Trip Report – Horne Lake Caves – 23 Oct 2019

Eleven adventurous souls made the 1¼ hour drive down island to Horne Lake Provincial Park. We went on a variation of their guided multi-cave tour.  After the suspension bridge over the Qualicum River and the 1 km walk up the hill, we started on the upper end of Riverbend Cave where we visited the Soda Straw and Bacon Galleries with beautiful caves features (speleothems) and continued as far as the Buddha Room to see the “Buddha” in the reflecting pool.  Main Cave was the second cave where we climbed up a waterfall and slid down a metal slide.  We all managed to avoid “face-plant rock” at the bottom of the slide. The final cave was Lower Cave with beautiful features and tight passageways.  We crouched low as we walked up the stream in the “Birth Canal”, but the “Cheese Grater” was the tightest squeeze. We emerged dirty, somewhat wet and tired, but everyone had a good time.

Matt was our guide and an experienced caver as well as fun and knowledgeable. He explained how the caves were formed by slightly acidic water running through limestone. He also showed us ancient fossils and how calcite crystals are formed.  As we made our way through the caves he talked about how stalagmites (from the ground) and stalactites (from the ceiling) are formed over thousands of years. 4 hours on the tour.

I would highly recommend this Park to anyone. There are a wide variety of things to do for all levels of comfort.

Les

Thanks to Norris and Vic for the photos

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Natural History – Horne Lake Caves – 23 Oct 2019

Natural History – Horne Lake Caves – 23 Oct 2019

Activity Caving
Destination Horne Lake Caves
Date 23 Oct 2019, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Les Hand
Contact Info 285-2029 or leshand@gicable.com.  Please let the coordinator know as soon as possible if you are interested.
Description This is a multi-cave experience that will be slightly modified for us and will take about 3 hours.  Please use link
https://hornelake.com/cave-tours/   to check it out. Scroll down to “Multi-Cave Experience”, click on “More Info” to see what to bring and wear. The helmet and headlight are provided.  You can rent rubber boots for $6 if needed.
Meeting Place Q Cove ferry terminal – be early
Departure Time 10:00 ferry
Difficulty Moderate
Costs $26.25 including taxes for the tour. Must be prepaid to Julie hold your spot.  Please make arrangements to pay Julie by contacting her at 3978.  Also the ferry and shared gas costs.
Trip limits 12
Dogs? No
Notes: We will arrange carpools once we know who is coming.  You will need to sign a liability waiver for Horne Lake Caves. Bring a lunch that you can eat before tour.

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.

Norris

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Hiking – Forbidden Plateau – 16 Sept 2019

Hiking – Strathcona Park – 16 Sept 2019

Activity Hiking
Destination Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Park
Date 16 Sept 2019, Monday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Information norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710
Description Weather permitting, a ramble through Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Park to admire fall colours and any late flowers. Bring lunch and water.
Meeting Place QCove ferry terminal
Departure Time 9:00 ferry; be early if you are driving as this will be a busy sailing
Difficulty
Moderate
Costs Ferry costs and shared fuel
Trip limits none
Dogs? Must be on leash in Paradise Meadows
Notes: Please contact the coordinator by Saturday night in order to arrange carpooling.  Bring lunch and gear appropriate for the weather.  The trip will be postponed if serious rain is forecast.

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.

Norris

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Trip Report – Sayward Area Caves- 25 June 2019

On Tuesday, June 25th, nine of us went caving with Bill West-Sells to the White River caves in the Sayward area.  We hiked for approximately half an hour to a series of four caves.  We did quite a bit of bridging to avoid getting wet feet.  There were many shelves and a few upper holes which we climbed through.  Everyone enjoyed their time exploring the various caves, the impressive karst environment, and the forest trails between.

Cyndy

Thanks to Bill for the photos

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Natural History – Sayward Area Caves – 25 June 2019

Trip Report – Woss Lookout and Huson Caves – 15-17 July 2019

We camped at the Woss Lake Recreation Site, with the group arriving gradually over about 30 hours.  Due to forecast rainy weather, many invested quite a lot of effort in setting up camp with tarps.  Three of us kayaked on Woss Lake Monday morning in calm and increasingly sunny conditions.  We paddled down the east side of the Lake exploring the cabins and boat launch. (about 7 km)  Some also explored the Woss River Trail with some impressive old growth cedar and good views of the river from a bluff. This trail goes a long way, but we only went about 2.8km.   In the afternoon, two more people arrived and the weather turned showery.  We drove logging roads to check out Schoen Lake Provincial Park. We already knew that any possible interesting hiking would involve access by boat, but the deluge of rain when we arrived discouraged any enthusiasm for exploration.  Back at camp, we enjoyed appies by Les’ campfire before dinner.  By Monday night the final two people had arrived and enjoyed an evening canoe paddle, where they found some pictographs.

Tuesday morning:  After Les’ delicious blueberry pancake breakfast, we departed for Woss Lookout.  We parked at the trail sign and hiked up the steep logging road, through some clear cut and into the forested lookout hill. The steep trail is well equipped with rope aids and the distance is quite short, but a good test of fitness.  We were soon rewarded with the restored fire lookout and excellent views, even with a bit of cloud around.  The views of the Schoen, Vernon, Woss and Nimpkish Valleys are impressive, as well as the nearby mountains.  We returned by the short loop and headed back down the steep trail, once again thankful for the ropes. (4.6km, 3½ hours; 400m elevation gain)

Tuesday afternoon: After lunch we continued on to the Little Huson Caves Regional Park.  The short walk through the woods takes you to the sculpted rock of the Atluck Creek working its way though the limestone.  The boardwalk and stairs are very helpful and some have been recently replaced.  We enjoyed views of the Natural Bridge from both entrances, the River Cave, the Atluck Creek and the Bridge Cave.  The green water, scalloped and sculpted rock were beautiful.  (about 2.6km, 1½ hours)  Back at camp, quite a few bathed in the Lake, which wasn’t too cold,

The forecast had consistently called for afternoon showers and we escaped until Tuesday evening, when the real weather was expected.  The rain began lightly after 21:00 and increased and continued all night.  Wednesday morning, five of us made a short paddle on Woss Lake in marginal weather, before taking down the sodden camp gear and heading home.

Thanks to everyone for the food sharing, logging road driving, and general good time.  Having the only serious rain at night was a benefit for seeing this beautiful and not much visited area.

Debbie

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Multi-day Hiking – Woss Lookout and Huson Caves – 15-17 July 2019