Trip Report – Carrington Bay, Cortes – 23 Jan 2019

Eight of us had spectacular weather for our trip to the Children’s Forest on Cortes Island, including Carrington Bay and the Grandmother’s Grove.  We took the 9:05 ferry to Cortes and the views of Sutil Channel, the mainland and Vancouver Island mountains couldn’t have been better.  We were met by Sabina who guided us through the forest and told us so much about the efforts of the community to acquire this forest, so that this incredibly diverse and important habitat can remain intact. Sabina shared her amazing knowledge about so many topics including lichen and moss, wolves, wildlife trees, flying squirrels and owls and so much more.  We continued on to Carrington Bay and the tidal lagoon, and crossed the narrow channel through which the tide was rushing out.  We walked to the swim rock and sat in the sun for a leisurely lunch admiring the mergansers, golden eye ducks and a curious seal.  From there we continued on to Grandmothers Grove, a beautiful old growth stand of spruce and cedar, in the James Creek watershed which also supports cutthroat trout and spawning salmon. The greens of the mosses were vibrant after all the recent rain.  We followed the trail and logging roads back in a loop and made a short variation on the James Creek Trail before returning to the vehicles and the ferry. 10.4 km; 5 hours.

Thanks so much to Margot for organizing this event and to Sabina for sharing her enthusiasm and knowledge with us.

Debbie

(click on photos to view larger)

Here is a short video of the area using mostly drone footage:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-zs5BjQo2U

Hiking – Carrington Bay – 23 Jan 2019

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Hiking – Carrington Bay – 23 Jan 2019

Activity Hiking
Destination Carrington Bay, Cortes Island
Date 23 January 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Margot Wood
Contact Info tel 250.285.2393.  Please contact the coordinator well in advance of the trip, so that car pools can be arranged.
Description Sabina is going to join us to be our guide and naturalist. This will be a great treat; Sabina is always filled with marine and environmental knowledge. We will drive to Carrington trailhead and proceed on the trails to Carrington Bay. This deeply cut bay is magnificent with the adjoining lagoon. Glaciers receded over the shoreline of Carrington Bay 10,000 years ago; lots to see and learn. We will have lunch at Carrington Bay and continue on to Grandmother’s Grove following the stream. We plan to return on the 3:50 p.m ferry.
Meeting Place Cortes ferry line-up.
Departure Time 9:05 a.m ferry; vehicles need to be in the ferry line-up not later than 8:15 a.m as this is a busy sailing.
Difficulty
Easy to moderate.
Costs Ferry travel costs; bring your experience card and ID
Trip limits
Dogs? no
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather.

Trip Report – Two Mines and Some Karst – 12 Dec 2018

Having decided that Mt. Washington needed more snow before we make that trip, we substituted this outing.  Seven of us visited a number of caves and karst formations at the north end of Quadra Island.  We started at the Lucky Jim mine, an historic gold, silver and copper mine, which is well signed and has been made safe with gratings over the vertical shafts.  The steam donkey is huge and in good condition considering it was installed in about 1910.   We next visited a mine off of Open Bay Main, which we know very little about.  The horizontal shaft is in good condition. We continued to a karst cave with excellent marbling and were impressed by the risks inherent in the nearby grikes or eroded fissures in the limestone. 

After lunch in the parking area we cut over to the Granite Bay Road and an area of sink holes.  We started at a very large sinkhole with a lovely waterfall and then moved a short distance south for a walk following a creek which is insurgent and resurgent in the limestone.  There are areas where the creek seems to have re-routed for it no longer emerges.  The large sinkholes and walls are impressive.  We didn’t walk very far, but took our time enjoying the sites and the incredible green forest at this time of year.  A bit more than four hours, without the drive out.

