first came to light around 1999, but it wasn't until 2006 that it transitioned into a winter trail and then until 2011 that it also became a summer trail. The history of the trail construction can be read here. The trail can be both hiked and skied.
The trail starts off the R200 Branch of the Roe Creek Road in the middle of a cut-block (circa. 2012). Look for the orange diamonds on a large stump about 50m up road from the 9.5km rock. The trail wraps around the broad ridge running south from Mt. Brew on a bench, connecting with a meadow system just south of Brew Lake. Along the bench the trail ducks in and out of patchy forests and the tail end of some talus slopes. At the meadow, the trail gradually turns left up towards Brew Lake.
From Brew Lake the trail turns West-North-West into the alpine and haphazardly travels up through thick heather and gentle boulder fields before turning North towards Upper Brew Lake. The trail passes the lake on the east side and continues north up towards the saddle of the bowl. At the top of the saddle, the trail turns east and the Hut will be visible a few hundred meters up on-top of a bouldery ridge. In summer, there will be a small glacial tarn below the ridge in between you and the Hut. This is the drinking water lake so fill up here before travelling the last 100m up to the Hut.
By any access route, the final alpine section before reaching Brew Hut is an off trail hike (or ski) and there are no flags or markers. In good weather, navigation is relatively straightforward, however, whiteouts conditions are common above Brew Lake and so good navigation skills can be necessary to reach the hut. A map (92 J/3) and compass are essential to have along.
The trailhead can be accessed via the Roe Creek Road. 4WD Parking is at 9.5km and 2WD parking is at 5.9km (from Highway 99). At the 4WD parking, walk up the road about 50m and look for orange diamonds on a stump that mark the beginning of the trail.
The historic route from Roe Creek was to go up the Roe Creek logging road branch R-200 to it's end, and then climb up onto the top of the ridge that runs south from Mt. Brew. The ridge can be followed up to the alpine west of Brew Lake, and there are several places to drop off the east side of the ridge towards Brew Lake.
The following topographical map shows the Roe Creek access trail with logging roads current to October 2013:
|Parking Location||5.9km up Roe Creek Rd @ elev. 700m||9.5km up R200 Branch @ elev. 1100m|
|Nearest Town||Squamish (33.0km)||Squamish (33.0km)|
|Elevation gain||986m (3,155 ft)||586m (1,875 ft)|
|Approximate time||3.0 hours in / 2.5 hours out||2.5 hours in / 2 hours out|
|Parking Location||1.5km up Chance Creek FSR @ elev. 448m|
|Nearest Town||Squamish (33.0km)|
|Elevation gain||1,238m (3,962 ft)|
|Approximate time||6.0-8.0 hours in / 3.0-6.0 hours out (depending on snow)|
|The route and terrain described here is capable of producing avalanches. Safe travel requires the skills and equipment to assess and mitigate avalanche hazards. A professionally taught training course is highly recommended.|
While this route is much safer than any of the other access routes to the Brew Hut, avalanches can still pose a threat under unstable conditions. The avalanche hazard along this route is similar to the avalanche hazard along the marked winter route to the Elfin Lakes hut in Garibaldi Park. The route crosses several open south facing talus slopes between 1150m and 1300m elevation. These slopes are steep enough to avalanche under the right conditions. Since the slopes are at low elevation and sheltered from the wind, only rare circumstances would create avalanche hazard. The slopes are south facing so they frequently see pinwheeling and small wet loose snow avalanches, but these types of slides are generally not very dangerous here because of the small size of the slopes. The CAA below treeline avalanche hazard rating is applicable to these slopes.
None of the slopes are very large, with a maximum height of about 50m and thus they are not capable of generating avalanches larger than size 2. The first of the slopes at 1150m is difficult to avoid. This slope is 31 degrees. The remaining ones can be easily bypassed in the forest on the downhill side.
The alpine section of the route from Brew Lake to Brew Hut is very open terrain. It is possible to navigate this section without being exposed to any avalanche slopes, but it is also possible to wander into avalanche start zones, especially in poor visibility.
- 2011 September 24 - Phil Tomlinson
- A large VOC crew of 14. Permission was recently granted to upgrade this trail for summer use. This was the first trail workhike conducted with that in mind. Much of the trail has already been worn in from informal summer season use.
- 2008 August 23 - Scott Nelson & Roland Burton
- Cut remaining large diameter logs that were laying across the trail. removed stumps from trailhead to start of bench system. Put some logs across wet areas to bridge snow: slide alder patch between 1st and 2nd rock slides, stream between 3rd and 4th rock slides, Removed 2 standing trees with red tape plus several standing dead that were on or adjacent to the trail.
