Trip Report – Bedwell Area 25-27 Aug 2014

We began the hike up from the trailhead to Bedwell Lake at 1:00 and walked through the impressive forest of old growth, boulders and stairs up to Baby Bedwell Lake (6 km, 3 hours). We set up camp at Baby Bedwell Lake and took advantage of the warm, sunny weather to go swimming and cool down. This was a trip to try out new gear: foamies, stoves, GPS and inReach.

The next day we hiked up one of the approaches to Tom Taylor. We walked to Bedwell Lake, then west to the south shore of Baby Bedwell and more or less along the west shore of Bedwell Lake on an up and down, somewhat overgrown, flagged and cairned route. This led to excellent views of the area, especially Septimus, Big Interior Mountain, Bedwell and neighbouring lakes. There were also lovely lakes at the northeast foot of Tom Taylor. Progress was somewhat slowed by eating lots of great blueberries and swimming in the lakes. We continued on up the northeast ridge of Tom Taylor, but turned back at 3:00. We retraced our route until we reached Baby Bedwell and then followed a route to the west of the lake back to the campsite. (about 10.5 km, 9 hours)

On the third day, we had expected the weather to deteriorate, but since it was still warm and sunny, we decided to explore more of the area. We hiked to Bedwell Lake and a short way down the trail to Bedwell Sound. We then hiked along the east shore of Bedwell Lake, which is also an undulating, somewhat overgrown, flagged and cairned route. Even without the blueberries and swimming, this was not fast walking. At 1:00 we headed back, broke camp and hiked out. We left the Baby Bedwell campsite following a well cleared and flagged route to the west of the established trail, joining that trail after about a kilometre. (about 16 km, 8.5 hours for the day) This is a truly spectacular sub-alpine destination, which is quite readily accessible and has lots of opportunities for side trips.

Sidebar: As we walked in on the first day, the talk on the trail from those we met coming out was about the 140 lb, injured dog at Bedwell Lake. The dog was unable to walk, and he and the owners were running out of food. All rescue alternatives were problematic. The next day, the dog was retrieved by a volunteer helicopter and rescuers, which was the big news event of the week in Campbell River.

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Backpacking Baby Bedwell & day trips – 25-27 August 2014

Trip Report – Cruickshank Canyon – 29 July 2014

After taking the 8:00 ferry and driving up to Mt. Washington, the group of seven hikers started out from the Strathcona Park visitor centre just after 9:30. It was sunny and hot, and the Paradise Meadows were beautiful even though most of the flowers were past their peak. We hiked passed Battleship Lake on some excellent new boardwalk and continued through lovely forest with views of the sub-alpine lakes of Kooso, Lady and Croteau and the mountains beyond them. We stopped on the peninsula at Kwai Lake for lunch. Our pace was quite leisurely with all the scenic distractions. We reached Cruickshank Canyon around 2:00, with great views and an impressive drop off. On the return trip, we stopped at Mariwood Lake for a swim and then climbed the hill up to the Park Rangers’ cabin and continued on the rough trail descending to Lake Helen Mackenzie. After more snacks and swimming, we returned to the parking lot. The wildlife for the day was a young bear on the road as we drove down the hill. 22 km.

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Hike Cruickshank Canyon 29 July 2014

Backpacking Baby Bedwell & day trips – 25-27 August 2014

Activity Backpacking
Destination Baby Bedwell; Tom Taylor or Cream Lake day trip
Date 25-27 August 2014, Monday to Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Jill Sampson
Contact Info 285-3202; please contact the coordinator well in advance of the trip.
Description We will take the ferry and then drive to the south end of Buttle Lake.  The access road from Highway 28 to the trailhead may be quite rough. The trail to Baby Bedwell climbs 600 metres over 6 kilometers to reach this beautiful sub-alpine area with lakes and tarns.  On the second day, there are two options: an ascent of Mt. Tom Taylor (1,778 m) or a more gentle day exploring Bedwell and Cream Lakes.  On the third day, the group will hike out and return to Quadra.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River
Departure Time 10:55 ferry
Difficulty Moderate to difficult
Costs Ferry costs; fee for camping
Trip limits 8
Dogs? no
Notes: Carpooling and food arrangements will be made prior to the departure.

