COVID-19 Pandemic – as of 8 May 2020

Here we are at the beginning of May with gorgeous weather. There are no Outdoor Club members as the membership year began May 1st, and there are no trips currently planned. With spring turning to summer it’s wonderful that Dr. Henry has recommended that people go outdoors and our local parks are soon reopening for day use. She has also said that individuals can somewhat increase the size of their social bubble. So what does that mean for the Outdoor Club?

Here are some personal opinions. We now know a bit more about the mysterious COVID-19 virus. We know that there are vulnerabilities based on medical conditions, age and gender, and that it is highly contagious. So for the vulnerable individual, or someone in a household with a vulnerable person, it’s no safer now than it was before. Each person will need to decide about how much exposure they are willing to tolerate.

A bubble of two to six people is not very large for the Outdoor Club to make outings work. As I interpret this, the two to six people would need to be stable and not changing each week. This guideline works better if people make their own small group and venture out together regularly.

It’s easier to maintain adequate physical distance in a kayak than hiking on a narrow trail. It’s quite difficult to talk while walking on a trail and maintain distance.

The Outdoor Club would like to facilitate people on Quadra to get out for exercise, and the other benefits of sunshine and the beauty of nature. But I think the new guidelines are still too restrictive to start up weekly trips.

If you wish to give feedback on any of this, please leave a comment.

Trip Report – Breton Islands Spring Equinox Paddle – 20 Mar 2020

Six paddlers gathered (mindful of our interpersonal distance) at the Len Road access on a sunny, calm, 2° morning to start the season with our first paddle outing of the year. After refreshing each other on some basic paddle trip guidelines, a gear and flotation check, and COVID-19 protocols/discussion, we put in at 9:00 on a favourable tide and headed across Hyacinthe Bay. We cruised the shoreline through Open Bay, rounded the “Red Chair Point” and on into Moulds Bay. After a brief beach stop, we continued northeast through Shellalligan Pass into Hoskyn Channel to enjoy the view up the channel towards snow-capped Doogie Dowler and other mountains of the BC mainland. Turning south we paddled down the island chain on even calmer seas until we rounded the southern tip of Breton Island and our lunch stop destination on the cobble/gravel beach. After a leisurely, 90-minute lunch in the sun (physically distanced) we put in once again and headed west to Turtle Island and on to the take out, completing the circuit at about 3:00 pm. Although we saw no cetaceans or sea lions, and few harbour seals, we did enjoy the company of a large variety of sea birds, many of which were in breeding plumage. The trip coordinator will attempt to recall the identified birds and includes a list below.  15.0 km; 4 hour paddle without the lunch break

Varying numbers of: Common Mergansers, Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Loons (Common in transition to breeding plumage), Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Glaucous winged gulls, Canada geese, Surf scoters.

Vic

click to enlarge the photos

Kayaking – Hyacinthe and Open Bays to Breton Islands – 20 Mar 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic – as of 22 March 2020

It is with the greatest reluctance that the Quadra Island Outdoor Club has decided to suspend any further trips in our schedule for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. In the last 10 days the acceptable size of a group has dropped from 250 to 50 to something between two and zero. Dr. Henry’s statement on March 19th said “…right now we need to be in small groups … one or two of us. And we need to maintain our distance with others….. We are not to be outside in groups….” The Physicians of Comox Valley Division of Family Practice have advised that people should associate outside only with family members.

With an older demographic on Quadra and a significant number of vulnerable people in the community, we think being cautious is particularly important. We know that hiking with family is not an option for some of you, but our hands are tied. We hope that everyone will continue to get out each day for the benefit and beauty that it provides. If you want advice about trails on the island, don’t hesitate to e-mail. Please stay safe, follow health hygiene protocols and maintain physical distance.

