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

click to enlarge


Town Hall meeting regarding proposed communication tower

Notes from the Sunday 18 August 2013 Town Hall meeting regarding the
proposed public safety communications tower on Heriot Ridge, Quadra

For more background on events leading up to this meeting, see
Proposed Communication Tower on Heriot Ridge

These notes are arranged in Q&A format in order to distinguish between comments made by the presenters and the audience, even if the Q is not strictly a question.
The attempt here is to report the ideas and issues discussed and not to try to do a transcript. Wordings are paraphrases, not exact; it has organized by topic.
The identities of audience speakers have been left out.

Dave Emery, North Island Communications, the applicant for the land tenure for the tower site, the “landlord” for the proposed tower.
Brian Fentiman, Mgr. RCMP Communication Sys. Vancouver Island District, one of the “tenants” of the proposed tower.

Dave opened by expressing his regrets and an apology that he did not call this public meeting 8 months ago, before he applied for the land use tenure.
Dave is withdrawing his current application for the site (letting it fail) because of community concerns. Dave plans to reapply for a tower site in a different location. This meeting is to get all issues out in the open before going to the expense of submitting a new application. The existing application cannot be amended because it is a change of site.

Conclusion of Meeting

  • Due to concerns expressed about the health effects of microwave radiation, Dave agreed that all microwave transmission from the tower will be done using very narrow beam antennas and that they will be aimed at Campbell River and away from Quadra, and also that
  • No cell phone antennas will be installed on this site. If a cell phone company expresses interest in the tower, they will be referred to Quadra Island.
  • The proposed internet service for Open Bay and Hyacinthe Bay (WiFi AP) will be dropped.
  • Dave and Brian will work with residents who have concerns about radiation to predict, measure, and ensure that they will have no measurable microwave radiation from this tower.
  • Aesthetic issues are important
  • A legal covenant covering community issues including the above is to be included in the land title from Ministry of Forests and NIComm will sign off on this.

Next Steps

  • hire a local biologist to investigate whether there are rare plants in this site
  • survey the new site
  • draw up legal covenant regarding agreements, working with Quadra and the SRD
  • hold another public meeting on the new site when there is a firm proposal
  • reapply for the site from Lands and Forests.

Meeting Notes

Continue reading

Trip Photos – Kayaking Main Lake 21 August 2013

Nine club members enjoyed a beautiful, sunny, calm day at the Lakes.  Leaving from the Mine Lake boat launch, we paddled to the northeast corner of Main Lake, landed on the sandy beach and hiked across to Yeatman Bay.  Several of us walked out to the tidal island at the south end of the bay to have a look at the channel.   The paddle took about 55 minutes.  The trail, which is 1.6 kilometres long and in good condition apart from some muddy bits, takes just under half an hour one way. After lunch, about half the group went for a short swim (very welcome as it was hot!), then we headed back to the parking lot, arriving at 2:30.  The lakes seemed busy (at least busy for Quadra!), but it was a very pleasant and relaxed outing. Perhaps on a future trip, we’ll paddle right round Main Lake and possibly venture into Clear Lake or Little Main.

Darcy Mitchell

Kayaking Main Lake 21 August 2013

(click on photos to view larger)

Trip Photos – Backpacking Della Falls 9-12 Aug 2013

by Will LaVigne  (

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.


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


Kayaking Octopus Islands 21-23 Sept 2013

Activity Multi-day paddling trip
Destination Octopus Islands Marine Park
Date Saturday 21 September 2013 to Monday 23 September
Trip Coordinator Darcy Mitchell and Lonn McMartin
Contact Info  or 250 285 2739 .
Description This is a two-night camping trip to the Octopus Islands Marine Park on the northeast side of Quadra Island.  The trip needs to be timed for slack water at Beazley Passage, therefore it is important that departure times are prompt.  It is 5.5 – 6 nautical miles from the departure point to the probable camping area.  Sunday will be spent exploring the Marine Park and adjacent areas, including possible  hikes to Small Inlet or up to Newton Lake.  We should be back at Surge Narrows dock  between 2:00 and 3:00 on Monday (slack water is 1:45 p.m.).

Participants should be fairly experienced paddlers and campers.  Training at the Paddle Canada Level 1 or equivalent is strongly advised.  Ability to perform both self-rescue and assisted rescue is essential!

Participants must be paid up members of the club for this outing.

Meeting Place Surge Narrows dock/boat launch (about 45 minutes from Quathiaski Cove)
Departure Time 11:15 am
Costs None
Trip limits 10 (but no more than 6 tents)
Dogs? No
Notes: There will be a meeting of participants on the evening of Monday, September 16 at 7:30 at 533 Grouse Road to discuss arrangements for equipment sharing (radios, first aid equipment, stoves, pots), food preparation, etc.  Camping space is limited, so it is important to minimize tent sizes and numbers; sharing is good if you’re willing.

This trip is highly weather dependent.  Participants will be contacted by 9 p.m. on Thursday, September 19 if the trip is cancelled due to weather. 


Park info: