Trip Report – Mt. Washington & Mt. Elma – 22 Mar 2023

Reports are that Mt. Washington has lots of snow.  It’s true.  We started out on the snowshoe trail from Raven Lodge with the vague intention of going to the lakes.  Snow conditions were perfect for snowshoeing.  The trails were broken and there was a sparkling layer of fresh snow.  The sun was bright and warm, the air temperature was good, there was no wind.  The sky was clear and blue.  As I said, conditions were perfect.

Except for one thing.  The trail to Lake Helen Mackenzie crosses a stream on a bridge.  The bridge was packed with snow, up to about a metre above the hand rail.  It was well packed, but too narrow for snowshoes.  And there was no way to avoid it since the stream was open.  We crossed it, but once was enough, so we came back the Battleship Lake route.  It also has a stream crossing with a snow-packed bridge.  That one felt much safer, but it looked as if it might collapse sooner or later.

So we arrived at Lake Helen Mackenzie and stopped for lunch.  We looked around for a further destination.  Mt. Elma looked perfect, so we headed there.  The trail was broken already, so it was an easy, though steep, climb up to the ridge.  The summit ridge was amazing, open meadows with fabulous views.  In particular the mountains io the Forbidden Plateau skyline, all snow covered in bright sun with no clouds blocking the view for once. (13.1 km, 6 hours)


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Trip Report – Haskins Farm-Fir Crest Loop – 15 Mar 2023

On March 15, 2023 a small group joined the Haskins Farm and Fir Crest walk. It was an easy walk which took approximately an hour and fifteen minutes. We began at the head of the Haskins Farm trail and at the first intersection took a left and walked through the forest, and through the new growth area over to the golf course where we walked along the cart path, past the Fir Crest trail parking and onto the start of the Fir Crest trail continuing down behind the houses of the subdivision to the bottom of the trail where we began the Fir Crest to Haskins Farm trail along the ridge. Deciding to skip the trail down to the beach, we took the trail back through Haskins Farm up to the vehicles.. The whole way is very lovely with a mixture of forest, new growth, and open fairways, while the ridge is particularly beautiful with the moss covered trees and ocean views. (5.9 km)


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Hiking – Haskin Farm & Fir Crest Loop – 15 Mar 2023

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 8 Feb 2023

The month-long delay, in the hopes of getting some snow and decent weather, mostly paid off when we finally hit the snowshoe trails on Feb 8. Two guests joined me, one experienced snowshoer and one newbie eager to find out more about the sport, and both eager to see what Paradise Meadow snowshoe trails have to offer.

Recent rains had left the snow crunchy, but not icy and we crunched along the pleasant Old Cabin Trail at a steady pace. Feeling comfortable, the “newbie” was happy to go further, so we added the Crooked Creek loop. We stopped for a short lunch break out of the chilling wind in a copse of trees at the turn around point, just after the quite challenging bridge crossing. We were soon back at our car after a very pleasant day on the mountain. (about 5 km, 3 hours)

Valerie van Veen

Thanks to Valerie for the photos

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Trip Report – ERT Loop – 14 Dec 2022

We had 10 for this quite long, unusual walk through Campbell River.  Unfortunately the original organizer, Vic, wasn’t feeling well, but wanted the trip to go ahead.  After taking the 9:00 ferry, we walked through town to the ERT (Elk River Timber) trail head and then followed this level route, which feels quite remote even though it is in the city.  Some of the forest is slated for development, so that may change.  There was some hard compacted snow under foot, which was being plowed as we walked.  The ERT leads directly into the Beaverlodge Lands.  There are many well marked trails through this forest and we didn’t have a firmly defined route.  The vague plan was to cross the major road further north and continue through residential areas down to Willow Point.  However, some combination of snow on the side trails and general inattention resulted in us exiting the forest near the Hilchey Rd intersection, so we walked down that noisy, urban road, where the side walks were mostly unshovelled.  

Most of us went for lunch at Daves’ Bakery, where the sandwiches are excellent.  Half of the group decided not to walk back to the ferry, with four taking the bus, which was a first for everyone.  The remaining five walked back along the sea walk paralleling Discovery Passage.  This was snow-free, easy walking along a developed promenade.  This walking group returned to Quadra on the 2:30 ferry.  For the Outdoor Club this is a very unique and varied hike. (11.4 km; 2¾  hours to Daves’ Bakery and 7.1 km and 1½ hours from there to the ferry terminal)  

Thanks to Norris and Rob for the photos

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Hiking – ERT Trail – 14 Dec 2022

Trip Report – Santana Mine – 16 Nov 2022

Six of us visited the not-so-famous Santana Mine.  Mine Lake gets its name from it, since the mine overlooks the lake.  Or it would if the trees weren’t so high.  So we set out in a thick fog to visit it.  Thanks to Ellen and Alex for their permission to use their driveway and cross their private property.  There are other routes to the mine.  We made a loop, coming back down on Conville Point Road.  The other approach is from Bold Point.

