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.
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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

Trip Report – 5040 Peak – 2-4 July 2019

Fabulous.  But first you have to get there.  Everybody know that getting there is half the fun (and getting back is the other half).  It’s reputation proceeded us, notably the bad road and the steep trail.  The Alpine Club site said a 4×4 was required for the Marion Creek logging road, and others discussed whether high clearance was needed.  The logging road in is only 10 km, but most of it is quite rough.  We only expected the last part to be rough.  But there are a number of steep sections, right from the start, and those are always the worst.  We met a car coming out and they had parked before the last hill and walked the last 2 km.  So that’s what we decided to do.  As it turned out, the last 2 km were not that bad, or at least not any worse than the first part.  The vehicles driving in were either 4x4s, pickups, or beaters.

Day 1: The trail isn’t that bad — for the first 300 m, as it goes up through a logged section.  After that, it’s just a path and it goes straight uphill.  No switchbacks.  It’s not walking.  It’s more like climbing stairs and ladders, on rocks and tree roots.  It’s rough, but it’s not bushwacking.  It is steep.  There are two short stretches where a rope aid is provided.  We were climbing in the cloud and it was misty, wet and muggy.  We reached Cobalt Lake, but it was shrouded in the fog.  After that it was a short climb to the hut, also in the cloud.  The hut is very nice.  There was only our group of six the first night, so it was very spacious.  It has a wood pellet stove and solar panels and LED lights.  It seems to be very well insulated, so it was quite warm.  Everything is very well thought out and it is extremely well equipped.  Then in the evening, the surrounding peaks started to emerge and the hut popped into the sunshine, above the clouds.  That’s when we switched to feeling like the Greek gods on Mt. Olympus.  We had a beautiful sunset.  And the stars at night!  No moon, so we saw the Milky Way and everything.  (driving the road – 7.5 km; walking the road – 1.7 km, ½ hour; walking the trail – 3.3 km, 700 m elevation gain, 3½ hours)  (Some others can do it faster)

Day 2: Above the hut is some subalpine and then alpine with lots of rocky ridges to walk.  We went to the top of the 5040 peak, as it was peeking in and out of the cloud and then to some minor peaks along the ridge.  ( 4.1km, 344m elevation gain, 4¼ hours)  The wildflowers were excellent and much ahead of schedule.  The area looks great for further explorations with sufficient time.  It’s quite steep in places, with some hidden cliff bands.  Our walking was somewhat limited by the remaining steep snow bands and maps with insufficient contour detail.  But some in our group ventured out on the ridge toward Triple Peak (2.6 km, 115 m elevation gain, 2 hours) and the short ridge beyond the outhouse (0.6 km, ¼ hour).  Some returned to the summit after dinner, when the cloud level lowered and the views were clearer.  (1.9 km; 220 m elevation gain, 1½ hours)  The views are really impressive, with lots of nearby mountains like Nahmint and Klitsa as well as views as distant as the Golden Hinde.  That afternoon two couples from Comox arrived at the hut and one of those couples got engaged on the 5040 Peak summit.

Day 3: The final day was for the descent.  Nobody was really looking forward to that.  Sometimes it is harder going down.  We stopped at Cobalt Lake, which was beautiful in the morning light, but after that there aren’t any vistas.  The trail parallels, close by, a stream with cascades, waterfalls and canyons for much of the way.  The trail was slippery going down as it had been in the cloud for days.  Poles are highly recommended.  There is one point where the trail turns abruptly, around a big rock, and almost everybody misses that turn and continues straight down into the forest.  They catch on sooner or later as the trail fades out.  What you think of the trail to the hut will depend on your fitness, but Cobalt Lake, the hut and the 5040 alpine area make it all worth while.

Norris

Thanks to Norris and Stephen for the photos

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Multi-day Hiking – 5040 Peak – 22-4 July 2019