3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
This route is fairly challenging and has led to many rescues.
The rough ground is tricky, and it is somewhat scrambly.
Anything less than hiking boots will increase the challenge of the route.
The route begins by following the trail to St Mark's from Cypress.
There are a couple of options, but the lower trail is the most scenic.
The trail descends slightly and traverses the side of the mountain through the woods.
There is a wood bridge, and the first meadow you come to.
The trail is almost nonexistent, so you mostly follow the creekbed upwards.
Keep an eye out for the trail heading into the trees to climber's left (north).
It bypasses a steep rocky section of the gully.
Above this, it's a steep hike.
About 3/4 of the way up, the gulley narrows and gets even steeper into the trees, and hands will become useful.
But it's short, and you'll find yourself on the col (saddle) between the northern true summit of Strachan and the subpeak.
The scramble to the top is fairly easy, with a bit of hiking and some rocks to bypass.
Less confident scramblers might want to use their hands.
It's not super exposed, though.
The descent involves descending first to the col, and then scrambling up the steep slope on the opposite side from Strachan.
There are a few rocks here, and the trail is faint.
As you climb, it gets more clear.
It tops out on a rocky section.
The trail down runs along the east side of the open area, and winds its way down through the woods just off the ski run.
You can descend on the gravel road, which is more direct.
But it's harder on the knees and less pleasant than in the woods.
If you follow the trail down, it gets to a flat area just past the turn-off.
Take the south-facing trail downhill, and keep to the right.
Eventually, the trails ends up at the parking lot.
It also should not be attempted in winter without Avalanche Safety Training Level 2 as it is a very active zone even in stable conditions.