Note: the Needle Peak area is capable of avalanches and if you travel there you do so at your own risk. This trip is not being recomended by this website. Websites recommend you take an avalanch course and you should do all of your own due diligence if planning a similar experience.
There were four of us who departed from Kamloops at 7:00 am en route to Needle peak. We arrived at the trailhead at around 9:45 am and started up the mountain fallowing the orange markers to stay on trail. Although it had snowed a considerable amount the night before, we had no trouble trekking our way up the mountain thanks to a group who had started up the mountain minutes before us. As we broke through the tree line the sun began to emerge however the gentle breeze evolved into a howling whirlwind. We carried on for a period of time but were forced to call it quits only three quarters of the way to the summit due to the bone chilling gusts which packed enough force to blow me over a few times. Our group found shelter in a tree well only long enough the grab a gulp of hot chocolate then we started down the mountain. The descent to the bottom was a blast and took only 45 minutes compared to the 3 hour hike up. At the base of the mountain everyone was happy and thankful for a safe and successful excursion.
Directions: Take Highway 1 east to hope, then highway 5 (coquihalla) north. After 30 minutes from the junction between Highway 3 and 5, you will pass through an avalanche tunnel. Approximately 3km from the end of the tunnel, and just before the south face of Yak Peak, take the Zopkios Ridge exit onto a small gravel road. Turn right towards two large gravel sheds, the trailhead is behind one of the large sheds and across the creek.
photos/story by Taylor Cordonier