Kayaking – Gowlland Island and Harbour – 19 Sept 2018

Activity Kayaking
Destination Gowlland Island and Harbour
Date 19 Sept 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 285-2029 or leshand@gicable.com
Description The tentative plan is to go around Gowlland Island or possibly Steep Island, and through Gowlland Harbour.  The exact course will be decided by group that day. Expect some passages with some current.  Please register at least 24 hours in advance as trip may change due to weather.
Meeting Place April Point Marina
Departure Time 9:30.  Be there by 9:00 to be ready to leave by 9:30.
Difficulty
Moderate.
Costs none
Trip limits eight
Dogs? no
Notes: All participants must review and conform to QIOC paddling guidelines. Participants must have all Coast Guard required equipment and spray skirts.

Trip Report – Nugedzi Lakes and Viewpoints – 29 August 2018

Our group of six and a dog hiked up to see the Nugedzi Lakes and viewpoints.  The weather forecast called for rain, but there was very little, so we were glad we went anyway.  We stopped near the top of the old logging road to see the northeast viewpoint which had considerable cloud.  Further on, the water level in the Lily Pond has been seriously reduced by the recent drought.  The southeast viewpoint looking down the Strait of Georgia beyond the pond was also quite cloudy, but clear enough to see a long way.  We took the initiative to remove the white plastic tarp which covered cement bags turned to concrete over a decade ago and bring it down in a garbage bag.  We continued on to Nugedzi Lake for lunch.  Although the weather was improving, no one was tempted to swim.  We also visited the western viewpoint over Discovery Passage before returning and making the short side trip to Little Nugedzi Lake, then heading back down the hill to the vehicles. This is a great, highly varied hike and good exercise.  10.8 km; 365 m elevation gain; 5½ hours.

Julie

Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos

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Hiking – Nugedzi Lakes and Viewpoints – 29 August 2018

Trip Report – Forbidden Plateau and Cruikshank Canyon – 27 Aug 2018

This was an unscheduled, impromptu trip.  We took advantage of a break in the weather for a tour of the lakes on the Forbidden Plateau and at the last minute decided to push on to Cruickshank Canyon.  The day was cloudless, with a reasonable summer temperature, and a bit of smoke haze on the horizon.  We caught the 7:05 ferry and were hiking shortly after 8:30.  We hiked the lake loop clockwise, arriving first at Battleship, then Lady, Croteau and Kwai Lakes.  We explored the excellent new group campground at Croteau, complete with yurt cooking shelter, and had lunch at Kwai.  We hiked the spur to Mariwood and Beautiful (well named) Lakes and continued to Cruikshank Canyon.  The haze was most noticeable across the canyon, but the viewpoint drop-off is always impressive.  We stopped at Mariwood Lake on the return and Julie swam in the cold water, before hiking up to the Ranger station and on to Helen Mackenzie Lake.

This is truly a spectacular sub-alpine hike.  We were very pleased that there was no apparent drought on the plateau.  The lake levels were reasonable and the meadows still green and lush.  The wild blueberries were delicious and definitely extended the time it took to do the trip.  22.1 km; 8¼ hours.

Debbie

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Trip Report – Homewood Trails Loop – 22 August 2018

Five hikers and Rosco the dog enjoyed a three-hour hike in the Heriot Ridge area. A smoky haze from BC wildfires partially blocked the sun but was not as thick as the previous few days. Beginning at the Hopespring trailhead, we hiked up to the height of land and down the west side of the ridge, turning south on Gowlland trail. We sampled a few blackberries along the way, before turning east on the Homewood Bluff trail. On top of Homewood Bluff we stopped for a snack but the view to the west was lacking due to the smoke. Descending the east side of the bluff, we connected with Homewood’s High Bluff trail. This trail is partially overgrown, due to lack of use by the Homewood groups. However, the wolves use this route since wolf scat was observed perched on a log across the trail. After reaching the height of land, a side trip took us up to High Bluff were we enjoyed another rest stop but could barely see Campbell River to the west. From here we hiked north along Heriot Ridge on an unmarked route, stopping to say hello to a grand old Douglas fir tree tucked away in the bluffs. Along the way we stepped over the skeleton of an unfortunate deer not far from the intersection with Hopespring trail. From here we returned to the vehicles. Temperatures remained cool and pleasant throughout the hike due to the haze. 5.3 km.

Janis McLean

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Hiking -Homewood Trails Loop – 22 August 2018

Trip Report – Hoskyn Channel – 15 August 2018

Six paddlers took advantage of another lovely day of warm weather and light breezes to kayak from Len Road Beach to Village Bay. We were on the water by 9 am, thankful for the high tide allowing a quick launch. With high tide and calm waters, we went through Shellaligan and on to Village Bay. Several hikers were sunbathing on the rocky outcroppings along the trail, but no other wildlife. This was especially disappointing as just a few days ago a huge pod of Pacific White-sided dolphins spent most of a day in a feeding frenzy in Open Bay. We reached Village Bay at 11:30, brunch time. The beach was surprisingly clean, though a few small items were picked up and one aquafarm basket was left, hoping boaters would take it back. A classic wooden boat was anchored in the bay and we admired their husky dog, and the amazing crop of lettuce flourishing on the back deck. An easy paddle back to Hyacinthe Bay, more hikers lounging on the Shellaligan rocks, though no-one braving the chilly water. A flock of seabirds were noisily feeding in the intertidal at the north end of Hyacinthe Bay, and several dozen seals were dozing, and arguing, on the Seal Rocks.

The highlight of an otherwise peaceful paddle came at the end of the trip. Terry wanted to retrieve some flotsam washed up on Turtle Island, just off Len Beach. He and Vic bagged the huge fishing net, aka “the beast”, straddled it across Vic’s and Val’s kayaks, and Terry practised his guiding skills by towing both kayaks back to shore, Vic assisting as outrigger paddler. The beast will be suitably disposed of, and no-one will be any the wiser as to its timely demise.

Thanks to Terry and Val for photos.

Valerie

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Kayaking – Hoskyn Channel – 15 August 2018

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.

 

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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