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.

Norris

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Mt. Elma – 28 July 2021

Hiking – Mt. Drabble, Strathcona Park – 6 Oct 2021

This hike has been postponed until Friday, 8 Oct.  Stay in touch with the coordinator.

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Drabble, Strathcona Park
Date 8 Oct, Friday 6 Oct, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca; 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 8:00 am ferry; drivers need to be early to ensure loading.
Difficulty
Moderate to challenging for the length of the day, elevation and altitude gain.
Costs Ferry
Trip limits
Dogs? No
Notes: This is a long day, now that the days are shorter than the nights.  Come prepared for mountain conditions.

Hiking – Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Park – 26 Aug 2021

Postponed due to weather.

Activity Hiking
Destination Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Park
Date 26 Aug, Thursday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329 vvv@qisland.ca
Description Anyone up for a hike in Strathcona Park this coming Thursday??? A moderate hike in Paradise Meadows , about 4-5 hours.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 8:00 am ferry
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry
Trip limits None, see Description above: must follow Club Covid rules while walking, must sit in groups of 6 max , distance as needed
Dogs? Must be on leash in the Park
Notes: A chance to get out in Strathcona. Leave on 8 am ferry, stop at Dave’s in Willow Point for a treat to take up the mountain. Bring Lunch, water.

Hiking – Mt. Elma, Strathcona Park – 28 July 2021

This trip has been postponed

 

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Elma, Strathcona Park
Date 28 July, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710; Please contact the coordinator by Monday evening.
Description We will hike from Raven Lodge up to Battleship Lake and continue on the Forbidden Plateau trail, passing Lady Lake.  The trail up Mt. Elma is not an official, maintained trail.   The Mt. Elma summit  is 1,420m and will have good views in all directions, weather permitting.  Approximately 13 km and 420 m elevation gain.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 8:00 ferry.
Difficulty
Moderate to challenging
Costs Ferry and fuel
Trip limits 10
Dogs? No
Notes: If you wish to car pool, please make your own arrangements in this COVID transition period.  This trip will only proceed in reasonable weather.  Rain or extreme heat will be avoided. Bring lunch and appropriate gear.

Trip Report – Strathcona Park-Ralph River – 15-18 June 2021

When the kayak trip to Bligh Island unraveled, the remnants of that trip booked into the Ralph River campground at the last minute.  This was not a carefully scripted trip; we mostly made it up as we went along.

Day 1 – After a late start and a ferry overload wait, we arrived at 3:00 at the campground, set up the tent amongst the amazing old growth trees in the Ralph River campground, and left to begin hiking at 4:00.  Given the time available, we explored some of the trailheads in that area: the Auger Point Traverse (steep), Shepherd Creek route (impressive canyon), Flower Ridge, and Price Creek (river views, then follows an old level road for a while).

(click to enlarge photos)

Day 2 – We hiked up the Buttle Bluffs and Park Main logging roads from the Western Mine road.  These are steep, gated roads surrounded by clear-cuts, but they provide excellent views and a rapid approach to higher elevation destinations.  The spring flowers were still quite good, the geology was fascinating, and there is an excellent water falls at 5 km.  The views of the Buttle Lake valley are really exceptional.  We continued about 7.5 km and 840 meters elevation gain, until we crossed a high point in the road and could see into the next valley surrounded by high mountains.

Day 3 –  We planned to kayak on Jim Mitchell Lake, but that didn’t work out because the condition of the Jim Mitchell Road changes from 2-wheel drive to 4-wheel drive at the Bedwell trailhead.  We didn’t have the right vehicles, so we walked up the road to see the Lake.  We returned part way down the road and then followed the Bedwell Trail out through a beautiful old forest to Thelwood Creek and the suspension bridge for lunch.  After lunch we drove just a bit further and walked the short approach to Lower Myra Falls.  This is always a beautiful falls, with great rock ledges and pools.  There was lots of water coming through the falls with the spring run-off.  The final short hike of the day was the Shepherd Creek loop, which leaves from the Ralph River bridge.  This short trail has a lot of variety with the river, some big trees, a mossy bluff, a wetland, and interesting saprophytes and fungus.  We still had time to explore the campground which is nestled in a beautiful forest between the Ralph River and Buttle Lake with lots of shoreline and views.  There were other folks from Quadra so the evenings were very social.

Day 4 –  We packed up the camping gear and drove to the Buttle Lake boat launch to kayak on the Lake.  We crossed to Rainbow Island in a freshening breeze.  At the moment it’s not an island because the water level in Buttle Lake is quite low.  We paddled to the south, sheltered side, explored a bit and had lunch.  There was a racing shell boat practicing in the lake.  After lunch we poked around some cliffs and an island to the south before returning to the boat launch.  Further exploration would be great, but more water and less wind would have been ideal.