Debbie

Photos by Norris

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Exploring – Two Mines and Some Karst – 12 Dec 2018

Exploring – Two Mines and Some Karst – 12 Dec 2018

Activity Exploring
Destination Two Mines and Some Karst Formations
Date 12 December 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca; please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip
Description We will visit an old mine off of Open Bay Main, a limestone cave and grikes in the limestone.  We will also stop at the Lucky Jim mine before continuing on to some sinkhole formations.
The weather is forecast to be very rainy in the afternoon.  Having three sites gives us the flexibility to alter plans if necessary.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot for car pooling.  This will involve some driving on logging roads.
Departure Time 9:30 am
Difficulty
easy; this will more a visit to multiple sites than a lot of exercise.
Costs
Trip limits none
Dogs? No
Notes: Be prepared for wet.  Bring a good flashlight if you have one.

 

Trip Report – Woss Lookout & Little Huson Caves – 26 July 2018

The original plan was to hike to Woss Lookout in the morning to beat the extreme summer heat. But, unexpectedly, when we drove north on Highway 19, it was overcast and quite cool, so we continued on to the Little Huson Caves first. These karst features in Quatsino limestone are very beautifully sculpted into complex shapes with the Atluk Creek running through it. We took the short walk to the northern viewpoint first and explored the big opening in the natural bridge over the River “Cave”. The trail also leads to the south opening of the bridge with even more opportunity to see the sculpted limestone. With the low water and dry weather there are lots of possibilities for exploring. We also visited the Bridge Cave before walking to Little Huson Lake.

We then drove south to the rough logging road leading to the Woss Lookout trailhead. Once the skies cleared at noon, it was already hot. We walked up the upper logging road switchbacks and then took the trail through the forest up to the summit. This is a short, steep hike with lots of rope available for assistance. There were wonderful blueberries and purple huckleberries on the way up. At the summit we enjoyed the excellent restoration of the lookout tower, a very refreshing afternoon breeze, and fantastic view in nearly 360°. The historical photos from 1948 are very interesting. The location of the tower was great as a fire lookout, but also for views. The conical hill is a focus for five valleys. For the hike: 4.4 km; 2¾ hours; 376 m elevation gain; 35% incline in the steep section.

Debbie

Thanks to Norris and Les for the photos, which were updated on August 25th.

(click on photos to view larger)

Hiking – Woss Lookout & Little Huson Caves – 27 July 2018

Trip Report – Caves near Sayward- 23 May 2018

Eight of us met Bill, our all-knowing-guide, at the beginning of the long, dusty logging road into Cave Land.  Bill took us through Chicken II, a standing-room passage way leading to interesting geology.  After which a short drive took us to Scallop Falls Cave.  We spent slightly over an hour winding single file through narrow, curving, scalloped marble passages, with water running through them.  We scrambled, manoeuvred and slithered up to the top of the falls.  The beautiful limestone cave features and the contortions to navigate the route were impressive.  We debriefed together over lunch at Bill’s new campground.  As the adventure drew to an end, the participants felt a unified sense of accomplishment. .

Cyndy

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Thanks to Norris, Cyndy and Bill for their photos

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 23 May 2018

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 23 May 2018

Activity Natural History – Caving
Destination Sayward area caves
Date 23 May 2018, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Cyndy Chidley
Contact Info Cyndy Chidley: 250-285-3575
Bill West-Sells: 1-778-860-3131
Description Introductory caving (with some challenges) on north Vancouver Island.  Challenges include bridging, climbing, stretching, wriggling, not to mention small, dark places.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry or possibly the 8:00 to Campbell River
Difficulty Depends on the group
Costs Ferry and shared gas
Trip limits 12
Dogs?
Notes:
Wear rubber boots or wool sock with runners that you don’t mind getting wet, but you will have cold feet. Bring coveralls, a helmet that you are able to fit with head light and a head light, if you can get one.  Bill has some extras that he will bring.  Flexible gloves, if you have them. A change of shoes and socks. A lunch and water.  If you have a  walkie-talkie or VHF radio, please bring it with charged batteries.