Trip Report – Woss Lookout and Huson Caves – 15-17 July 2019

We camped at the Woss Lake Recreation Site, with the group arriving gradually over about 30 hours.  Due to forecast rainy weather, many invested quite a lot of effort in setting up camp with tarps.  Three of us kayaked on Woss Lake Monday morning in calm and increasingly sunny conditions.  We paddled down the east side of the Lake exploring the cabins and boat launch. (about 7 km)  Some also explored the Woss River Trail with some impressive old growth cedar and good views of the river from a bluff. This trail goes a long way, but we only went about 2.8km.   In the afternoon, two more people arrived and the weather turned showery.  We drove logging roads to check out Schoen Lake Provincial Park. We already knew that any possible interesting hiking would involve access by boat, but the deluge of rain when we arrived discouraged any enthusiasm for exploration.  Back at camp, we enjoyed appies by Les’ campfire before dinner.  By Monday night the final two people had arrived and enjoyed an evening canoe paddle, where they found some pictographs.

Tuesday morning:  After Les’ delicious blueberry pancake breakfast, we departed for Woss Lookout.  We parked at the trail sign and hiked up the steep logging road, through some clear cut and into the forested lookout hill. The steep trail is well equipped with rope aids and the distance is quite short, but a good test of fitness.  We were soon rewarded with the restored fire lookout and excellent views, even with a bit of cloud around.  The views of the Schoen, Vernon, Woss and Nimpkish Valleys are impressive, as well as the nearby mountains.  We returned by the short loop and headed back down the steep trail, once again thankful for the ropes. (4.6km, 3½ hours; 400m elevation gain)

Tuesday afternoon: After lunch we continued on to the Little Huson Caves Regional Park.  The short walk through the woods takes you to the sculpted rock of the Atluck Creek working its way though the limestone.  The boardwalk and stairs are very helpful and some have been recently replaced.  We enjoyed views of the Natural Bridge from both entrances, the River Cave, the Atluck Creek and the Bridge Cave.  The green water, scalloped and sculpted rock were beautiful.  (about 2.6km, 1½ hours)  Back at camp, quite a few bathed in the Lake, which wasn’t too cold,

The forecast had consistently called for afternoon showers and we escaped until Tuesday evening, when the real weather was expected.  The rain began lightly after 21:00 and increased and continued all night.  Wednesday morning, five of us made a short paddle on Woss Lake in marginal weather, before taking down the sodden camp gear and heading home.

Thanks to everyone for the food sharing, logging road driving, and general good time.  Having the only serious rain at night was a benefit for seeing this beautiful and not much visited area.

Debbie

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Multi-day Hiking – Woss Lookout and Huson Caves – 15-17 July 2019

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Trip Report – Kay DuBois Trail – 10 July 2019

The Heriot Ridge Loop was cancelled due to rain (slippery bluffs). Instead, we opted for an enjoyable hike along the Kay Dubois Trail. The rain had stopped as six people and Kona (the dog) met at the trailhead on Wa Wa Kie Road and followed the trail south along the ocean. After the night’s rain, the forest was humid, very green, almost jungle-like. Before heading up the hill to the south end of the trail at Sutil Road, we stopped at the beach access for a break and watched the rough waves breaking at the shoreline. At the end of Sutil Road, we followed logging roads east and north. On the road north that leads to the end of Fox Road, we spotted wolf poop and a small brown garter snake trying to find a patch of sun. Before reaching Fox Road, we turned east onto a small trail that winds its way back to the Kay Dubois Trail, connecting at the big mother spruce tree. From here it was short hike back to the vehicles. Our timing was good as it began to rain again. Thank you Norris for the photo-taking.  5.3 km;  1¾ hours.

– Janis

Hiking – Kay DuBois Trail – 10 July 2019

Trip Report – 5040 Peak – 2-4 July 2019

Fabulous.  But first you have to get there.  Everybody know that getting there is half the fun (and getting back is the other half).  It’s reputation proceeded us, notably the bad road and the steep trail.  The Alpine Club site said a 4×4 was required for the Marion Creek logging road, and others discussed whether high clearance was needed.  The logging road in is only 10 km, but most of it is quite rough.  We only expected the last part to be rough.  But there are a number of steep sections, right from the start, and those are always the worst.  We met a car coming out and they had parked before the last hill and walked the last 2 km.  So that’s what we decided to do.  As it turned out, the last 2 km were not that bad, or at least not any worse than the first part.  The vehicles driving in were either 4x4s, pickups, or beaters.

Day 1: The trail isn’t that bad — for the first 300 m, as it goes up through a logged section.  After that, it’s just a path and it goes straight uphill.  No switchbacks.  It’s not walking.  It’s more like climbing stairs and ladders, on rocks and tree roots.  It’s rough, but it’s not bushwacking.  It is steep.  There are two short stretches where a rope aid is provided.  We were climbing in the cloud and it was misty, wet and muggy.  We reached Cobalt Lake, but it was shrouded in the fog.  After that it was a short climb to the hut, also in the cloud.  The hut is very nice.  There was only our group of six the first night, so it was very spacious.  It has a wood pellet stove and solar panels and LED lights.  It seems to be very well insulated, so it was quite warm.  Everything is very well thought out and it is extremely well equipped.  Then in the evening, the surrounding peaks started to emerge and the hut popped into the sunshine, above the clouds.  That’s when we switched to feeling like the Greek gods on Mt. Olympus.  We had a beautiful sunset.  And the stars at night!  No moon, so we saw the Milky Way and everything.  (driving the road – 7.5 km; walking the road – 1.7 km, ½ hour; walking the trail – 3.3 km, 700 m elevation gain, 3½ hours)  (Some others can do it faster)

Day 2: Above the hut is some subalpine and then alpine with lots of rocky ridges to walk.  We went to the top of the 5040 peak, as it was peeking in and out of the cloud and then to some minor peaks along the ridge.  ( 4.1km, 344m elevation gain, 4¼ hours)  The wildflowers were excellent and much ahead of schedule.  The area looks great for further explorations with sufficient time.  It’s quite steep in places, with some hidden cliff bands.  Our walking was somewhat limited by the remaining steep snow bands and maps with insufficient contour detail.  But some in our group ventured out on the ridge toward Triple Peak (2.6 km, 115 m elevation gain, 2 hours) and the short ridge beyond the outhouse (0.6 km, ¼ hour).  Some returned to the summit after dinner, when the cloud level lowered and the views were clearer.  (1.9 km; 220 m elevation gain, 1½ hours)  The views are really impressive, with lots of nearby mountains like Nahmint and Klitsa as well as views as distant as the Golden Hinde.  That afternoon two couples from Comox arrived at the hut and one of those couples got engaged on the 5040 Peak summit.

Day 3: The final day was for the descent.  Nobody was really looking forward to that.  Sometimes it is harder going down.  We stopped at Cobalt Lake, which was beautiful in the morning light, but after that there aren’t any vistas.  The trail parallels, close by, a stream with cascades, waterfalls and canyons for much of the way.  The trail was slippery going down as it had been in the cloud for days.  Poles are highly recommended.  There is one point where the trail turns abruptly, around a big rock, and almost everybody misses that turn and continues straight down into the forest.  They catch on sooner or later as the trail fades out.  What you think of the trail to the hut will depend on your fitness, but Cobalt Lake, the hut and the 5040 alpine area make it all worth while.

Norris

Thanks to Norris and Stephen for the photos

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Multi-day Hiking – 5040 Peak – 22-4 July 2019

Hiking – Newton Lake and Waiatt Bay – 14 Aug 2019

Activity Hiking with swimming
Destination Newton Lake, Small Inlet and Waiatt Bay
Date 14 Aug 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Julie Mellanby
Contact Info 3978
Description We will hike up to Newton Lake, down to the portage between Small Inlet and Waiatt Bay and back to the Newton Lake parking lot. Distance about 15 kilometres – will take approximately 6-7 hours (including lunch and short swim stops at Newton Lake)
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot for carpooling
Departure Time 9:00
Difficulty
Moderate, with a steepish grade between the portage trail and Newton Lake.  Fairly long day.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs?
Notes: Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks, and swimming stuff if you want to swim.

Hiking – Stramberg Creek and North Grove – 7 Aug 2019

There may be a change of date or destination for this trip

Activity Hiking
Destination Stramberg Creek and North Grove
Date 7 Aug 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the trip coordinator prior to the trip.
Description We will begin at the Main Lakes Park parking access to Stramberg Lake and follow Little Main Road north, paralleling Stramberg Lake and Creek.  We will cross Stramberg Creek near Shadowbrook Creek and follow a flagged route north of the lake to a grove of old growth trees.  This is not a maintained trail.  Expect bushwhacking, deadfall and a creek crossing.  We will stop for a swim in Stramberg Lake on the way back.  About 12 km; 4.5 hours without the driving.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot, to arrange carpools
Departure Time 9:30
Difficulty
moderate
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and bathing gear if you want to swim.

Hiking – Morte Lake Loop – 24 July 2019

Activity Hiking
Destination Morte Lake Loop
Date 24 July 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Julie Mellanby
Contact Info 3978
Description We will hike the official Morte Lake loop, with opportunities for a picnic lunch and swimming.  4 to 5 hours.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay Store for car pooling
Departure Time 9:30
Difficulty
Easy to moderate.
Costs none
Trip limits none
Dogs? okay
Notes: Bring lunch and something to swim in, if you want to.

 

Trip Report – Mt. Sweat & Coast Mtn Lookout – 19 June 2019

We began the outing by exploring the Kellerhals’ farm from the barn down to the water, encountering gardens and farm animals on the way. Heather showed us the quickest way up to the Pond, taking old, wide logging roads and smaller paths. After admiring the Pond we began the route up Mt. Sweat. This clambers up a steep bluff and then undulates along a ridge to a wonderful lookout with views through 270°. The day was mostly sunny and very windy from the northwest. We stopped for lunch and then followed a very basic route, steeply down to Kolker Main. We soon left the logging road and re-entered the Kellerhals property, following an old, wide trail to the Coast Mountain Lookout. After descending back to the farm, we stopped to enjoy Heather’s wonderful trees and her garden. She then invited us to sit on her deck and enjoy some refreshments. It was a lovely, social day.  7.3 km; about 4 hours moving time.

Debbie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Mt. Sweat & Coast Mtn Lookout – 19 June 2019