Trip Report – Forbidden Plateau – 21 Sept 2022

Four enthusiastic hikers enjoyed an absolutely perfect Fall Equinox Day as we hiked in Paradise Meadows/Forbidden Plateau. Our ultimate destination was Kwai Lake, via the circle route through Paradise Meadows and past Lake Helen Mackenzie. Taking the 8 am ferry, we were on the trail by 9:20 am.

We enjoyed a pleasant break at Lake Helen Mackenzie with stunningly beautiful reflections of the surrounding hills.  Debbie had wisely suggested we go counter-clockwise, as we always seem to go clockwise when hiking in this area. Even though this meant going uphill on the dreaded “Helen Mackenzie headwall”, it was still better than stumbling down the steep, rooty, eroded trail at the end of a long hike.

We were not the only ones enjoying the early autumn sunshine, as the number of cars in the parking lot attested. We encountered several backpackers on their way out, two school groups camping in the backcountry group camps, and many day-hikers like ourselves.  At Kwai Lake we found a quiet grassy area on the southwest shore for lunch, away from a large school group taking their break on the rocky outcropping on the opposite shore.  After lunch, we completed the circle, passing Croteau, Lady, Kooso and Battleship Lakes. Some sections of this circle route are boardwalk, protecting wetlands and tree roots, the rest varies from pleasant forest paths to very eroded, rooty trails.  About 6½ hours, approximately 17 km.

Valerie van Veen

Thanks to Valerie and Norris for the photos

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Strathcona Park – 21 Sept 2022

Hiking – Strathcona Park – 21 Sept 2021

Activity Hiking
Destination Strathcona Park
Date 21 Sept, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie Van Veen
Contact Info 250 285 2329 vvv@qisland.ca
Description Celebrate the fall equinox on the beautiful Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Park. Starting from Raven Lodge we will aim for Kwai Lake following well-established trails. A full day – about 20 km return. Maybe a group dinner in CR? Weather dependent.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal to arrange carpools as desired
Departure Time 8:00 am ferry
Difficulty
Moderate to challenging due to length
Costs Ferry
Trip limits 10
Dogs? Must be on leash in the Park
Notes: This trip is weather dependent. Must contact coordinator by Monday evening, Sept. 19.

Trip Report – Mt. Drabble – 12 Aug 2022

Five of us hiked to the top of  Mt. Drabble (1,363 m).  We caught an early ferry and drove to the turn off near Ramparts Hill chain-up area on the way to Mt. Washington.  That gives access to the Murex Main logging road (no signs) which was in good condition.  We met a wide-track excavator working on the road and ditches, who kindly moved to the side to let us by.  We parked where the road starts to get really steep and eroded.  Theoretically you could drive 1.9 km further (and 210 m elevation gain) to the trailhead, but we walked.  The trail is well established, with flagging, reflectors and cairns.  It ascends the rocky, sub-alpine ridge and passes a number of ponds.  Lovely to look at, but not appealing for swimming.

The views of the Strathcona Park mountains were great.  There are also views back over Georgia Strait/Salish Sea; we could make out Quadra in the haze.  We reached the summit by 11:00 and stopped for lunch.  Brent set up his radio and antenna and made a contact.  It’s a very enjoyable hike over this long, undulating ridge.  The hardest part was walking down the steep logging road with loose gravel.  Altogether it was 11.7 km, 5½ hours, 450 m elevation gain (from bottom to top), but more overall with the undulations.

Norris

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Mt. Drabble – 12 Aug 2022

Hiking – Mt. Drabble, Strathcona Park – 10 Aug 2022

Re-scheduled to Friday, Aug 12th, with an earlier start time.

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Drabble, Strathcona Park
Date 12 10 Aug, Friday 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 7:05 8:00 am ferry; drivers need to be early to ensure loading.
Difficulty
Challenging for the length of the day, elevation and altitude gain.
Costs Ferry, shared fuel costs.
Trip limits
Dogs? No
Notes: We will not do this trip in poor weather.  This is a long day.  Come prepared for mountain conditions.

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 16 Mar 2022

 
Our small group enjoyed a beautiful spring day at Mt. Washington.  It was not crowded in spite of Spring Break.  There was fresh snow on a crusty base for the snowshoe trails.  We crossed Paradise Meadows and climbed the well used trail up to Battleship Lake where we had sun, cloud and snow showers.  The lake was lovely, but a bit breezy and we sheltered on an island for lunch.  The light and silence at the lakes were wonderful.  We traversed Battleship Lake over consolidated snow so that we could easily take any route we wished.  We followed a rise through the forest over to Lake Helen MacKenzie and followed the lake to the mid-point.  We then more or less followed the summer trail back to Paradise Meadows. We stopped in the uncrowded Raven Lodge for a snack before heading home.  7.4 km, 3¼ hours.
 
 
Debbie
 

(click on photos to enlarge)

Snow – Mt. Washington – 16 Mar 2022

Snow – Mt. Washington – 16 Mar 2022

Activity Snow shoeing
Destination Mt. Washington area
Date 16 Mar, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description Snowshoe or cross-country ski at the Mt Washington area, depending on the group and interests.  We might snowshoe up to the Lakes, as we have not done that yet this year.  We expect recent snow and temperatures near freezing.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry.  Drivers need to be early to board.
Difficulty
Moderate, depending on choices and conditions.
Costs Ferry, fuel (!!!) and likely a Mt Washington snow shoe trail pass at $12
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: We will not go if rain is forecast at 1,000m.  Bring lunch and gear appropriate for the weather.

Snow – Mt. Washington – 15 Feb 2022

Activity Snow shoeing
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 15 Feb, Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info vvv@qisland.ca;  250 285 2329
Description Snowshoe Mt Washington trails.  There is a trail pass charge (see below).  Mt Washington trails are excellent and very beautiful.
Meeting Place Parking lot just off highway at Mt Washington turnoff
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry, fuel and Mt Washington show shoe trail pass $12
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: Excellent trails for all levels of experience. Snowshoes can be rented at the Nordic Centre, https://www.mountwashington.ca/snowshoeing.html to book ahead. Must register by Monday night to participate. Bring lunch, snacks. Participants are expected to carry the usual winter safety gear for this sport.

Snow – Mt. Washington – 16 Feb 2022

This trip needs a new coordinator and possibly a new destination.

Activity Snow shoeing or cross country skiing
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 16 Feb, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710;  Please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description We will go either to Rampart Hill or Mt. Washington depending on the group and conditions.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry;  drivers need to be early to board.
Difficulty
Moderate, depending on conditions.
Costs Ferry and fuel. If we go to Mt Washington the snow shoe trail pass is $12 and the x-country ski pass is $20 for seniors.
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for winter conditions,  Let the coordinator know if you need to rent gear.  It’s best not to assume that we will have lunch indoors.

Snow – Mt. Washington – 19 Jan 2022

Activity Snow shoeing
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 19 Jan, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info vvv@qisland.ca;  250 285 2329
Description Snowshoe Mt Washington trails.  There is a trail pass charge (see below).  Mt Washington trails are excellent and very beautiful.
Meeting Place Parking lot just off highway at Mt Washington turnoff
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry, fuel and Mt Washington show shoe trail pass $12
Trip limits None
Dogs? No
Notes: If you are new to snowshoeing please contact coordinator, I would love to take you out on Mt W trails. Snowshoes can be rented at the Nordic Centre, https://www.mountwashington.ca/snowshoeing.html to book ahead. Must register by Monday night to participate. Bring lunch, snacks. Participants are expected to carry the usual winter safety gear for this sport.

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