Trip Report – Rampart Hill – 18 Mar 2020

We had beautiful spring conditions to snowshoe from Ramparts Hill.  Warm and sunny, with good spring snow.  We headed steeply up the hill from the parking area until we reached the open bluff with great views of the Forbidden Plateau mountains.  We wandered along wide and narrow paths as well as untracked snow.  We meandered down to another great viewpoint where we stopped for lunch.  We continued on looking for the old cabin, but another group told us we wouldn’t find it because it has burned down.  A piece of history gone.  We continued east and south, with better views of the BC mainland mountains.  In total we had views through about 270° from Mt. Albert Edward to Mt. Waddington.  This was a beautiful day at a superb area for snowshoeing.  The terrain and views couldn’t be better.  6.3 km, 3 hours 

Debbie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Snow – Mt. Washington – 18 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Ten hikers enjoyed a three-hour hike on a series of biking trails south of Walcan Road. Beginning at the Reed Lake pullout on Walcan Road, we headed south on Straight-As-A-Dime. This is a winding uphill trail with intermittent sections of logging roads which are beginning to grow in. After a short time on Navel and Silk Stockings Trails, the group turned east onto Backdoor Trail which winds its way over an extensive rock bluff plateau covered with vibrant green moss and pine forest. We stopped at a warm sunny spot to have lunch and enjoy the rays. Continuing east to the junction of Cash Only, and through the Rose Garden, we took Dick’s Ride north to the Yellow Mud Trail. Here we found a few pink salmonberry buds about to burst open. It was a pleasant walk along Wood Duck Lake, created by the extensive beaver dam at the east end of the lake. There were ring-necked ducks and bufflehead on the lake. We continued northwest on Yellow Mud Trail through mature hemlock and Douglas fir forest and along McKercher Creek to arrive back at the vehicles. The weather was sunny with a cold north wind blowing. This loop should not be attempted without being familiar with the biking trail system and having a specialized bike trail map, since the trail names have worn off the flagging at main intersections and the trail system is extensive. 8.0 km; 3½ hours

Janis

Hiking – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Ten of us explored the Deepwater Main and Creek area to a variety of destinations.  We first stopped at the old rail trestle.  Only the posts remain, but some are impressively tall and it’s a reminder of Quadra’s history.  We continued along the logging road and were surprised by the amount of snow on the road.  We probably should have been expecting  it, but the cloud on the Mt. Seymour Ridge had been so low we hadn’t noticed.  We hiked up the old logging road to the Benn Mine, which was covered in enough snow to completely change the landscape.  The sample cores and even the old car were not visible.  After taking care around the open pits, we scrambled down to view the tunnel shaft.  2.5 km; 150m elevation; 1¼ hours.

We returned to the vehicles and continued further on the active logging road covered in some patches of snow.  We hiked down the old logging road following Deepwater Creek.  The creek was as beautiful as we have ever seen it, with plenty of water flowing and deep greens in the valley.  The route is somewhat eroded, but the frequent winter deadfall had all been chain sawed, making our progress very easy. 

We had not visited the old fish hatchery since it had been sold and rehabilitated by private owners.  The area is much improved.  We are very grateful that the new owners are permitting “leave-no-trace” visitors.  It’s very generous of them.  We stopped on the shore for lunch in the sun, with great views all around of Deepwater Bay, Discovery Passage and the mouth of Deepwater Creek.  It was a lovely and varied hike.  4.8 km, 235 m elevation; 2 hours.

– Debbie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Hiking – Main Lake from Surge Narrows Rd – 8 Apr 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Main Lake from Surge Narrows Rd
Date 8 April, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator in advance.
Description This is a flagged route from the Surge Narrows road, following old logging roads and paths through mature forest to the east end of Main Lake.  The route is not far (about 7.0 km round trip), but quite slow due to rough conditions.  Expect wet sections and significant climbing over deadfall.  If the group wants more of a walk, we can continue on to Yeatman Bay, which would be about 10 km round trip.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Tru Value parking lot
Departure Time 9:30
Difficulty Moderate due to the rough trail conditions.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch.