Trip Report – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21-23 August 2017

We had not done this hike before, so it was all new to us. We hiked up the trail to Arnica Lake from the trailhead at the Nystar Mine. The trail is probably the best constructed trail in Strathcona Park, with an excellent grade (100 m per km) up a very steep slope through a beautiful open understory forest, and many, many switchbacks. We barely noticed the solar eclipse in the forest. There are some lovely old growth trees and some waterfalls along the way. It was a hot day and the total elevation gain to the campsite is 850 metres, so it is a bit of work. (9 km; 5 hours) The Lake and the surrounding meadows are fabulous, although most of the wildflowers were past their prime. The parking lot had about 25 cars in it and there were lots of people on the trail, but we were the only ones in the campground the first night. Just after 7:00 pm, as it got very quiet, a helicopter landed on the lake shore and a SAR guy emerged to ask us if we had seen a lone hiker, reported overdue. We said that he had hiked through about an hour before, so hopefully that turned out well. The stars overnight were fabulous.

The next day dawned sunny, but summer clouds came in by noon. We had planned to hike to Mt. Phillips and expected to find a faint path leading to a cairned route. Even with a GPS track, it was obviously going to be a bushwhack and there was a black bear sitting where we wanted to go. So we opted for Plan B, which was to go up the other Phillips Ridge route which heads toward the Golden Hinde. This is an incredibly popular destination this summer and has lots of hikers. The route winds up through forest and meadow until it emerges on the rocky alpine ridge with great views in all directions. There are many lovely lakes along the way. Progress is a bit slow with some steep, loose gravel sections. Further on there are significant descents to multiple lakes as one nears the Golden Hinde. We went up along Phillips Ridge to 1600 metres before turning around and returning to camp at Arnica Lake. (14.8 km; 8 hours).

It rained quite hard at 8:00 the next morning, and we had breakfast and broke camp in light rain. We hiked back down the hill in increasingly sunny conditions. (8.9 km; 3 ¾)  This is a beautiful area and would be worth an extended trip.

Debbie

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Backpacking – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21-4 Aug 2017

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Backpacking – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21 – 24 August 2017

 This trip may be postponed due to heat, visibility, air quality as well as forest fire danger.

Activity Backpacking
Destination Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge
Date 21 – 24 August 2017, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the trip coordinator by August 14th.
Description Either three or four days hiking and camping in Strathcona Park. Backpack from the Phillips Ridge trailhead up on a gradual trail with many switchbacks to Arnica Lake to camp (about 12 km; 845m elevation gain).  Day trip(s) up Phillips Ridge for views.
Meeting Place Ferry terminal to Campbell River
Departure Time 07:05 ferry
Difficulty Strenuous
Costs Shared fuel and ferry costs, $10/person/night for back country camping
Trip limits Three tents maximum
Dogs?  no
Notes: The first day will be very long with the ferry, the drive and a long up-hill day. It’s possible that we could camp at Ralph River the night before.

Hiking – Forbidden Plateau plus Nymph Falls – 1 Aug 2017

Postponed

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Becher
Date 1 August 2017, Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info Please RSVP to qioutdoorclub@gmail.com or 3710 if interested; please contact the coordinator by Sunday in order to assure car pooling
Description The plan is to go to Mt Becher which is on the SE corner of Forbidden Plateau. The trail goes from theold Plateau Ski Lodge up to the sub-alpine summit (1390 m). There is a view down to Boston Lake and views over Forbidden Plateau, Comox Lake, Georgia Strait and the norther Gulf Islands from the top.  On the return, we plan to stop at Nymph Falls to admire the Puntledge River and swim (for those that want to).
Meeting Place Q Cove Ferry parking area
Departure Time Early enough for the 8:00 ferry
Difficulty
Moderate to strenuous;  about 13.5 km return, 580 m elevation gain, about 7 hours
Costs Shared gas and ferry fee
Trip limits None
Dogs? Dogs would need to be on leash in Strathcona Park
Notes: Bring lunch, gear for changes in weather, poles if you use them.  If you plan to swim at Nymph Falls, bring that gear too.

