Kayaking – Hoskyn Channel – 15 Aug 2018

Activity Kayaking
Destination Hoskyn Channel
Date 15 August 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info vvv@qisland.ca; 250 285 2329
Description Two choices for this trip, depending first on winds, second on group preference.  IF wind not an issue: 1. launch from Len Rd Beach and go to Village Bay, return. 2. launch from Valdes Rd beach and cross Hoskyn Channel to Dunsterville Islets, return. Note that landings at Dunsterville can be more difficult due to lack of good beach, thus rocky/shells/mud possible.
Meeting Place See trip description
Departure Time Meet at launch at 8:30, launch by 9
Difficulty
Moderate, depends on trip
Costs None
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: Must have sea kayak and all required safety equipment as per Club guidelines. Bring water and lunch. Please CALL to indicate your preference; participants will be notified by phone on Tuesday to confirm which trip is a go.

 

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Trip Report – Surge Narrows – 8 August 2018

Our group of five and a puppy hiked the short trail to see the Surge Narrows rapids at a 9.4 knot flood current. The day was very clear and extremely hot — 33° C in Campbell River. The turbulence was impressive and it was also interesting to watch the few boats that went through the rapids without waiting for slack water.  We walked beyond the first viewpoint, following the unmaintained route, to the next bay and returned to the vehicles. 4.7 km; 3½ hours.

Most of the group then drove back to Mine Lake for a swim.  It was lovely, but we had to stay in the water to stay cool.

Julie

Thanks to Les for the photos

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Hiking – Surge Narrows – 8 August 2018

Trip Report – Kanish Bay – 1 Aug 2018

After prior consideration of an inscrutable weather forecast, seven club members (including five men, possibly a trip record!) paddled out from the Granite Bay boat launch at 9 a.m. for a day of near-perfect conditions. We first headed to the Chained Islands to provide an easy return if conditions worsened and took a short break and a peek “outside”. The bay was so calm we decided to aim for Granite Point to see the pictograms and watch the activity as fishing boats headed out for a sockeye opening. We then paddled to Orchard Bay – a very picturesque spot with a huge midden, clam garden and abandoned homestead – where we enjoyed our lunch, and then headed back to Granite Bay, arriving at 3 p.m. Thanks to Norris and Les for the great photos!  17.6 km; 5¾ hours.

Darcy Mitchell

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Kayaking – Granite – Kanish Bays – 1 Aug 2018

Trip Report – Chinese and Beech’s Mountains – 3 Aug 2018

Five ambitious souls stared out early for a hike of all three peaks, North Chinese Mtn., South Chinese Mtn. and Beech’s Mtn. The weather was cool with some clouds but soon heated up. We went up to the north peak first. Since it has been so dry there is even more loose rock than usual. At the top we stopped for a short break and were treated to a nighthawk sighting. We then went down and up to the South Chinese overlook. Here we enjoyed the panoramic view that it always offers. From there we dropped to the Beech’s trail and continued up to the cliff viewing area. Here we had lunch and a rest while soaking in the scenery. After lunch we walked on up to the top of Beech’s Mtn. before going back down to the parking area. Total time including breaks was 4½ hours. 7.35km with 420M elevation gain

Les

Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Hiking – Chinese and Beech’s Mountains – 3 Aug 2018

