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.

Debbie

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

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Backpacking – Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge – 21 – 24 August 2017

 This trip may be postponed due to heat, visibility, air quality as well as forest fire danger.

Activity Backpacking
Destination Arnica Lake and Phillips Ridge
Date 21 – 24 August 2017, Monday to Thursday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please contact the trip coordinator by August 14th.
Description Either three or four days hiking and camping in Strathcona Park. Backpack from the Phillips Ridge trailhead up on a gradual trail with many switchbacks to Arnica Lake to camp (about 12 km; 845m elevation gain).  Day trip(s) up Phillips Ridge for views.
Meeting Place Ferry terminal to Campbell River
Departure Time 07:05 ferry
Difficulty Strenuous
Costs Shared fuel and ferry costs, $10/person/night for back country camping
Trip limits Three tents maximum
Dogs?  no
Notes: The first day will be very long with the ferry, the drive and a long up-hill day. It’s possible that we could camp at Ralph River the night before.

Hiking – Forbidden Plateau plus Nymph Falls – 1 Aug 2017

Postponed

Activity Hiking
Destination Mt. Becher
Date 1 August 2017, Tuesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info Please RSVP to qioutdoorclub@gmail.com or 3710 if interested; please contact the coordinator by Sunday in order to assure car pooling
Description The plan is to go to Mt Becher which is on the SE corner of Forbidden Plateau. The trail goes from theold Plateau Ski Lodge up to the sub-alpine summit (1390 m). There is a view down to Boston Lake and views over Forbidden Plateau, Comox Lake, Georgia Strait and the norther Gulf Islands from the top.  On the return, we plan to stop at Nymph Falls to admire the Puntledge River and swim (for those that want to).
Meeting Place Q Cove Ferry parking area
Departure Time Early enough for the 8:00 ferry
Difficulty
Moderate to strenuous;  about 13.5 km return, 580 m elevation gain, about 7 hours
Costs Shared gas and ferry fee
Trip limits None
Dogs? Dogs would need to be on leash in Strathcona Park
Notes: Bring lunch, gear for changes in weather, poles if you use them.  If you plan to swim at Nymph Falls, bring that gear too.

 

Multi-day Kayaking – Nuchatlitz Prov Park – 20-28 Aug 2017

 This trip has been cancelled.

Activity Multi-day kayaking
Destination Nuchatlitz Provincial Park
Date 20-28 August 2017
Trip Coordinator Kathryn Manry
Contact Info 2103 or kamanry@gmail.com. Please contact the coordinator by July 1.
Description We will take a water taxi in both directions between Zeballos and Nuchatlitz Prov Park. We will spend nine days paddling and camping as conditions permit. Likely destinations are Catala Island, islets in the provincial park, and Mary Basin
Meeting Place Zeballos
Departure Time TBA
Difficulty
Expect some challenging conditions: fog and wind are likely
Costs Transportation and one night in Zeballos
Trip limits Participants on this trip need to have been on a previous multi-day kayak trip with the Outdoor Club. Good paddling skills and good equipment are essential. Space is limited by the water taxi and by accommodation in Zeballos.
Dogs? no
Notes:

Trip Report – Memekay Caves – 31 May 2017

Seven of us had a great trip to the Memekay Caves. We visited two caves: Chicken II and Scallop Falls. Bill, our guide from Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group, was full of stories and information. He made us feel at ease as we made our way through the long narrow passages. There were some challenges in the second cave as we climbed, bridged and wriggle through the narrow tunnel with water running through it. We marvelled at the rock formations and Scallop Falls. After lunch we took a short walk along the East Memekay River.

Cyndy

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Thanks to Norris, Bill & Cyndy, Mitch and Sameen for contributing their photos

Natural History – Caving near Sayward – 31 May 2017

Trip Report – Ripple Rock – 10 May 2017

We met on the 9:00 ferry and drove 16 km north from Campbell River to the start of the Ripple Rock Trail. Seven of us set out – but eight came back, because we met a lone hiker on the way out who joined us for the return trip. We had six club members and one guest from Ontario. The weather cooperated and we were soon peeling off layers as the day warmed up.

The trail was muddy in spots because of all the recent rain, but the path is easy to follow. There were some steep sections but nothing challenging. We crossed several metal bridges and after the final 47-step staircase, we reached the top. We ate our lunch overlooking Seymour Narrows, and the site of the former Ripple Rock. It was interesting to see the endpoint of Quadra’s Maud Island hike from this viewpoint.

We passed several groups of hikers and dogs along the way – when we arrived there was only 1 other car in the parking lot. By the time we left, there were 11 vehicles.   The 9.6 km hike took 4 hours, with short stops at each viewpoint along the way and a generous stop for lunch.

Diana

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Hiking – Ripple Rock – 10 May 2017

Trip Report – The Campbell River Loop – 26 Apr 2017

Six of us hiked a loop from the logging bridge on the Campbell River up to Moose Falls and back. This is always a great walk with lots of highlights, but this was particularly special because of the spring wildflower bloom. Immediately after crossing the bridge and starting along the trail on the north side of the river, we were greeted with a wonderful profusion of pink and white fawn lilies, trillium, and wild bleeding heart. For the first 2 kilometers these flowers carpeted the edge of the trail.  After a long winter, spring was everywhere.

We admired the Canyon View and continued on up to the Station View, with its rather industrial view of the generating station and construction. The Millennium Trail wanders through a fine forest with some very impressive old growth and leads to the Elk Falls viewing platform and suspension bridge, both amazing.  Elk Falls drops about 25 meters into a very narrow gorge with a right-angle turn.

We took the gradually ascending Old Growth trail and then the very steep descent to the rocky viewpoint for Moose Falls and the Dolphin Pool, where we stopped for lunch. Although the forecast had called for rain by mid-day, we had warm sunshine. We returned along the river, passed by Deer Falls and more views of Elk Falls, and crossed over to the south side of the river for more wildflowers before reaching the vehicles. 13.4 km; 4½ hours.

Debbie

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Hiking – The Campbell River Loop – 26 Apr 2017