Trip Report – Ucluelet-Tofino – 3-6 Feb 2020

On Monday, eight of us drove out to Ucluelet on a beautiful sunny day. The road through the mountains along Highway 4 was lovely with snow. After dropping off our gear at the vacation rental we had an afternoon walk in the remaining sun. We walked into the Pacific Rim National Park and explored Half Moon and Florencia Bays. The stairs down to the beaches are steep and there was occasional snow along the way and ice on the steps. The firm sand was great to walk on and the sunny views were great. (9.9 km; 3 h) Some of the group explored Ucluelet before dinner. We had an amazing dinner followed by a song circle. The big four bedroom house slowly warmed up with the furnace and big woodstove.

On Tuesday we went again to the National Park. We had hard, cold rain all day. It was cold comfort that it was snowing back on Quadra. We hiked to the north end of Florencia Bay and on to South Beach following the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail. The forest was beautiful, but the ice on the boardwalk was thick and extensive. It was a slow walk. We stopped for lunch on a covered walkway at the Wickaninnish Centre (which was closed). We looped back to the car along the road, taking time to explore the very interesting Bog Trail. About half the group continued on to hike the Rainforest Loop, with amazing boardwalk through old growth forest. (10.9 km; 4¼ h) We had another wonderful dinner, played games and socialized by the fire.

On Wednesday morning we were greeted by Trumpeter swans on the inlet in front of the house. The weather moderated to a warm mist. We hiked two loops along the Wild Pacific Trail at Ucluelet. We started with the lighthouse loop, enjoying the dramatic rock bluffs and waves. We stopped for lunch at the picnic area at Big Beach and then continued on to a loop further north including the Artist Loop, the Rocky Bluffs and the Ancient forest. (10.4 km; 4¾ h) These are beautifully constructed and maintained trails with exceptional views. This last night we ate out, which was memorable.

Thursday brought more rain and the return trip to Quadra was made slower by the road closure on Highway 4. We had a great group visiting an extraordinary part of the world. The weather was a challenge, but it was still beautiful and it kept down the crowds.

Debbie

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Multi-day Hiking – Ucluelet-Tofino – 3-6 Feb 2020

Trip Report – Mt. Washington – 22 Jan 2020

Nine of us ventured out to Mt. Washington with the forecast a bit sketchy for travelling and the snow expected to turn to rain in the evening.  What we found was lots of great fresh snow and more continuing throughout the day.  The trees were plastered with snow and beautiful.  Not many snowshoe trails were open, so we started on Great Big View.  This did not provide any view, given the heavy snowfall, but was a work out as we ascended the steep path.  We returned to Raven Lodge for lunch out of the snow and wind, before heading out in the afternoon on Snow Paws.  This started downhill, winding along a narrow path between trees bent over with snow.  We continued until the trail was closed because the trail groomer had fallen through the snow and into the creek below – definitely early season conditions still. The snow was wonderful and the day invigorating, but it was easy to get very wet.  4.9 km, 2½ hours without lunch.

Debbie

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Snow – Mt. Washington – 22 Jan 2020

Snow – Mt Washington – 19 February 2020

Activity Snow sports
Destination Mt. Washington, Raven Lodge
Date 19 February 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info vicgladish@gmail.com; 250-285-2111; (cell 250-287-0459)
Description  We will x-country ski and/or snowshoe from Raven Lodge. Skiers and snowshoers will decide on their routes once we are at the Lodge.
Carpools will need to be arranged in advance so, if you can drive and take passengers, please let the coordinator know at least a week in advance (vicgladish@gmail.com).
Meeting Place Q-Cove Ferry; Drivers need to be on time to make the busy 9:00 AM sailing.
Departure Time 9:00 AM ferry from Quathiaski Cove
Difficulty
Costs Ferry, shared fuel and nordic passes.  The passes are more economical when purchased as a six pack.
Trip limits Depends on number of vehicles going. Please register early with vicgladish@gmail.com
Dogs? No
Notes: Please let the coordinator know by Feb 15th if you plan to go, which sport, drive or not.
If you want to be a driver BE ADVISED: The BC Ministry of Transportation require all vehicles on Strathcona Parkway to be equipped with good winter tires and have chains available to use if the chain-up light is on.
Bring equipment, warm clothing and lunch. Double check your equipment before leaving home.

 

Snow – Mt Washington – 22 January 2020

Activity Snow
Destination Mt. Washington
Date 22 January 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710; please contact the coordinator by Monday night.
Description  We are expecting early season conditions.  This will probably be a snowshoe outing.  Whether we go to Ramparts Hill or the Raven Lodge area depends on the group interests.
Meeting Place Quadra ferry terminal to Campbell River.  Car pools need to be arranged in advance.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry.  Drivers should be in line early.
Difficulty
Depends
Costs Ferry, shared fuel, and the cost of the nordic pass if we go to Raven Lodge.
Trip limits Availability of cars going up to Mt. Washington.  Drivers should have chains.
Dogs? No
Notes: Bring your gear for the conditions and lunch.

 

Multi-day Hiking – Tofino-Ucluelet – 3-6 February 2020

Activity Multi-day Hiking
Destination Tofino-Ucluelet
Date 3-6 February, Monday-Thursday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca or 3710.  Please let the coordinator know as soon as possible if you are interested.  The deadline for payment is 3 January 2020.
Description We will be staying in Ucluelet for three nights at a vacation rental and doing day hikes in the Tofino-Ucluelet area. We will have two half days and two full days, which should allow time to explore the Wild Pacific Trail, the Pacific Rim National Park, and the two villages.
Meeting Place TBD
Departure Time TBD
Difficulty Moderate
Costs Accommodation, ferry and transportation.  The details about the vacation rental have not been finalized, but we hope to keep the cost close to $160/person for the three nights.
Trip limits The vacation rental we are hoping to get sleeps 10, with at least two people in each room.
Dogs?  no
Notes: Be prepared for rain

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.