Pigs Back Col Loop

Watch out for Moose on trail

Watch out for Moose on trail

Friday September 4th 2015

Although I hiked Pigs Back last year this hike is different as it makes a loop back on the Smuts Pass Trail http://willski.ca/pigs-back-hike/ click to see a full description

Start at the Engadine Lodge, Mt Shark road first left to trail head parking. Continue as to Commonwealth Lake. After the lake I have been on three routes to the col. Upper, middle and lower. See the GPS map at the bottom of the page. This time the route was the upper route and down over the Col into the valley and out on the Smuts Pass Commonwealth Creek trail. I will only describe the valley loop portion as this is new. The upper route is marked with ribbon when you leave the lake and come to a clearing. Follow a faint trail and cairns through trees and rubble under the cliffs of Pigs Back. At the col drop down into the valley and head down aiming at the center narrowing dry water course. Follow the dry creek bed, a trail appears left, until reaching a spring fed creek coming in from the left. Cross to the right and look for a ribbon to traverse through trees and over scree. Dafferns description says you plunge down through the trees and this is the case. The trail is over grown and is lost and found on the way down. At one point a view of the Commonwealth creek meadows comes into view and this is where I have shown an arrow on the photo to follow to miss the wet boggy meandering creek. When we came out of the forest we headed left up a creek bed and then picked a place to bushwhacked through willows to reach the open grasses. Then it was a short walk to the scree area to cross the creek and head back down Smut Pass Trail under the Fist.

Pigs Back center right Commonwealth behind in clouds

Pigs Back center right Commonwealth behind in clouds

Commonwealth Lake

Commonwealth Lake

Traversing under Pigs Back

Traversing under Pigs Back to the col

This is the big rock you pass if you use the middle route

This is the big rock you pass if you use the middle route

The Valley to descend into

The Valley to descend into from the col

View back of upper section

View back of upper section to col

View down of lower section. Arrow points the way

View down of lower section. Arrow points the way

Looking into the water course side of of valley. The running creek comes in from the left below

Looking into the dry water course left side of valley. The running creek comes in from the left below

Creek appears as aspring from the hill side. Cross to right

Creek appears as a spring from the hill side. Cross to right and traverse or you will reach a water fall.

At this view point we decided to stay to the left as arrow shows and we kept our feet dry crossing at the avi scree

At this view point we decided to stay to the left as arrow shows and we kept our feet dry crossing the creek at the avi scree.

This old photo shows why it is a good idea to stay left (arrow) to keep dry

This old photo taken from Pigs Back, shows why it is a good idea to stay left (arrowed photo) to keep dry.

3 track Pig Com Loop

Red line is the Col Loop Upper route to col

Yellow line to col Middle route up Lower down plus to the summit of Pigs Back.

Grey line is route up Commonwealth Ridge. At the Sawmill waypoint would be the best place to cut over to grey route.

Distance return 13.0 km Time return 5:30 hrs ( inc 30 min lunch ) Elevation Accumulated gain 600 m Elevation to Col 500 m Summit height 2370 m

GPS Download

Google Earth – KML

Your Name:

Your Email Address:

Your Message:


Leave a Reply