Hike Cruickshank Canyon 29 July 2014

Activity Hiking
Destination Cruickshank Canyon Lookout at Strathcona Park
Date Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Trip Coordinator Emily Toman
Contact Info 250-923-7122
Description This is a moderate, but a day long hike of 20-22 kilometers round trip with a few steeper sections. Estimated hiking time is 7 hours, plus lunch & drinking breaks (add another hour). The daylight is long and to our advantage. The hike is planned as a loop. Starting at Paradise Meadows going up to Battleship Lake – Lady and Croteau Lakes – Kwai Lake.  Past Kwai Lake we take a fork to the plateau with Lake Beautiful (& many other lakes) to Cruickshank Canyon Lookout. Our way back will take us back to Kwai Lake fork from which we go up the hill towards Hairtrigger lake. From there it shall be downhill to Helen McKenzie Lake, back to Paradise Meadows & to trail head at Raven Lodge.
Meeting Place Ferry parking lot on Quadra Island at 7:30 a.m. for car pooling for 8 a.m. ferry sailing
Departure Time 10:00 a.m. at Paradise Meadows trailhead next to Raven Lodge
Difficulty Moderate terrain with some steep sections & long day
Costs the ferry and carpooling costs
Trip limits none
Dogs? Allowed, but according to Park’s rules they must be leashed
Notes: Awesome lookout over Cruickshank Canyon 600 meters deep with river at the bottom and Comox Lake visible is the final reward. During a sunny day the massive ridge of Albert Edward, Frink and Castlecrag mountains should be just across the canyon valley.   The Comox Glacier and Red Pillar are visible a little further south. Emily will meet Quadra hikers at the ferry terminal on Campbell River side and will have 2 seats available in her car for ride to Mt. Washington trail head.

 

Trip Photos – Backpacking Mt Albert Edward 31Aug – 2Sept 2013

by Will LaVigne  (willlavigne@hotmail.com)

Berries, berries, berries!
They were everywhere but tasted the best at high elevation.
There were berries on the trail up and down, there were berries at the camp site and there were berries part way up and down to the summit.
The hike was fantastic.
The weather was super.
The company, friends and fellow hikers were awesome.
There were lots of berries!

Cheers,
Will

Lots of delicious, juicy, purple and blue berries.

Will has an album of photos from this trip.  E-mail him and he will send you the link to it.

Backpacking Mt Albert Edward 31Aug – 2Sept 2013

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Trip Photos – Backpacking Landslide Lake – Elk River Trail 24-25 Aug 2013

We began the hike in the early afternoon after a few morning showers.  The trail roughly follows the Elk River through varied forest with some old growth trees, interesting fungi and lichen, many creeks and waterfalls.  And there were also wasps for about a kilometer after Elkhorn.  The sign at the trailhead said “turn back now”.  Fortunately we did not encounter the wasps in either direction, but many parties did.

We arrived at the second campsite, which is 9 kilometers from the trailhead on the gravel bar just before Landslide Lake, in under 4 hours.  We camped there with only two other small parties.  Sunday morning dawned completely clear, so we were up early and off to Landslide Lake, about 2 kilometers further on.  Mt. Colonel Foster and the Lake were both very lovely and the evidence of the 1946 earthquake and landslide very interesting.

Backpacking Landslide Lake – Elk River Trail 24-25 Aug 2013

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Trip Photos – Backpacking Della Falls 9-12 Aug 2013

by Will LaVigne  (willlavigne@hotmail.com)

Is there such a thing as a perfect hike?

On any hike you can adjust to the people you are with, on any hike you can get away without eating for a couple of days but you need water constantly. This was a perfect hike for access to clean, delicious water. I used a 600 milliliter water bottle without it ever being empty even with the 33 Celsius temperatures.

Debbie, Joyce, Norris and I met on the 6:15 am ferry to confer, confirm and congratulate each other for making the ferry to get a great start to our hiking adventure. We were heading to Port Alberni then north to Great Central Lake Marina and Resort to meet up with Ben Potter of Della Falls Watertaxi Services by 9am. We were joined by Mike from Nanaimo who booked at the last minute. It turned out he was a nice guy and a perfect compliment to our group for the rest of the adventure. Ben Potter took us up to the trailhead at the other end of the lake and over the one hour boat ride he gave us some tips and some history of the Della Falls trail. As well he showed us some of the highlights of Great Central Lake. A heads up to any fish-o-dites, good fishing on this lake.

