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

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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.

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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.

Trip Report – Memekay Caves – 31 May 2017

Seven of us had a great trip to the Memekay Caves. We visited two caves: Chicken II and Scallop Falls. Bill, our guide from Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group, was full of stories and information. He made us feel at ease as we made our way through the long narrow passages. There were some challenges in the second cave as we climbed, bridged and wriggle through the narrow tunnel with water running through it. We marvelled at the rock formations and Scallop Falls. After lunch we took a short walk along the East Memekay River.

Cyndy

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Thanks to Norris, Bill & Cyndy, Mitch and Sameen for contributing their photos

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 31 May 2017

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 31 May 2017

Activity Natural History – Caving
Destination East Memekay Caves
Date 31 May 2017, 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.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal in time for the 8:00 am ferry
Departure Time 8:00 am ferry to Campbell River
Difficulty
First cave “Chicken II” – easy; second cave “Scallop Falls” – moderate.
Costs Ferry and shared gas
Trip limits 12
Dogs? Possible; check on carpooling
Notes:
Wear rubber boots or runners that you don’t mind getting wet. 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.  Not essential, but whoever has a walkie talkie, or VHF radio, please bring it with charged batteries.  The more we have of these the better.