Trip Report – Mt. Seymour – 14 Oct 2019

The Mt. Seymour hike was moved forward to Thanksgiving Monday to avoid the deluge forecast for Wednesday, and Monday turned out to be a great hiking day.  Eight of us made a quick trip to the summit, stopping at the three viewpoints for a nearly 360° view.  The summit was clear with a good view of the clouds approaching the other mountains all around.  The southeast breeze was cool, so we headed back down after a quick lunch.  Les provided tailgate apple crisp when we got back to the vehicles.  8.0km; 470m elevation gain; 3¾ hours.


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Hiking – Mt. Seymour – 14 Oct 2019


Trip Report – Beech’s Mountain Loop – 18 Sept 2019

Seven hikers enjoyed what turned out to be a splendid day, after heavy rain the day and night before. The hike began via the South Chinese trailhead in the fog, following the low cloud almost to the top. Here the skies broke into sunshine at the large open east-facing bluff where the group had peekaboo views of the Coast Mountains. From there the weather continued to improve to full sunshine. After turning off the South Chinese Mountain 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.

After lunch at the east viewpoint and a brief stop 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. Even though the sun was shining in the afternoon, extra care was taken on the steep bluff sections since the rock was very wet and slippery. 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. 6.2 km; 340 elevation gain; total time four hours.


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Hiking – Beech’s Mtn Loop- 18 Sept 2019

Trip Report – Forbidden Plateau – 16 Sept 2019

Four of us headed out into Paradise Meadows on a nice autumn morning after a weekend of heavy rain.  The first part of our loop went quickly on good boardwalk from which we could appreciate the bogs, ponds, meadows and lakes and their flora without tramping through mud.  After passing Battleship, Kooso, Lady Lakes and numerous meadows, we had lunch at Croteau group campsite and yurt.  As the forecast rain held off, we decided to hike the Kwai Lake Loop, so we continued on to Kwai Lake and up the hill to the Ranger cabin. Passing through a meadow surrounded by blueberries and huckleberries, we surprised two  black bears: a mom and cub.  The long descent to Helen Mackenzie Lake is through forest and features roots, rocks and mud.  This section always seems endless.  However, on the plus side, there were many varieties of mushrooms to admire.  And it didn’t rain until we got back to the car.    17.2km; 187m elevation gain; 6 hours, 

On the drive back to Campbell River a large black bear cub ran across the four lane highway in front of us, near Black Creek, with a big mama bear watching from the ditch.


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Hiking – Forbidden Plateau – 16 Sept 2019

Trip Report – Maud Island – 11 Sept 2019

Six hardy souls prepared for rain and began the lovely stroll through the forest before reaching the rockier trails. Recent rains had helped the mosses to pop out in colour, but possibly the most stunning visuals were the fungi. Many we were able to identify, but a small, white cauliflower shaped fungi with shiny red and black markings was unknown and stunning.  

Lunch and a rest at the lookout is always entertaining, watching various boats pass by, especially with so many whirlpools gathering below in Seymour Narrows.  We could see rain coming and so after half an hour, began to return to the cars, only getting drizzled on along the way. The rocky parts of this trail are tricky when wet, so we were all very careful and arrived safely.  A lovely hike, as always.  10.0 km; 4 hours for walking and lunch with a one hour drive.


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Hiking – Maud Island – 11 Sept 2019

Trip Report – Hyacinthe and Open Bays – 8 Sept 2019

After a dark and stormy night, we prevaricated about getting out on the water in the face of an uncertain forecast. However, the lazy kayaker doesn’t get the first wave, or something like that, so three of us scrambled and were on the water by 10:16. Skies were overcast but the rain stayed away, the winds were calm, and the sun even peeped out occasionally. We meandered around Hyacinthe Bay, admiring both the variety of architecture, and the extensive pillow-lava formations. The incoming tide even allowed us to go around Heriot Island, where we were astonished to see large outcrops of sand dollars in the shallow, warmer waters. From there we enjoyed a calm crossing over to the Bretons and Hoskyn Channel. A few seals greeted us, but two were more interested in their squabbling than us. In the Breton Islets, oystercatchers, scoters, and dunlins were busy exploring the intertidal. We noted the number of boats still plying the waters around the Islands, we could see a kayaker launching from one large yacht that was hanging around Open Bay.

Our game plan was to land in the small beach beside the van Veen’s house, but a surprising amount of southerly swell generating wave action on the rocky beach made us decide to land on the sand/gravel of Big Beach and walk over to our house for our break. After lunch in the sun on our deck we were back on the water by 2 pm. An elegant two-masted schooner that has been anchored in Open Bay captured our interest, an internet search later revealed that it is for sale. We then had the pleasure of meeting the kayaker from the large motor yacht, a delightful American lady who travels the west coast in her yacht every summer. She was accompanied by her two dogs lounging on the deck of her kayak, resplendent in their doggie PFDs. She said she usually has her cat with her as well on her daily paddle. We were off the water by 3 pm. after a very pleasant, easy-going paddle. 13.7 km or 7.4 NM; 3½ hours, without the lunch break.

Valerie van Veen

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Kayaking – Hyacinthe and Open Bays- 8 Sept 2019

Reconnaissance Report – Mt. Beadnell – 6 Sept 2019

As the end of summer’s good weather was approaching, we took an exploratory adventure to check out a possible new trip for the Club.  Mt. Beadnell on Rodger’s Ridge is nearby and was said to have excellent views. True, it’s nearby, you can see it from Quadra, but the access is on logging roads which vary from wide, flat and dusty, to narrow, rocky, and steep.  And with unmarked junctions.  That was an adventure, but now we know the way.

The trail itself varies from a well-worn foot path to no path and little flagging.  It starts out steep and in forest, but it quickly emerges onto the ridge with fantastic views to the mountains beyond Buttle Lake and the mainland including Mt. Waddington.  The trail is a steady climb (made slower by excellent blueberries and huckleberries) all the way to the flat, wide-open Mt. Beadnell summit.  And the summit does indeed have amazing views all around.  The ridge provides the opportunity for relatively easy further exploration.  This would be a good day-hike or backpack when the flowers are in bloom.   9.5km; 580m elevation gain; and 6 hours, without the drive.


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Trip Report – Nugedzi Lakes and Views – 4 Sept 2019

Our group of eight and two dogs hiked up to the Nugedzi Lakes, beginning the hike on the fairly steep old logging road.   Near the end of the logging road we stopped at a viewpoint toward the northeast to enjoy the view and cool off in the shade.  The day was clear, sunny, and quite warm.  We continued on, deciding to take the side trip to the lily pond and the viewpoint to the southeast.  We then followed the undulating trail through the forest up to the Lakes.  Most of the forest along the way is mature with a few old cedars and lovely, open understory.  We stopped for lunch on the rocky point on Nugedzi Lake and some of the group swam in the not quite warm water.  Again the group chose to carry on to the viewpoint to the west over Discovery Passage and views of Vancouver Island.  On the way back we made the small extension to visit Little Nugedzi Lake before hiking back down the steep, eroded logging road.   10.8 km and 5½ hours.


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Hiking – Nugedzi Lakes and Views – 4 Sept 2019