Before I go any further I want to say that there is accurate and concise info on the internet and from other hikers about this hike. As well there are other routes that can be done. The Comox Valley Mountaineering Club went to Della Falls on the Aug. 5th weekend and Ken Rodonets wrote up a report that is posted on their webpage. Ken talked to me about Della Falls a month before and two days after his hike to Della Falls. This helped me a lot as it was a 15 km hike one way with an elevation gain of “300 meters”, Norris measured it at 500 meters gain on his GPS.

So…the dock at the trailhead is about 30 ft long and the walk up to the shore has you looking at about 12 or 14 tent pads spread out. Latrines, food cache, board maps, canoe/kayak rack and picnic tables, benches were there as well. We headed out along an old logging road that was in good condition for about 2 hours to Margaret Creek Campsite and bridge. The water was fast flowing down the middle, spectacular and with small, clear, sparkling pools on the side calling out to Mike to go for a dip. He did. We had lunch and decided to continue on rather then camp here as it was 12:30pm. We knew we had 2 hrs of hiking to the cable car crossing bringing us to about 11.3 km into the hike. For me this was the hardest part as it was very hot and the trail was a steady incline to the cable car. We were able to get to water on either side of the creek at this crossing, which to me was more like a small river and shade was found on either side of the crossing. The easy availability of water helped huge on this hot day. From here we had a little over a kilometer to get to two metal bridges. The terrain was varied from packed down trail to picking your way through dry creek beds and some of the trail being overgrown. Due to having detailed intel we knew that the campground was only 1.5 hrs away from the metal bridges, getting excited to drop the pack off my back. Through most of the hike I could hear the steady stream of Drinkwater Creek tumbling over the rocks. About 1 km from the first campsite there is a fantastic sandy campsite beside the creek with room for two-three tents. There are two perfectly spaced apart trees that calls for a hammock. 3/4’s of hour later some of us arrived at the lower campsite 7 hrs after starting from the lake and were joined by the remainder of the group within a half hour. The group snagged the last spot available as the next area is about a 10-15 minute hike away with no food cache or latrine.

The next day, Aug. 10, we left for the view point of Della Falls along the Love Lake trail. It can be done within 1 1/4 hrs to 2 hrs. I thought the trail was pretty clear with about 8 blowdown trees to deal with and it was all switchbacks and steep but with a lighter pack it was good. Pole(s) or a stick works well coming back down. The view…well worth the journey and the best was yet to come. Twenty or so minutes away is Love Lake and what a surprise to see this little jewel tucked away out of sight. I was lucky enough to have it to myself for about 10 minutes, wherein I took a few dips into its cool embrace. Refreshing. Suddenly there were 13 other people arriving and a bunch headed to an 18ft boulder that was on the shoreline and proceeded to jump off it into the lake. Tres fun.

After getting back from that outing everyone went to the base of Della Falls on their own time. It is a twenty or so minute hike and you do pass the campsite that is closest to the base of the falls. Here there is a latrine and food cache. There is room for about 6 tents and worse case scenario a few more could go at the trail signage area. I did have one expectation for the base of the falls and that was to see a pool of water but instead it’s the start of Drinkwater Creek. There were wild flowers and berries. Around the campsites there were lots of huckleberries and no signs whatsoever of bears. The return trip was started between 7:30am and 8am with the group spread out. Amazingly the return was done in 5-5 1/2 hours. I think this was due to lower temperatures with overcast skies and be able to look up and around helped. Whereas going up the looking was at the ground most of the time. That was my experience. Two of the group went for swim before we took off at 3:30pm on Ben Potters boat.

Birds seen by me: two adult and two juvenile grouse, chestnut backed chickadees, whiskey jacks and American dipper. On the trail: two old separate wolf scats and one fresh wolf scat, three slugs-two small black ones and large beige one, a couple of butterflies, bees on the wildflowers, wasps throughout the hike and there were moments of no black flies and mosquitos. There were 21 of us camping at the Della Falls area and two at the sandy beach. On our way down there were 18 people heading up. Most of the 21 were heading out on Sunday. This trail is popular and with that comes the variety that is the spice of life or hike.

Weather: Friday – hot, sunny. Saturday morning was sunny, hot and by afternoon it had cooled down, overcast and short period of drizzle of rain. Sunday – foggy, overcast, cool.

Would I do this hike again? Yes
Would I go with a group again? Yes
Would I recommend it? Yes
My favorite part was the water, drinking it and swimming in Love Lake.

cheers,
Will

Will has an album of photos from this trip.  E-mail him and he will send you the link to it.

Backpacking Della Falls 9-12 Aug 2013