Trip Report – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 18 Nov 2020

In damp, cloudy weather, eight hikers enjoyed our first “Hot Chocolate” hike of the season, perambulating the beautiful Shellaligan inland loop clockwise. We set off from the first parking lot from the turn off from Valdes Road, a good decision in retrospect as the logging road was blocked further on by downed trees from the previous day’s windstorm. The first part of this loop is on good logging roads, watch for signage for the turn-offs. Soon we turned right off a wide logging road, onto the trail, this turn easily missed so now marked with extra orange flagging tape. We followed this lovely, easy trail through a veritable sea of green, alongside a very full creek, to the shore. Here we admired the “neurotic sapsucker tree” and noted the collected marine debris awaiting pick-up. Soon reaching the trail sign a bit inland, we headed back on the “shortcut to parking lot” to the “middle” parking lot, turning right onto the logging road back to our cars. Just under 2 hours, good exercise, good company, home by the fire by early afternoon, a great first “Hot Chocolate” hike. 4.9 km; 1½ hours.

Thank you to Norris for the photos!

 
Valerie van Veen
 

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Hiking – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 18 Nov 2020

 

Hiking – Shellaligan Pass Trail – 18 Nov 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Shellaligan Pass Trail – Land Loop
Date 18 Nov, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329; vvv@qisland.ca
Description This is a “Hot Chocolate” Hike:
South end hikers … meet at Heriot Bay store at 10 AM if carpooling or want to convoy together.  Otherwise meet co-ordinator at turn off to logging road (trail access road) on Valdes Road at 10:20 am. We will drive to the first parking lot (on the left, marked with a trail sign). We will follow the land loop around to the second parking lot, walk back on the logging road to our cars.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store at 10:00 or Valdes Road at 10:20.  See trip description.
Departure Time See trip description
Difficulty
Easy
Costs None
Trip limits 10, following Club Covid protocols
Dogs? Must be in full control, or on leash.
Notes: This is a Hot Chocolate hike; we may stop briefly for a Snack break or continue on. About 2 hours. If rain, sections could be a bit muddy.

Kayaking – Maud Island – 25 Nov 2020

This trip has been suspended due to additional COVID restrictions

Activity Kayaking
Destination Maud Island
Date 25 Nov, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info 250-285-2111; cell 250-287-0459
Description We will put in at 1000 at the Leishman Road shore access just north of Copper Cliffs. There is parking for a few cars and a rocky beach. Staying close to shore, the plan is to paddle north to Maude Island and/or the Saltwater Lagoon. The trip is about 8 km each way (16 km round trip). The lagoon entrance is passable at certain tide levels so will be an on the spot decision whether to explore or not.
Meeting Place Shore Access Copper Cliffs – Leishman Road
Departure Time 1000 on the water
Difficulty
Moderate – distance, currents, weather
Costs None
Trip limits 6
Dogs? no
Notes: The tide will be against us but it is a time of neap tides so currents shouldn’t be so strong. Participants should be open to trip revision once the forecast for that week is more relevant – i.e. lets be open to a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday with better weather.
All participants must be equipped for ocean paddling in November – required equipment as per club guidelines (https://qioutdoorclub.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/paddling-guidelines-aug2018.pdf) and appropriate clothing.
Bring lunch, hot drinks, extra warm layers and something to sit on.

Trip Report – Kw’as Park, Cortes – 11 Nov 2020

We were a group of four on the Remembrance Day hike to Cortes Island.  The ferry was uncrowded and the crossing calm.  We began the hike at the trailhead near the Cortes Island Motel and walked through this beautiful rainforest.  We ascended up toward the Summit and then along the Millennium Trail undulating over rocky bluffs through some old growth trees.  We had views of Hague Lake before we reached the Swim Rock, where we stopped for lunch.  The water and the weather were calm, and we chatted with a local woman who was fishing from her kayak.
 
We continued on the trail high along the shore with great views and descended the ladder along the Rock Face.  We made a short side trip to visit the Survivor Fir, which we measured as 7.9m in circumference.  We crossed the bridge across the narrow waterway between Hague and Gunflint Lakes and walked the loop to the south, including Pierre de Trail and the Cedar Ridge.  We also enjoyed the large Douglas fir at the junction, which we measured as 8.35m in circumference.  We returned over the bridge and walked the trail along the west shore of Gunflint Lake, with great views along the way and the steam donkey remains.  We continued on through the Spruce Grove and returned to the vehicles.  
 
It was a great hike with lots of variety and highlights.  The trail was very quiet at this time of year.  After the hike we stopped at the Cortes Coop for delicious refreshments before taking the ferry home.  8.9 km, 4½ hours.
 
