Trip Report – Mud Lake-Morte Lake Loop – 17 Jan 2018

Because of a big winter storm, we substituted this short hike for the previously planned trip to Mt. Washington. Five stalwart and cheerful hikers, undeterred by the weather, came out in a gale. We started at the pull off just past Mud Lake on the Walcan Road. After crossing the creek, we hiked up the South Bluff trail over the bluff to Morte Lake. The trail is quite steep, the bluff is open and covered with moss and lichen. We followed the old logging road down to Morte Lake. No one wanted to turn back so soon, so we continued on to the viewpoint, which was relatively sheltered from the southeast wind. We took the Tripod Connector trail back to the trail along Mud Lake. Again, no one was ready to head for the car, so we took the trail west to the Mud Lake trailhead at the Walcan Road. Finally we turned back to the car. The trail was quite wet in places and no one went home dry.  6.1 km; 2 hours.


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Hiking – Mud Lake to Morte Lake Loop – 17 Jan 2018


Trip Report – Surge Narrows logging roads – 10 Jan 2018

Ten of us took advantage of the brief break in the rainy weather to explore another part of the island.  We started from near Mine Lake. After a short steep section, the old logging road is pretty flat and open, going through a section of the woodlot in which the re-planted trees are growing nicely.  The forest is quite diverse and some of it is mature with open understory.  We took a short side trip to a trailhead on the Bold Point Road, then had lunch in a nice clearing.  After lunch we bushwhacked a bit and climbed a little bluff with good views all around and continued south to rejoin the Surge Narrows Road, which we walked back to the starting point.   8.3 km; 3½ hours.

– Norris

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Hiking – Surge Narrows logging roads – 10 Jan 2018

Trip Report – Shellaligan Forest Trails – 3 Jan 2018

With crunchy snow underfoot, the thermometer hovering around 0° C, and almost sunny skies overhead, eight members enjoyed an exhilarating tramp through the Shellaligan forest trails on the first Club outing of the New Year. We parked at the second forest parking lot and headed roughly north to the trail junction, returning by the trail/logging road route to the first parking lot, then following the forest road back to our cars. Despite the snow, the trails were very navigable, no need for crampons or snowshoes. As the temperature rose, the occasional ice bomb cascaded down from the treetops. The highlight of the hike was a whale (Humpback?) blowing just offshore as we came down to the seashore beside the aquaculture farm. Tracks in the snow also indicated the possibility of wolves close by. Afterwards hikers were warmed and refreshed with a pleasant social at the coordinator’s house in Open Bay, with many thanks to Janis and Terry for the additional tasty treats!
Time: 2 hours, distance: 5.1 km

Valerie van Veen, trip coordinator

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Hiking – Shellaligan Forest Trails – 3 Jan 2018

Trip Report – Thompson/B&B Trail loop – 20 Dec 2017

Five women met at the Thompson trailhead for a two and a half hour hike.  Having missed the threat of snow the previous day, we had a dry and sunny morning, with the temperature a bit above freezing and light wind from the north.  We headed up Thompson Trail to the first viewpoint.  After stopping to take in the views north and east to gloriously snowy mainland mountains, we walked north down the open ridge, dropping to the forest floor at the big maple tree.  From here, we followed a deer trail north to the B&B trail, turning south on the B&B at this point through pleasant second-growth forest and along a deeply-cut unnamed stream.  Reaching the Thompson Trail junction, we followed it south to the second viewpoint.  Climbing to the top of the ridge, we stopped for a break in the warm sun, again taking in snowy views to the east.  From here, we followed a rough off-trail route east and north down the ridge, eventually connecting to Thompson Trail and back to the vehicles.  The weather and company were perfect for a stunning December hike.

– Janis


Trip Report – Mt. Washington Area – 13 Dec 2017

Eight of us put on our snowshoes — we also had one dog who was happy without snowshoes — and walked around one of the loops of logging roads from the Ramparts chain-up area near Mt. Washington.  There was no fog and the visibility was good.  We could even make out Mt. Baker 272 km away with our naked eyes.  The area has many good viewpoints of the snow covered mountains on the mainland.  The conditions were spring like.  The snow was crunchy — noisy on snowshoes — and it was very warm.  We ate lunch with the Whiskey Jacks.  6.0 km, 3.5 hours.

– Norris

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Snow – Mt. Washington Area – 13 Dec 2017

Trip Report – Deepwater Main and beyond loop – 6 Dec 2017

Six of us set out early in the thick fog (horizontally), but quickly broke through it to a stunningly bright, clear, sunny day, since the fog was thin (vertically).  We started hiking from the summit of the Deepwater Main road, up old logging roads, sometime steep and stoney due to water eroding them, other times soft, mossy carpeted through the forest.  At the top of the shoulder to the north of Mt. Seymour, there was still some snow on the ground from last week’s storms, and the lake was partly frozen. We stopped for lunch and the magnificent views of the snow-covered mountains to the north and fog-covered water passages.  Thanks to Les for the great buffet lunch including smoked salmon, veggies, cold cuts, cheese and cookies. Then we continued on, down the logging road to the Granite Bay Road to complete the loop.  7.1 km; 3¼ hours.

– Norris

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Hiking – Deepwater Main & beyond loop – 6 Dec 2017

Trip Report – Deadfish-South Morte Lake Loop – 29 Nov 2017

On a blustery day under threat of rain, seven hikers enjoyed a brisk three hour hike around this loop connecting several mountain bike trails.   Beginning at the Morte Lake parking lot, we followed Lower Deadfish, Lost Rider, Ridge and Connector trails to the southwest corner of Morte Lake. The group encountered a few sprinkles here, which eventually passed. We followed the Morte Lake south trail, turned right on Nirvana and then left on 7 Sins with its seven switchbacks. At the junction of this trail and Upper Deadfish, we stopped for a brief lunch and took in the views across to Beech’s Mountain, Morte Lake and Discovery Passage. From there, it was downhill on Upper and Lower Deadfish along Little Morte Creek to the parking lot. Fortunately, we didn’t get rained on. Having had dry weather the previous day, there were very few puddles to cross. We agreed that it was a good workout and the lovely greens of the forest were at their peak. 8.7 km


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Hiking – Deadfish-South Morte Lake Loop – 29 Nov 2017