Trip Report – Mt. Washington & Mt. Elma – 22 Mar 2023

Reports are that Mt. Washington has lots of snow.  It’s true.  We started out on the snowshoe trail from Raven Lodge with the vague intention of going to the lakes.  Snow conditions were perfect for snowshoeing.  The trails were broken and there was a sparkling layer of fresh snow.  The sun was bright and warm, the air temperature was good, there was no wind.  The sky was clear and blue.  As I said, conditions were perfect.

Except for one thing.  The trail to Lake Helen Mackenzie crosses a stream on a bridge.  The bridge was packed with snow, up to about a metre above the hand rail.  It was well packed, but too narrow for snowshoes.  And there was no way to avoid it since the stream was open.  We crossed it, but once was enough, so we came back the Battleship Lake route.  It also has a stream crossing with a snow-packed bridge.  That one felt much safer, but it looked as if it might collapse sooner or later.

So we arrived at Lake Helen Mackenzie and stopped for lunch.  We looked around for a further destination.  Mt. Elma looked perfect, so we headed there.  The trail was broken already, so it was an easy, though steep, climb up to the ridge.  The summit ridge was amazing, open meadows with fabulous views.  In particular the mountains io the Forbidden Plateau skyline, all snow covered in bright sun with no clouds blocking the view for once. (13.1 km, 6 hours)


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Reconnaissance Report – Victoria Peak Ridge – 20 Aug 2022

We did this hike on impulse after the destination we had wanted was unavailable due to a locked gate on a logging road.  From Quadra it’s quite long as a day trip.  The drive from Campbell River was nearly 6 hours round trip.  And it was a very hot day.  Normally this is a route for climbers on their way to Victoria Peak, but we were after a hike to the sub-alpine with good views.  Forty-eight kilometres out from Sayward, we turned onto W79, which is signed as the road to Victoria Peak. This road is in decent condition and winds its way up fairly steeply.  There were 16 cross ditches, none of which were impossible, but it was very slow going.  After a while we decided to walk, but we could have driven another 2½ kilometres.  From the trailhead to the ridge it’s short, but quite steep.  A typical climbing access route, the path to the ridge rises 213 m over 713 m, for about a 30% incline.

Wandering along the sub-alpine ridge is very pleasant.  It continues up for a bit more than a kilometre until the ridge is quite level and more distant views are revealed.  There was significant heat haze, making it tricky to see Quadra from the ridge and there was forest fire smoke to the west from lightening strikes the night before in the Nimpkish Valley.

After lunch and a bit of exploring on the ridge, we headed back down, going quite slowly in the heat.  ( 8.6 km; 658 m elevation gain)  Once back on the logging road toward Sayward, we stopped at the White River Provincial Park to walk through the old growth grove to the White River.


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Trip Report – Mt. Drabble – 12 Aug 2022

Five of us hiked to the top of  Mt. Drabble (1,363 m).  We caught an early ferry and drove to the turn off near Ramparts Hill chain-up area on the way to Mt. Washington.  That gives access to the Murex Main logging road (no signs) which was in good condition.  We met a wide-track excavator working on the road and ditches, who kindly moved to the side to let us by.  We parked where the road starts to get really steep and eroded.  Theoretically you could drive 1.9 km further (and 210 m elevation gain) to the trailhead, but we walked.  The trail is well established, with flagging, reflectors and cairns.  It ascends the rocky, sub-alpine ridge and passes a number of ponds.  Lovely to look at, but not appealing for swimming.

The views of the Strathcona Park mountains were great.  There are also views back over Georgia Strait/Salish Sea; we could make out Quadra in the haze.  We reached the summit by 11:00 and stopped for lunch.  Brent set up his radio and antenna and made a contact.  It’s a very enjoyable hike over this long, undulating ridge.  The hardest part was walking down the steep logging road with loose gravel.  Altogether it was 11.7 km, 5½ hours, 450 m elevation gain (from bottom to top), but more overall with the undulations.


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Hiking – Mt. Drabble – 12 Aug 2022

Hiking – Mt. Drabble, Strathcona Park – 10 Aug 2022

Re-scheduled to Friday, Aug 12th, with an earlier start time.

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Drabble, Strathcona Park
Date 12 10 Aug, Friday Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info; 250-285-3710.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday evening.
Description The approach to Mt. Drabble will be from a logging road off of Strathcona Parkway on the way to Mt. Washington.  The logging road drive is fairly long and slightly deteriorated since the Club last drove it, but still possible without 4×4.  We will walk the last steep part of the logging road and follow a cairned route up the mostly sub-alpine ridge to Mt. Drabble.  There is one major dip in the ridge before the summit, which offers great views of the Forbidden Plateau in good weather.  12.5 km; 6+ hours; 650m elevation gain.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 7:05 8:00 am ferry; drivers need to be early to ensure loading.
Challenging for the length of the day, elevation and altitude gain.
Costs Ferry, shared fuel costs.
Trip limits
Dogs? No
Notes: We will not do this trip in poor weather.  This is a long day.  Come prepared for mountain conditions.

Trip Report – Mt. Seymour – 25 May 2022

As usual this spring, the weather threatened to cancel yet another hike – BUT – five determined club members defied the odds and set out on a windy, grey morning to ascend Quadra’s highest “peak”. It took us a little over an hour to hike up into the fast moving clouds and another 35 minutes to reach our goal and the first hints of some sunshine and breaking clouds. The views opened up as we ate lunch, out of the wind and in sight of the summit cairn. After an hour of eating and socializing we made our way back down the trail, which, by the way, is in very good condition.   3½ hours plus a 1 hr lunch.

