Hiking – Ralph River – 25-27 August 2015

Activity Hiking and camping
Destination Ralph River, Strathcona Park
Date 25-27 August 2015, Tuesday-Thursday
Trip Coordinator Sheelagh Elmitt
Contact Info 285-2296.  If you want to go on this trip you need to contact Sheelagh and commit ASAP.
Description We will spend two nights at the Ralph River Campground. We will hike to Bedwell Lake on Wednesday.  The other two half days we will do shorter hikes.  Bedwell is a moderate hike to a beautiful alpine lake.  Six kms long with 600 metres elevation. About 3 hrs one way.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River
Departure Time 9:00 am ferry
Difficulty
moderate to easy
Costs camping fees, ferry and shared gas
Trip limits camping gear and fitness
Dogs? no
Notes: As of July 2nd there are very few campsites left at Ralph River, so it’s important to commit soon if you want to go on this trip.

Trip Report – Mt. Becher – 17 June 2015

After an early start on Wednesday June 17th, five members of the Quadra Island Outdoor Club safely summitted Mt Becher.  Members on outing included two members of the executive committee, Debbie Quigg, Chair and Norris Weimer, Webmaster as well as members at large; Kathy Sales, Kathryn Manry 1st leader, and Mark Zimmerman 2nd leader.

Our adventure started at the mildly post apocalyptic base of the defunct Forbidden Plateau Ski Resort and shortly after gaining that initial summit we enjoyed more pleasant wandering in the subalpine forest. Early vistas included the Gulf of Georgia and an assortment of small islands, towns, villages and hamlets. Halfway to the summit we overlooked Boston Lake, a great spot for a lunch break. Carrying on we summited a bit after mid-day and had our only look at large mammals, a herd of about a dozen folk of various sex and size, all associated with an outdoor group from Parksville.

Great views of the Comox glacier and surrounding peaks were enjoyed from the summit, before our return.

A partial list of flowers observed include the following:

  • Alpine Lupine
  • Subalpine Daisy
  • Yarrow
  • Leatherleaf Saxifrage
  • Partridgefoot
  • Spotted Saxifrage
  • Alaskan Saxifrage
  • Columbia Lewisia
  • Lance-leaved Stonecrop
  • Spreading Stonecrop
  • Twinflower
  • Paintbrush
  • Tiger Lily
  • Spreading Phlox
  • White Flowered Rhododendron
  • Heather
  • Columbine
  • Birds Beak Lousewort
  • Coast Penstemon
  • Rosy Pussytoes
  • Bunchberry
  • Valerian
  • Small Leaved Montia
  • Slender Bog Orchid

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Hiking – Mt. Becher – 17 June 2015

Trip Report – Mt. Washington 14 Jan 2015

Five of us went to Raven Lodge at Mt. Washington and hiked their snowshoe trails. We were way above the fog, so it was sunny and warm (9°C).  It was spring skiing conditions, with only about a foot of packed snow, which was enough for snowshoeing.  Only four snowshoe trails were open, but we did all of them, about 8.5 km, about four hours.

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Mt. Washington – 14 January 2015

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.