 

Snow – Mt Washington – 29 March 2017

 POSTPONED

Activity Snow
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 29 March 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Lynda Van der Minne
Contact Info 250-285-2231 or lyndirkv@gicable.com;  please contact the coordinator by Sunday night
Description This will be a late season snowshoe trip to Mt. Washington, probably to Paradise Meadows.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River.  Car pools should be arranged in advance.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry to Campbell River.  Those taking cars need to be early enough to get on the 9:00 ferry.
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry, shared fuel and the trail pass.  The snowshoe day pass is $10 or $28 if you rent equipment.
Trip limits Availability of cars going up to Mt. Washington.
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring equipment, warm clothing and lunch.

 

Trip Report – Mt Washington – 8 Feb 2017

Three of us snow-shoed at Mt. Washington on Wednesday. The clouds were low, but the snow was excellent. It was absolutely a winter wonderland, with snow clinging to branches and bark in the forest. We crossed Paradise Meadows on the Old Cabin and Crooked Creek trails before taking the summer trail up to Battleship Lake. The trail had been well used, so it was easy to follow. It was completely quiet in the forest and we met very few people. We continued over the Lake and through the forest to Lake Helen Mackenzie. The steep descent was great in the deep powder. We crossed some of the Lake and then had lunch in a sheltered spot out of the wind. Around 1:00 it began to snow lightly. We returned to Paradise Meadows and completed the Old Cabin Loop. 8.1 km; 3 hours.

Debbie

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Snow – Mt Washington 8 Feb 2017

Snow – Mt Washington – 8 Feb 2017

Activity Snow
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 8 February 2017, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator QIOC
Contact Info qioutdoorclub@gmail.com;  please e-mail by Sunday night
Description We are planning to snowshoe, but other activities are possible if enough people and vehicles want to go.  We will probably go to the Paradise Meadow area.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River.  Car pools should be arranged in advance.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry to Campbell River.  Those taking cars need to be early enough to get on the 9:00 ferry.
Difficulty
Up to the group.
Costs Ferry, shared fuel and the activity pass, if we go to the prepared trails.  The snowshoe day pass is $10; Cross-country ski pass is $22 or $18 for seniors.
Trip limits Availability of cars going up to Mt. Washington to a maximum of 12
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring equipment, warm clothing and lunch.

 

Trip Report – Mt. Albert Edward – 25-27 Aug 2016

For the effort it takes to get to the top of Mt. Albert Edward, you want to get the reward, the great view. The weather forecast was for hot and sunny. Up until the last moment and then it changed to cloudy and rain, so we moved the trip a few days earlier so we would only have rain on the walk out, with luck. So four of us packed up our backpacks and headed in to Circlet Lake via Helen Mackenzie Lake. It was 34°C in Campbell River that day, but not so hot at the higher elevation we were at. But we went swimming in Circlet Lake when we got there. We got a couple of the tent pads near the lake since we beat the weekend crowds. The next day we got up to clear sky and headed up the mountain a bit after 8:00 to beat the heat. That was the theory anyway, we drank all the water we carried that day and wished we had more. It melted our chocolate. The hike starts with a steep gravel gully, but after that it’s a wonderful hike across sub-alpine meadows and up and along a steady ridge to the summit with great views to both sides. You can see the top of Albert Edward from just about anywhere and so from the top you can see just about everywhere. We had lunch on the summit. There are spectacular mountains all around. Luckily, it was a very clear day and neither we nor they were in clouds. More swimming once back at Circlet Lake. The next day dawned sunny and we put on our backpacks again and hiked out via the string of lakes, pausing to pick and eat blueberries along the way, to Battleship Lake, where we again paused to put our toes in the water. By this time clouds were building up, but the rain held off until the next day when we were home.

In to Circlet Lake 11.1 km, 5 hours, approx 100m elevation gain. Up to Mt. Albert Edward and back 14.7 km, 9¼ hours, approx 900m elevation gain to 2101m. Return via the Lakes 13.0 km, 5½ hours.

Norris

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Backpacking – Mt. Albert Edward – 25-27 Aug 2016