Trip Report – Maud Island – 24 June 2017

Seven of us hiked to Maud Island to see Seymour Narrows at the most current of the whole year, a 15.9 knot flood.  It was also on perhaps the hottest day so far this year, but beautifully sunny.  Fortunately most of this walk is in a cool, shaded forest.

We could hear the tidal action from quite a distance away, while we were still on Mt. Lolo.  And at the viewpoint we could look down at the white/green water along the shore.  Not surprisingly, there were no boats passing through the Narrows, but a half dozen jet-skis came through at max current.  Four hours; 10.5 km.

Norris

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Hike – Maud Island – 24 June 2017

Trip Report – Beech’s Mountain Loop – 21 June 2017

With the arrival of a strong high pressure ridge and the first day of summer, the time was right to hike the Beech’s Mountain loop. Eight hikers and two dogs climbed Beech’s Mountain via the South Chinese Trail. Beech’s trail follows a series of rock bluffs between fir and hemlock forested sections, with arguably the best views of any trail on the Island, scanning the far distance to the south, west and east at various viewpoints.   The dry weather was welcome, since there are several steep sections on rock. After numerous photo stops and a rest at the top, the group continued on a route only, descending the north side and dropping down to an old logging road. After about fifteen minutes on the road, we followed a convoluted route over another series of bluffs which brought us to the North Chinese Mountain trail. From here, it was a straightforward walk down the steep trail to the parking lot.  The second half of this loop is not recommended unless hiking with someone who knows the route down the far side of Beech’s Mountain. The Davidson’s penstemons at the top were sadly all but finished blooming, but there was columbine, yarrow, saxiphrage, brodiaea, yellow monkey flower and veronica along the way. Total time was four and a half hours; 6.9 km.

Janis

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Hiking – Beech’s Mtn Loop – 14 June 2017

Trip Report – Shellalligan Trail – 14 June 2017

The scheduled Beech’s Mountain loop was postponed due to a weather forecast of showers. Instead the group of eight hikers and two dogs hiked the Shellalligan trail. As it turned out, the weather was fine – cloudy and a bit breezy in exposed places, but no rain. We walked along the open rock shelves adjacent to Hoskyn Channel, with good views eastward to Read Island and Dunsterville Island. Further along, we had long views south to Marina Island, Mitlenatch Island and beyond. As the trail turned west and inland a bit we entered Village Bay. Sitka spruce made an appearance along the trail, and numerous very large and gorgeous maple trees greeted the group.   We dropped down to a rocky beach on Village Bay for lunch. The second half of the loop took us through varied forest of different species and age classes, very lush and green at this time of year. Trip time was three hours; 4.7 km. We convened at the home of Valerie and Allard Van Veen in Open Bay for tea and cake, with great views of Open Bay and good conversation. Thank you Valerie!

Janis

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Trip Report – Kayak Training – 6 June 2017

QIOC has endeavoured to offer a kayak rescue training session every year as part of our ongoing quest to improve paddler safety and skills. This year, we offered two sessions – one for kayak rescue and a second for edging and maneuvering. Six members took the morning rescue session, where we learned how to rescue another kayaker in the event of an upset, and two more joined three of the morning group for an afternoon of edging skills and new strokes including sweeping, sculling draw, stern rudder, bow rudder and the low brace turn – and various combinations. Under the auspices of Coast Mountain Expeditions, Doug Taylor led the training sessions (for a second year) accompanied by Krista Wall.

All participants were very enthusiastic, praising the support and patience of both instructors (not everybody is absolutely thrilled to turn themselves upside down….). Doug and Krista were also very helpful in advising how to properly rig kayaks for assisted and self-rescue.

The water seemed a bit chillier than last year, but the weather was warm and sunny.

Thanks to Lannie (Coast Mountain), Doug and Krista for a great day, and to all participants – improving our safety skills helps us, and all our fellow paddlers!

Darcy Mitchell

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Kayaking Training – Main Lakes Provincial Park – 6 June 2017

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

Trip Report – Hopespring – Homewood Loop – 24 May 2017

Ten hikers and three dogs enjoyed a three and a half hour hike on a loop of trails and routes in the Heriot Ridge area. The weather was sunny and cool with a brisk northwest wind blowing. Starting at the Hopespring trailhead, we walked up to the height of land, then headed south along Heriot Ridge. Our first stop was the location of the new North Island communication tower. From there we dropped off the south end of the ridge and proceeded south through the woods to High Bluff where we had great views south and west.   We hiked west on the High Bluff trail, then south on Gowlland Harbour trail to Homewood Bluff where we stopped for lunch and enjoyed more views west to the Vancouver Island Mountains.   Dropping off the east side of Homewood Bluff, we picked up the High Bluff trail back to High Bluff, then north across Heriot Ridge to Hopespring trail and back to the vehicles. The wildflowers on the open bluffs of Heriot Ridge were a bonus.  5.9 km.