Reconnaissance Report – Mt. McBride – 20-24 July 2018

This was my fifth trip to the marble Meadows – Mt. McBride area. Not having the opportunity to complete the round trip up to Mt. McBride on earlier trips, I returned this time with the main goal of summiting the peak. This was a solo trip.
Provision must be made for crossing Buttle Lake from the Augerpoint picnic area, where cars can be left, to Phillips Creek Marine Campsite, where canoes, and kayaks can be stashed. I left my kayak half hidden in the bushes and cable locked it to a tree. Most people don’t bother with this precaution. It must be mentioned that in the summer, with a stabilized high, winds can whitecap the lake after 1 pm. Canoeists must be comfortable with this or wait for calmer conditions.
I headed up the well worn trail at roughly 5 pm from an elevation of 250 meters. After 3.2 km., water is reached at the 840 meter mark. This was about 1½ hours in. The trail crisscrosses a steep pitch at about 1200 meters, where there are a few blow downs. Nothing insurmountable, but one does have to leave the trail to bypass them. Easier on the descent. As this trail’s traffic is much less than Bedwell or Flower Ridge, trail repairs sometime take years. This section had the most flower activity, with rhododendron, tiger lily, mountain valerian, columbine and lupins in abundance. Flower activity was finished, largely, up in the meadows. The Marble Meadows lakes area was reached after 3½ hours, at just over 1400 meters. This is where I camped for the evening. Bugs were bad, and a net hat comes in very handy.
I left camp the next morning at around 8 am, for the almost leisurely 1¼ hour walk to the Wheaton Hut. This is a beautiful subalpine route past incredible tarns with Marble Mtn. looming from above. As one looks down on the first lake, the lower trail to Wheaton is evident. This is much more enjoyable than the higher treed route that parallels to the north. Stay down in the open, as this is where the scenery is.
As I was planning to have an easy day in advance of the next day’s all-day trip to McBride, I set up camp down at Wheaton Lake, below the hut. Someone has put a mosquito net in the door of the hut, to provide relief for some, but I decided the gorgeous setting of the lake, with Morrison Spire as a backdrop, was a far superior spot.
The next morning, I was on the trail at 7:45 for the 10 hour return trip up Mt. McBride. This is a long commitment, and an equally pleasing shorter alternative trip is Morrison Spire. This trip is far less gruelling regarding both distance and route finding, and provides a great ”above all” vantage point of the area. From Wheaton, one continues west along the side of the ridge behind the hut. This is a well worn route until it descends a small valley prior to ascending over the limestone band before the ascent up the summit ridge, where one can head south to Morrison Spire or north to McBride. The route through the limestone band is marked with cairns, but a GPS or compass and map, are handy for getting the general direction to the logical ascent to the summit Ridge. At this point, one is still on the Philips Watershed Route. There were only smaller patches of snow, but lots of water sources before climbing up to the ridge. There was some melting snow on the ridge, but this will lessen, as it was now only mid summer. Remember to look for fossils in the limestone area, as it was under the ocean some 250 million years ago. Quite striking when you compare this to its present alpine state.
I headed north on the ridge towards McBride. At one point as the ridge meets the base of McBride, one loses some altitude. At this point I maintained this elevation on a worn route that skirts the mountain towards the north side with the objective of hiking up the north snowfield. Since the snowfields were well melted and separated by rock bands, I started heading up hill at the last visible rock band that had been visible when I first started traversing the mountain. I started heading up on rock and eventually arrived just below some false summits on the southwest ridge of McBride. Traversing around to the north at this point brought me to the south summit at 2081 meters. This is not technical, but can require some scrambling with use of hands. The reward was a breathtaking 360 view and direct view at the northeast aspect of the Golden Hinde. As I was lunching, a helicopter circled around, eventually landing below the approach ridge. My curiosity was piqued, as no landings are permitted without a permit or an emergency. It took me 5½ hours to reach the peak from Wheaton (and 4 ¼ hours to descend).
On the way down the ridge, I couldn’t believe my ears: a marmot whistle the first I have ever heard in this area! Then I ran into one of the marmot researchers who had choppered in. They had set up a camp on the edge of the limestone area and were radio tagging the marmots. These had been introduced into the area, with the addition of another individual, several years later, to help the growth of the population. Very cool! I continued my 4 hour plus hike back down.
That night, back down at Wheaton Lake, I had another reward repeated for a second night: “Mars shine”. I was close enough to the end of the month where Mars was the closest to earth it has been for 15 years (when I had previously seen the spectacle while camping on Catala Island, on the west coast). Mars was very orange red and big enough to produce a ray of orange light on Wheaton Lake.
Next day, I left in the late morning for a 3 hour hike back down to my kayak, and the Buttle Lake crossing.

Brent Henry

Please note, this was not an official trip and the report is provided for information.

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Hiking – North, South Chinese & Beech’s Mtn – 3 August 2018

Activity Hiking
Destination Beech’s Mountain
Date 3 August 2018, Friday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 250-285-2029 leshand.@gicable.com
Description We will be going up North Chinese Mt. then up South Chinese Mt.
From there we will descend to the Beech Mtn. trail and go up to Beech summit. This hike will be approx. 7.4 km and up 430 meters. It will take about three and a half hours depending on the group.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store parking lot
Departure Time Meet at 8:30, to begin the hike at 9:00
Difficulty
Moderate.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? no
Notes: Good hiking footwear is recommended as there is loose rock. Hiking poles may help, if you like.
I apologize for the late posting of this trip but was waiting for cooler weather.

Trip Report – Woss Lookout & Little Huson Caves – 26 July 2018

The original plan was to hike to Woss Lookout in the morning to beat the extreme summer heat. But, unexpectedly, when we drove north on Highway 19, it was overcast and quite cool, so we continued on to the Little Huson Caves first. These karst features in Quatsino limestone are very beautifully sculpted into complex shapes with the Atluk Creek running through it. We took the short walk to the northern viewpoint first and explored the big opening in the natural bridge over the River “Cave”. The trail also leads to the south opening of the bridge with even more opportunity to see the sculpted limestone. With the low water and dry weather there are lots of possibilities for exploring. We also visited the Bridge Cave before walking to Little Huson Lake.

We then drove south to the rough logging road leading to the Woss Lookout trailhead. Once the skies cleared at noon, it was already hot. We walked up the upper logging road switchbacks and then took the trail through the forest up to the summit. This is a short, steep hike with lots of rope available for assistance. There were wonderful blueberries and purple huckleberries on the way up. At the summit we enjoyed the excellent restoration of the lookout tower, a very refreshing afternoon breeze, and fantastic view in nearly 360°. The historical photos from 1948 are very interesting. The location of the tower was great as a fire lookout, but also for views. The conical hill is a focus for five valleys. For the hike: 4.4 km; 2¾ hours; 376 m elevation gain; 35% incline in the steep section.

Debbie

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Hiking – Woss Lookout & Little Huson Caves – 27 July 2018