This section describes the trail pre-2013. Logging during the summer of 2013 has pushed the trailhead almost to the base of the first rock bluff.
|0.0||486038E 5539473N||1050m||Trailhead||Climb gradually while traversing right to reach the corner of the clearcut|
|0.14||486147E 5539420N||1050m||enter old growth forest||Continue traversing right, up a short hill and cross a stream.|
|0.9||486706E 5539497N||1100m||base of first rock bluff||A rising traverse to the right, staying below the bluffs leads to an open bowl with more rock bluffs on the left side|
|1.0||486858E 5539523N||1150m||open bowl||Climb up the bottom of the bowl, keeping to the left of center. Markers are a bit sparse here due to lack of trees to hang them on. This is one of several spots on the trail that exposes you to some avalanche danger, but it's the only one that you can't detour around. The slope angle is 31 degrees.|
|1.1||486932E 5539637N||1200m||top of the bowl||the marked route crosses Dragonfly Pond and heads north through the forest|
|1.6||-||1200m||second rock bluff||Traverse along the bottom. It is possible to traverse along the rock slope to save time if avalanche and snowpack conditions permit. Otherwise follow the trail markers lower down.|
|1.9||487075E 5540310N||1250m||third rock bluff||Climb across the first part of the slope then traverse along the bottom of the remainder of the rock bluff. If snow stability is poor, head into the forest on climber's right and regain the trail a little further North.|
|2.1||487065E 5540459N||1250m||talus slope||start a steep climb up and right of the talus slope, and continue right across a smaller talus slope. If snow stability is poor, ascend the forest on climber's right. At the top of the talus slope, head back into the forest again for another short steep climb followed by a traverse to reach the start of a meadow system.|
|2.5||487076E 5540751N||1310m||Start of Meadow System||Follow the meadows north|
|3.6||486851E 5541748N||1430m||Brew Lake||The trail markers end at Brew Lake. Beyond here you must navigate on your own. Head WNW (300 degrees) for about 1km|
|4.6||0486165E 5542366N||1550m||Small Lake above and West of Brew Lake||Head N (0 degrees) and ascend to a col which is just west of the Brew Hut|
|5.6||486305E 5543098N||1686m||Brew Hut||-|
Datum for all waypoints is WGS84. There are presented in order of usefulness.
Waypoints for Hut locations
- Brew Hut 486307E 5543101N
- Old Brew Hut site 486690E 5542951N
Waypoints for traveling between Brew Lake and the Brew Hut in poor weather
These waypoints (WGS - 84) have been tested in a complete whiteout. Taking a topographical map to accompany these waypoints is a good idea.
- 0486728E 5541925N - near SW corner of Brew Lake
- 0486424E 5542101N - climbing towards upper lake
- 0486165E 5542366N - upper lake
- 0486122E 5542786N - slopes above upper lake
- 0486124E 5543078N - col between Brew Lake and Brandywine Creek
- 0486213E 5543061N - highest gap in trees below Brew Hut. This waypoint is useful to avoid the wind lip that forms on the north side of the ridge in winter
- 0486307E 5543101N - Brew Hut
Waypoints for Skiing
Route as flagged
- Switchback on R200 486050E 5539444N
- Trailhead on R200, start of yellow flags 486038E 5539473N
- Enter Old Growth Forest 486147E 5539420N
- Just below creek crossing 486470E 5539388N
- Bottom of open bowl and junction with previous route (orange flags) 486706E 5539497N
- In bowl 486858E 5539523N
- In bowl #2 486901E 5539590N
- top of bowl 486932E 5539637N
- end of a small draw below bluff #2 487004E 5539875N
- Reenter forest after going below bluff #2 487112E 5540107N
- a clearing 487070E 5540244N
- Below bluff #3 487075E 5540310N
- bottom of Talus slope 487065E 5540459N
- start of meadow system 487076E 5540751N
- more meadows 487056E 5540790N
- notch joins from west 486983E 5540869N
- cross small creek to East side? 486955E 5540991N
- More meadows 486890E 5541371N
- End of yellow flagging at SW shore of Brew Lake 486851E 5541748N
Other meaningful Waypoints
- top of bluff #2 487000E 5540070N flagged route goes below
- top of bluff #3 487041E 5540312N flagged route goes below
- Bottom of November 2004 flagged route 486544E 5538492N
- end of 2wd on roe creek FSR 486042E 5538556N
- roe creek / chance creek FSR junction 487139E 5535135N (49.96842°N, 123.17933°W)