Janis

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Hiking – Hopespring – Homewood Loop – 24 May 2017

Trip Report – Cortes Island – 15-18 May 2017

Day 1: Eight energetic hikers left for four hiking days on Cortes Island. On arrival at Cortes we drove to Carrington Trails. We took the main trail to the lagoon, which is an old dirt road. At the lagoon it was a delight to see purple star fish. On the trails there were lots of beautiful wild flowers. We walked on to Grandmothers’ Grove, ate our lunch and then continued through the mature forests. (10.5 km; 3½ hour)  The Forest Trust for the children of Cortes Island has been formed to protect these forestlands. Our group donated $60 at the end of our trip to the Forest Trust for the children of Cortes.

We packed our baggage into the Linnaea Farm House and chose our rooms. We then drove to Hank’s Beach for a short walk through the forest to a secluded wide sandy beach, overlooking Twin Islands. Beautiful rock formations, all enjoyed a good climb. Unfortunately it was pretty windy. (2.9 km; 1 hour)  Returned to Linnaea Farm. Team 1 prepared a delicious dinner along with wine and active communication. Had a wonderful log fire in the room at the  farmhouse.

Day 2: After breakfast, we put on our hiking boots. A beautiful day filled with sunshine.  Janis led the group into Kw’as Park, we vowed to spend the entire day in the park because we had never walked all its wonderful trails. 173 acre park,  20% of the park is still virgin old growth and the rest is mature second growth forest. The trails led through a number of rugged areas, many steep areas overlooking Gunflint and Hague Lakes. Magnificent old growth groves. We climbed ladders, held onto ropes to enable us to reach the high manzanita covered bluffs. We ate lunch overlooking Gunflint Lake and then upward and onward to the Summit. This was a superb day and returned to the farm house filled up with its beauty.  (14.2 km; 7½ hours)  Team 2 prepared another delicious dinner, some joined Janis in needed yoga moves. All ready for a good nights sleep.

Day 3: Breakfast. We took the cars and drove to near Squirrel Cove to take the trail to Von Donop Marine Park. Debbie and Norris led us on this trail. The first part of the trail was well maintained and marked. Later we came across wind-fallen trees and all managed bush whacking over and around trees. Again, a lovely forested area, we took the trail that led to Mud Bay. This bay is a beauty, lovely warm coloured rocks, small inlets, a boaters paradise. Enjoyed eating our lunch and taking in the surrounding beauty. Returned to the trail and hiked back to the trail head. (12.1 km; 5 hours)  Returned to Linnaea Farm.  Five of us hiked up to Easter Bluff. This trail is steep and rocky in many places, a really good work-out.  Gorgeous views at the top overlooking the south and west end of Cortes Island and the snow covered mountains. A lovely clear afternoon allowing us to see over to Powell River and beyond. (5.9 km; 2½ hours)  We treated ourselves to pizza for dinner followed by dessert. Julie led a few of us in a crazy board game.  Norris lit and kept an amazing fire going in the room.

Day 4: Packed our bags, ate breakfast. Moved our baggage out to the cars. We drove to Green Mountain trailhead. The trail was a steep trek and part of the trail looked like a streambed. The view at the top of Green Mountain is spectacular, overlooking Gorge Harbour, Marina Island, Quadra and to the mountains beyond. Beautiful rock ledges, old growth, manzanita covered slopes with huge arbutus. We hiked the loop and then continued on to Nutshell Lake. A small lake which the locals use for skating in the winter. Beautiful wild flowers along the edge of the lake. Ate our lunches on a warm rocky slope. Picked up a newly made biking trail and returned to the trailhead. (7.2 km; 3¼ hours)  We then drove to the ferry and returned to Quadra with our memories of Cortes.

This was four packed days of hiking, seeing and experiencing the beauty of Cortes, great food, laughter, wonderful company with eight wonderful hikers from Quadra. A truly beautiful happening.

Margot

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Multi-day Hiking – Cortes Island – 15-18 May 2017