The recent snow overload damaged trees and bushes, so this was a bit of a bushwhack.  Also, there was still snow covering parts of the path, so it was even easier to get lost than normal. The sun made a feeble attempt to show itself at the high “viewpoint” where we had lunch, but no view.  The mine is very interesting.  The main drift (tunnel) still has the old railroad tracks and is safely walkable.  The wildlife is abundant: long legged spiders, crickets, and a few moths.  We also visited the short opening a bit higher up, and peeked into a long drift a bit further north.  The entrance to that one is very low and the floor is flooded.  The route on to Conville Point Road had a few more deadfall obstacles, but the road had a very nice display of larches in full fall colour.  5.1 km; 3 hours.

Thanks to Carrie and Norris for the photos

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Hiking – Santana Mine – 16 Nov 2022

Trip Report – Maud Island – 9 Nov 2022

The day was cold (for Quadra) and the air was clear and still and the sun was warm.  Five of us took advantage of the nice early winter weather to hike to Maud Island.  Because the recent dump of heavy, wet snow left the trail coated with some icy, hard snow, we all wore some sort of ice cleats on our boots, which worked very well.  Actually the road access and the trail were in surprisingly good condition considering the storm. 

We had lunch at the Seymour Narrows overlook, along with a few sea lions.  There wasn’t much turbulence in the Narrows, but the sea gulls were fishing.  On the way back some of us took the high trail and some took the low trail.  For the high trail it was 10.1 km; 4¼ hours.


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Hiking – Maud Island – 9 Nov 2022

Trip Report – Chinese Mtns Work Party – 2 Nov 2022

In between many days of rain we had a beautiful, autumn day for this work party on the Chinese Mountain network of trails. Nine people helped and accomplished a lot branching out to the different approaches to North and South Chinese Mountains.  We cut back brush along the trails, improvised a repair on a bridge railing, and cut out a tree lying across the trail.  After about an hour and a half we came together for a lunch break at the South Chinese Mountain viewpoint, which was perfect on the lovely day. The fresh snow on the mainland and Vancouver Island mountains made the views even better. After lunch everyone continued to work on their way back to the vehicles, except for three who carried on up the Beech’s Mtn trail, doing a bit of brush cutting along the way. Time and distance were variable.

Thanks to Vic and Norris for the photos

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Work party – Chinese Mtn – 2 Nov 2022

Trip Report – Hopespring – Thompson Trail Loop – 26 Oct 2022

Six of us hiked this classic loop on an overcast, calm morning between fall storms.  After our long drought, it already felt a little bit more green and moist.  There was too much cloud for good views, so we didn’t linger at viewpoints.  We descended the big hill and enjoyed the many big Douglas fir trees in the valley which this route largely follows.  We took the side trip to the old growth grove before continuing on to the junction for the Thompson trail.  The trail meanders and undulates through a good variety of terrain with wetlands, forest and moss-covered rocks.  It was in very good condition.  We set a leisurely pace, stopping to talk amongst ourselves and twice with others on the way.  We were quickly back to the cars and home for lunch.  5.4 km; 2 hours  


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Hiking – Hopespring – Thompson Trail Loop – 26 Oct 2022

Trip Report – Main Lake and Yeatman Bay – 19 Oct 2022

Five of us took advantage of one of the last beautiful summer days of late October to hike to Main Lake from the Surge Narrows Road.  This is a relatively new trail.  It has been around, but not widely known.  It was a place to easily get lost.  It had obstacles, such as the Jungle Gym obstacle course of huge deadfalls.  But now BC Parks has recognized it.  It is flagged and cleared and the path is easier to follow.  The first part can be wet, but that was not a problem after our long drought this summer.  We stopped off at Roscoe Lake, good for swimming, but nobody took the plunge.  Then the trail goes down through a nice old forest with mossy understory, passing some giant trees.    We stopped for lunch at the sandy east beach of Main Lake, then walked the old “portage” road to Yeatman Bay, which was very still and atmospheric.  On the way back we took another side trail to the swim rock on Main Lake, then walked back to the cars (noticing that it was uphill).  A lovely day, a lovely hike.    9.9 km; 4 hours  

Thanks to Carrie and Norris for the photos.

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Hiking – Main Lake and Yeatman Bay – 19 Oct 2022

Trip Report – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 12 Oct 2022

It was another gorgeous, sunny fall day as nine hikers set out to walk the Shellaligan Pass Loop counter clockwise. At the first bay we found two kayakers that were enjoying the calm day as well. From there we clambered over the large rocks along the ocean at the start of the trail.  There were places along the way where the salal is encroaching on the trail and there was some deadfall.


Well before the entrance to Village Bay we noticed a large flock of birds. There were hundreds of them. As we walked nearer Vic identified them as surf scoters. We stopped on the large rock outcrop at the entrance to Village Bay to watch them and have a snack. While there two Harbour Porpoises swam gracefully by.

We continued on along the bay and up the hill. At the junction to the longer route we decided to go down the hill and to the oyster lease, which turned out to be a mistake.  Shortly after the bridge we came upon a large cedar tree that had fallen squarely down the trail. We climbed through six foot ferns and dead fall to go around. At the oyster lease we went out on the rock point and enjoyed another break in the sun. From there we went back through the difficult area, up the hill and back to the vehicles.  Approx. 5km, 2½ hours


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Hiking – Shellaligan Pass Loop – 12 Oct 2022