This is an exceptionally beautiful area with access to amazing hiking at the Lake level or in the surrounding mountains.  The combination of the fjord-like lakes, the mature forests and the numerous mountains makes this a wonderful base for hiking and boating.

Debbie

Hiking – Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Park – 16 Sept 2020

This trip was cancelled due to smoke.

Activity Hiking
Destination Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Park
Date 16 Sept, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329 vvv@qisland.ca; contact coordinator by Monday evening, Sept 14
Description We will hike around Paradise Meadows … no particular destination, just fresh air and exercise, a chance to enjoy a late summer day in beautiful Strathcona, maybe some wildflowers out, maybe some blueberries still around. A lake swim an option if good weather. Bring lunch, dress for mountain weather.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry and fuel
Trip limits 10
Dogs? Must be on leash in the Park
Notes: Must contact coordinator by Monday evening, Sept 14. Trip depends on weather, cancelled if rain.

Snow – Mt Washington – 19 February 2020

This trip was cancelled.

Activity Snow sports
Destination Mt. Washington, Raven Lodge
Date 19 February 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info vicgladish@gmail.com; 250-285-2111; (cell 250-287-0459)
Description  We will x-country ski and/or snowshoe from Raven Lodge. Skiers and snowshoers will decide on their routes once we are at the Lodge.
Carpools will need to be arranged in advance so, if you can drive and take passengers, please let the coordinator know at least a week in advance (vicgladish@gmail.com).
Meeting Place Q-Cove Ferry; Drivers need to be on time to make the busy 9:00 AM sailing.
Departure Time 9:00 AM ferry from Quathiaski Cove
Difficulty
Costs Ferry, shared fuel and nordic passes.  The passes are more economical when purchased as a six pack.
Trip limits Depends on number of vehicles going. Please register early with vicgladish@gmail.com
Dogs? No
Notes: Please let the coordinator know by Feb 15th if you plan to go, which sport, drive or not.
If you want to be a driver BE ADVISED: The BC Ministry of Transportation require all vehicles on Strathcona Parkway to be equipped with good winter tires and have chains available to use if the chain-up light is on.
Bring equipment, warm clothing and lunch. Double check your equipment before leaving home.

 

Snow – Mt Washington – 22 January 2020

Activity Snow
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 22 January 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710; please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description  We are expecting early season conditions.  This will probably be a snowshoe outing.  Whether we go to Ramparts Hill or the Raven Lodge area depends on the group interests.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River.  Car pools need to be arranged in advance.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry.  Drivers should be in line early.
Difficulty
Depends
Costs Ferry, shared fuel, and the cost of the nordic pass if we go to Raven Lodge.
Trip limits Availability of cars going up to Mt. Washington.  Drivers should have chains.
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring your gear for the conditions and lunch.

 

Trip Report – Forbidden Plateau – 16 Sept 2019

Four of us headed out into Paradise Meadows on a nice autumn morning after a weekend of heavy rain.  The first part of our loop went quickly on good boardwalk from which we could appreciate the bogs, ponds, meadows and lakes and their flora without tramping through mud.  After passing Battleship, Kooso, Lady Lakes and numerous meadows, we had lunch at Croteau group campsite and yurt.  As the forecast rain held off, we decided to hike the Kwai Lake Loop, so we continued on to Kwai Lake and up the hill to the Ranger cabin. Passing through a meadow surrounded by blueberries and huckleberries, we surprised two  black bears: a mom and cub.  The long descent to Helen Mackenzie Lake is through forest and features roots, rocks and mud.  This section always seems endless.  However, on the plus side, there were many varieties of mushrooms to admire.  And it didn’t rain until we got back to the car.    17.2km; 187m elevation gain; 6 hours, 

On the drive back to Campbell River a large black bear cub ran across the four lane highway in front of us, near Black Creek, with a big mama bear watching from the ditch.

Norris

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Forbidden Plateau – 16 Sept 2019

Hiking – Strathcona Park – 16 Sept 2019

Activity Hiking
Destination Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Park
Date 16 Sept 2019, Monday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Information norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710
Description Weather permitting, a ramble through Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Park to admire fall colours and any late flowers. Bring lunch and water.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry; be early if you are driving as this will be a busy sailing
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry costs and shared fuel
Trip limits none
Dogs? Must be on leash in Paradise Meadows
Notes: Please contact the coordinator by Saturday night in order to arrange carpooling.  Bring lunch and gear appropriate for the weather.  The trip will be postponed if serious rain is forecast.