Trip Report – Kellerhals Farm – 4 Oct 2017

On Oct. 4 with cloudless skies, 7 of us explored around the Kellerhals farm and forest situated near Hyacinthe Creek. With the property map in hand we had a delightful time exploring. We hiked some of the trails through the forest, up to a lookout, relaxed at their pond and observed some rock cliffs and gravel pits of archeological interest.

We all laughed, lunched and lounged during a memorable hike. Thanks to Heather Kellerhals for sharing her property with us.

Meg Stewart

Note: Thanks to Meg for the photos

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Hiking – Kellerhals Farm – 4 Oct 2017


Trip Report – Eagle Crag – 20 Sept 2017

We had a beautiful fall day for this short hike to Eagle Crag. It was clear and cooler, with maple leaves on the ground and fresh snow on the Vancouver Island mountains. We started up the trail on the south side of South Chinese Mountain, but kept going straight at the right-hand turn along the creek. The flagged path winds up, sometimes steeply, under the ridge. After passing along the base of some climbing routes, the path skirts the west end of the rock face and emerges at the top of the bluff. We wandered along the rock ledges, through manzanita, until we arrived at the east end. We took a break and admired the view before returning to the vehicles. 3.8 km; 2¾.


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Hiking – Eagle Crag – 20 Sept 2017

Trip Report – Around Mt. Seymour – 13 Sept 2017

On a cool, clear, crisp fall day, six of us set out to do the hike around Mt. Seymour.  The first leg was up the trail to Nugedzi Lake and it was a relief not to have the climb up in the scorching temperatures of the previous weeks.  We stopped at the viewpoint near the top of the steep part and appreciated the smoke-free air again and the views of the mountains which had been hidden by smoke most of the summer.  Not much snow left on them anymore.

We had lunch at Nugedzi Lake and a couple pairs of feet were cooled off in the lake.  Then there was a short bushwhack through a little salal and we joined a flagged route.  No idea who flagged this route, but it is very pretty, going along the ridge and valleys through old open forest, then it makes a descent and joins an old logging road.  The old logging road is easy walking, going past a couple of lakes, then it contours around the north side of Mt. Seymour.  We stopped at several more viewpoints.  Finally the logging road descends and meets the Granite Bay road and the cars we had placed there in the morning.  12.6 km; 6¾ hours.


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Hiking – Around Mt. Seymour – 13 Sept 2017

Trip Report – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21-23 August 2017

We had not done this hike before, so it was all new to us. We hiked up the trail to Arnica Lake from the trailhead at the Nystar Mine. The trail is probably the best constructed trail in Strathcona Park, with an excellent grade (100 m per km) up a very steep slope through a beautiful open understory forest, and many, many switchbacks. We barely noticed the solar eclipse in the forest. There are some lovely old growth trees and some waterfalls along the way. It was a hot day and the total elevation gain to the campsite is 850 metres, so it is a bit of work. (9 km; 5 hours) The Lake and the surrounding meadows are fabulous, although most of the wildflowers were past their prime. The parking lot had about 25 cars in it and there were lots of people on the trail, but we were the only ones in the campground the first night. Just after 7:00 pm, as it got very quiet, a helicopter landed on the lake shore and a SAR guy emerged to ask us if we had seen a lone hiker, reported overdue. We said that he had hiked through about an hour before, so hopefully that turned out well. The stars overnight were fabulous.

The next day dawned sunny, but summer clouds came in by noon. We had planned to hike to Mt. Phillips and expected to find a faint path leading to a cairned route. Even with a GPS track, it was obviously going to be a bushwhack and there was a black bear sitting where we wanted to go. So we opted for Plan B, which was to go up the other Phillips Ridge route which heads toward the Golden Hinde. This is an incredibly popular destination this summer and has lots of hikers. The route winds up through forest and meadow until it emerges on the rocky alpine ridge with great views in all directions. There are many lovely lakes along the way. Progress is a bit slow with some steep, loose gravel sections. Further on there are significant descents to multiple lakes as one nears the Golden Hinde. We went up along Phillips Ridge to 1600 metres before turning around and returning to camp at Arnica Lake. (14.8 km; 8 hours).

It rained quite hard at 8:00 the next morning, and we had breakfast and broke camp in light rain. We hiked back down the hill in increasingly sunny conditions. (8.9 km; 3 ¾)  This is a beautiful area and would be worth an extended trip.


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Backpacking – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21-4 Aug 2017

Trip Report – Nugedzi Lakes & Lookouts – 16 Aug 2017

The five of us and a dog enjoyed all the lakes and lookouts along the Nugedzi trails.  We stopped at two viewpoints off the steep section on the old road, with views to the northeast which were somewhat hazy with smoke.  We then continued on to the Lily Pond and the viewpoint looking southeast. We hiked through the ancient forest arriving at Nugedzi Lake in time for lunch and a refreshing swim. Continuing on, we stopped at the viewpoints over Discovery Passage and then retraced our steps, making the loop to Little Nugedzi on the return.   Everyone enjoyed the hike and returned pleasantly tired, especially Joe, the dog.  11.5 km; 5½ hours.

Debbie and Julie

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Hike – Nugedzi Lakes &Views – 16 Aug 2017

Trip Report – Savary Island – 7-9 Aug 2017

We took advantage of Cyndy’s generous offer to visit Savary Island. Getting there can be a challenge, but there are many ways to do it. We came by boat and anchored off Indian Point at the west end of the island. On Tuesday we walked along the beach taking advantage of a very low tide in the middle of the day. The heat of the day was reduced by the smoky haze clouding the coastal skies from inland BC fires. Savary is famous for its sandy beaches and shallow shoreline. Starting at Indian Point, we walked east appreciating the interesting intertidal life. We stopped at the spring, the mermaid rock, admired the burrowing anemone, sand dollars, crabs, snails and shells. After lunch on the beach, we crossed the island on trails in the undeveloped central lands. We passed by the disused airstrip and continued on to the south shore with sand dunes and high bluffs. We met Jen, whose family has had property on Savary since 1930. We made a side trip to the spirit tree before continuing along the shore where some families were enjoying the beach. After checking out an antique store, we returned to Indian Point on the Sunset Trail. Cyndy’s local knowledge made a huge difference in exploring Savary. 16.6 km; 6½ hours.


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Multi-day trip – Savary Island – 7-9 August 2017

Trip Report – Open Bay to Breton Island – 9 Aug 2017

Four members enjoyed an unusually calm and peaceful paddle from Len Road Beach to Open Bay. We paddled past Seal Rock at the mouth of Hyacinthe Bay to check out the seal colony then stopped briefly at Big Beach in Open Bay, where we observed a few tents at the high tide line. Enjoying the foreshore and intertidal exposed by the very low tide, we explored the caves and outcroppings of Open Bay, the extreme infolding and convolutions of the unique geological formations of this area were clearly visible. We continued over to the Breton islets, lazily watched by the seal colony draped over the exposed rocks, and a few curious Bonaparte Gulls. We were pleased to see so many sea-stars back again, and carpets of sea urchins in the more active waters between the islets. After a short lunch stop on the south Breton, we paddled back to Len Beach across the glass-still ocean, concluding the calmest paddle I have ever enjoyed on Quadra.

Valerie van Veen, Trip Coordinator

Note:   In the last photo, Len, our newest member, demonstrates the new membership requirement for carrying kayaks. Existing members are grand-fathered/mothered from this requirement. 😃 lol

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Kayaking  – Open Bay to Breton Island – 9 Aug 2017