Debbie
 

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Hiking – Kw’as Park, Cortes – 11 Nov 2020

Reconnaissance Report – Snowden Forest – 6 Nov 2020

Having now hiked the Lost Lake area three times, I was really keen to check out the trails further west,  particularly “Lookout Loop” and “Enchanted Forest”.  Armed with an old Ministry of Forests “Forest Recreation” map and the more recent coloured map, I headed out with my daughter and her dog on a lovely crisp fall day. We passed the Lost Lake parking lot, and the Riley Lake parking turn-off shortly after, and using the Ministry map (the coloured map has a logo right over the relevant section) we found the turn-off to the Elmer Lake parking lot, as marked on both maps. However, though marked as an almost straight north logging road, this quickly became a network of logging roads, with no signage anywhere. The northerly route eventually turned into a narrow, unmaintained quagmire, unnavigable if we hadn’t been in my daughter’s Honda Ridgeline. Obviously, this access route would be impossible for club members. We tried a few more logging roads that quickly opened out into recent clear-cuts with signs of active logging. Most regretfully, we turned around and headed back into more familiar territory.

We turned off at the sign to the Riley Lake parking lot, a bit further west of the more popular Lost Lake parking lot. Finally on foot, we headed up the Riley Lake trail. We soon came to a map which outlined the very area that we had been trying to access, now off-limits as active road construction and logging is presently underway there. So that explained the lack of any signage. To avoid the logging, the northern stretch of Riley Lake trail is being redeveloped, it is wide and with a good dirt base, easy walking. Eventually as Riley Lake trail turned west then SW, it became a narrow trail off the developed pathway, (not signed, used our compass and common sense). We followed the narrower trail to Pepper Spray (signed) to a T-junction with Cheshire Cat. Here the signage was very confusing. The right hand branch was signed “Out” but this would lead, eventually, to the very parking lot we had tried to find earlier, and would be in the closed area. Ignoring the “Out” sign, we went SE on Cheshire Cat, which came down to a clearing off the main road. We decided to follow Cheshire Cat back north, then took Oggies right back to our truck. Altogether about 2.5 hrs without a rest stop, easy to moderate hiking through beautiful woods. The short drive to the Riley Lake parking lot is a little rough, I think the Trimac trail links the Riley Lake trail to the Lost Lake parking lot, which would be more convenient. Definitely another hike to do in the beautiful Snowden Forest.

Valerie

Reconnaissance Report – Century Sam Lake – 7 Nov 2020

Another weekend was forecast to be fabulous, so we did another short-notice hike to check out a place we had never been to.  It’s a difficult place to get to in part because the logging company keeps the access road closed most of the time.  When it is open, the gate is locked promptly at 6:00 p.m.  There is a long drive inside that gate, some of which has great views of Comox Lake and mountains along the way.  Then there is a 2 km section which has water bars (cross ditches) making it accessible for 4×4 only and then there is the hike itself.  The trail is well worn, but hardly improved, so it is slow.  And this makes it harder to do as a day-hike.  We parked before the water bars and hiked up the logging road to the trailhead.

The trail isn’t special.  It’s often muddy, rooty and slippery, there is a lot of deadfall, there is a headwall below the Lake with a few places which require a bit of scrambling (and could use a rope).  Also, for us the trail was frequently icy, and occasionally the rock had a thick coating of ice. 

The destination is quite nice.  Century Sam Lake is a glacial blue – it would be great with sunshine on it.  We were too late in the season for that.  The Lake lies in a hanging valley below Comox Glacier.  A kilometre or so beyond the lake there is an ice patch with ice caves.  Fantastic.  For us, there was a strong, cold winter wind blowing across the lake, so we did not stay long.

This has become a very popular destination in the summer, when it is green, and you can see why.  Even now, late in the season, there were lots of people there.  Our whole hike was 13.6 km, 7 hours, 568m elevation gain to 1,000m at the ice caves. For just the trail portion, it was 8.3 km, 5¾ hours, 400m altitude gain. 

Norris

Thanks to Norris, Stephen and Carrie for photos

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Trip Report – South Morte Lake – 4 Nov 2020

This hike was a substitute for a trip to Cortes, which we put off because of the wind forecast.  Seven of us hiked a loop from the east end of Reed Lake up and over to the south shore of Morte Lake and back.  We only had a few drops of rain, but the trail was really wet, having had some heavy rains this fall and over 40 mm 24 hours earlier.  
 
We started along the north shore of Reed and Mud Lake to the South Bluff trail and the beach and viewpoint at Morte Lake, where we took a short break.  We then followed the official Morte Lake trail, turning on Nirvana and continuing up on Seven Sins to the viewpoint for lunch while it was nearly sunny.  We then turned down on Deadfish and Lost Rider and back to the vehicles.
 
The mushroom were still great and everything was very, very wet.  7.2 km, 3¼ hours.
 
Debbie
 

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Hiking – South Morte Lake – 4 Nov 2020

Hiking – South Morte Lake- 4 Nov 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination South Morte Lake
Date 4 Nov 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.
Description We will park at the east end of Reed Lake and hike a loop over to Morte Lake on bike trails.  The plan is Mud Lake trail, South Bluff, Morte Lake trail, Nirvana, Seven Sins, Upper Deadfish, Lost Rider and back.  If it rains hard the loop can be shorter.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store parking lot to convoy to the trailhead.
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
Moderate: undulating on good trails, with wet sections
Costs None
Trip limits Eight
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather. COVID protocol in effect.