Mt. Nancy (October 17, 2021) - 8 hours


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There was a major rainstorm the previous night and clouds were hanging low so Peter Wyatt and I decided to check out Nancy Cascade and push up to Mt. Nancy. The cascade was full of water (left) but the stream crossings were manageable – not like my previous hike with Janice up Nancy Cascade in late May where we had to give up at the last crossing.  After Nancy Cascade the trail climbs steeply but is very well built and has remarkable rock staircases (right).

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The climb delivered us to a high plateau at 3,000 feet with virgin spruce forest though there is nothing too remarkable about that forest. The ponds, however, are very beautiful and were framed by larches in yellow foliage. We passed by Nancy Pond (left) and Norcross Pond (right), and Peter remarked that the beaver dam previously present at the end of Norcross Pond (see pic from our 2013 hike) was totally gone. What could make a beaver dam disappear like this?


From Norcross Pond we took the unofficial trail to Mt. Nancy. The entrance to that trail is right at the outlet of Norcross Pond (left). Soon after there’s a path to the right but you want to stay straight. It’s a well-defined trail all the way to the top, and the spruce are so thick that you wouldn’t think of wandering away from it – Peter remarked that without this unofficial trail the climb up Mt. Nancy would be pretty much impossible. Soon after the beginning of the climb there is a slide that offers great views to Mt. Carrigain (right) but the high summits were in cloud.


The trail up Mt. Nancy soon becomes very steep (left), and was wet and leaf-covered on that day. This wasn’t a big problem going up but was very slippery going down. We got to the top of Mt. Nancy in rolling fog. There is a nice view at the top looking out to the Montalban Range but we had to wait for the clouds to get out of the way and they never really did (right). On our 2013 hike we had found  a ‘Nancy’ sign at the top but it was gone and we could find none of the usual peak adornments– no sign, no cairn, no canister, no goofy artefacts. We spent a bit of time searching if there was a higher spot but concluded that there was not.

We then headed down the way we came.  As we got down the skies were clearing which gave us much better views from the slide (left and right).


With some blue skies I got an eerie picture of Norcross Pond from its outlet (left).  Looking up to the left was Mt. Nancy (right).


As we came down from the spruce forest toward Nancy Cascade we had a nice view toward Stairs Mountain (left).  Below the cascade we noticed Lucy’s Mill (below right), which we had inexplicably missed on our way up


See also: 2021 Hikes