Thanks to Vic for the photos.

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Hiking – Mt. Seymour – 25 May 2022

Hiking – Mt. Seymour – 25 May 2022

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Seymour
Date 25 May 2022, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info; 250-285-2111; text 250-287-0459
Description We will meet at store and then drive the half hour out to trailhead. We will go out and back the lower route so it will be easier. About 9km and 4 hours including lunch. I am told there is some blowdown on the trail so be prepared for that.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store parking lot
Departure Time 1000 meet up; on the trail by 1030
Costs Nil
Trip limits 10
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring lunch, poles if you use them, and gear appropriate for the weather.

Trip Report – Mt. Elma – 8 Oct 2021

Every good plan … needs a Plan B … or two. The forecast for Wednesday was not looking good, so we moved the trip to Mt. Drabble to Friday. As we were driving south Friday in the rain and cloud, it was clear that the forecast was over-optimistic, and a long drive and a long hike to Mt. Drabble only to be in the clouds was not what we had in mind. So we decided to hike up Mt. Elma instead. Easier driving, easier hiking. That was the new plan.

As we were driving up to Mount Washington, we hit the snow line. It was clear yesterday, but it snowed last night. So what we thought was going to be a late summer trip was now an early winter trip. The trail and bushes were plastered with about 5 cm of wet snow. And it was raining, or maybe it was snowing, it was hard to tell. The hike on the snow covered boardwalks of Paradise Meadows to the Mt. Elma trailhead went quickly. Then the trail goes up steeply and there are a few places where it is quite steep. These were a bit slippery in the snow, but soon we were on to the summit ridge. Which is always very nice, no matter what the weather. It is a sloped meadow with sparse trees. And in our case the fog of being in the clouds. We hiked all the way to the end, where there is a super nice viewpoint. We couldn’t see anything, but it was still super nice. It was like a spring skiing day, without the sun, but still warm, as we ate lunch. Surprisingly, the whisky jack regulars were not there. There were a few quick moments with blue sky above us and when there was a slight gap in the clouds where we could see hints of the mountains around us. Impressive, but nothing that shows up on a photo. We figure we were just below the tops of the clouds. On the trip back down the ridge we watched a pair of grouse. The descent down the hill was harder than going up because now all the snow was melting making the trail very slippery. And the snow in the trees was melting and raining on us. Early spring. For variety, we hiked the rest of the lakes loop going back, and the trail along Helen Mackenzie Lake was wet. Very wet and muddy. When we were back on the boardwalks, they had less snow on them, but they were still slippery. But we made it back to the cars and declared it was a good, successful outing anyway. And we did get to see lots of very nice fall colours. Blueberry bushes instead of tree leaves. 14.0km; 420m elevation gain; 6 hours.


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Hiking – Mt. Elma – 28 July 2021

Multi-day Kayaking – Jedediah Island – 7-11 Sept 2021

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Jedediah Island via Texada Island
Date 7 to 11 Sept 2021, Tuesday to Saturday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info; 250-285-2111
Description Three days on the water; one travel day to get there and one to get home; Camp on Texada on day 1 with the crossing to Jedediah early on day 2. Return to Texada on day 5 and on to ferries and home.  Details will be posted soon.
Meeting Place Quathiaski Cove ferry lineup at 0630
Departure Time 0705 ferry Quathiaski Cove
A 2km crossing from Texada to Jedediah makes this, depending on weather, a more difficult trip.
Cost About $200 for ferries and camping fees
Trip limits 6
Dogs? No
Sept 7  – Travel day; Meet at Q-Cove Ferry by 6:30 AM; to Little River to board 0955 ferry to Powell River; hopefully onto the next ferry to Texada Island; Drive to Shingle Beach Campsite
Sept 8  – Paddle to Jedediah Is
Sept 9/10 – hiking/paddling Jedediah/Lasqueti/ etc
Sept 11 – Paddle back to Shingle Beach; ferries to Powell River (330 pm)/ Comox (510 pm)/ Quadra (??)
This itinerary could easily be shortened by a day for whatever reason. However, it does not allow any time to visit the Townsite Brew Pub 😥.
Please take the time to read the club’s paddling guidelines –
If the weather forecast for the week looks windy/wet on Sunday, Sept 5 we will communicate re cancellation.
Plan to be self-sufficient for camping. NOTE: there is no drinking water on Jedediah so bring enough water for 4 days.
Feel free to email, text (250-287-0459), or call Vic Gladish

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. 


Thanks to Norris, Stephen and Carrie for photos

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Reconnaissance Report – Mt. Drabble – 24 Oct 2020

We had hoped to make an exploratory trip to Mt. Drabble before the snow came to Forbidden Plateau and didn’t quite make it, but we had a beautiful day.  We approached it from the Strathcona Parkway and then logging roads.   It had snowed a few inches about 24 hours before, but most of the logging roads were fine.  However, we decided to walk rather than drive up the last steep section of road.  From the the road it was easy to get onto the ridge which leads gradually up to the summit of Mt. Drabble.  The ridge quickly becomes sub-alpine with great views and many tarns.  The route was well marked so that we could follow it in the snow without being familiar with the trail.  The snow made our time a bit slower as we checked frequently to make sure we were on track.  There was one significant dip in the ridge, but mostly the walking was steady and gradual.  From the end of the ridge there are great views of Forbidden Plateau, Georgia Strait and the mainland mountains.  The reward for effort is very high on this trip.  11.8km (4 km on the road); 442m elevation gain to 1,353m; and 6 hours (1¼ hours on the road).


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