Reconnaissance Report – Mt. Drabble – 24 Oct 2020

We had hoped to make an exploratory trip to Mt. Drabble before the snow came to Forbidden Plateau and didn’t quite make it, but we had a beautiful day.  We approached it from the Strathcona Parkway and then logging roads.   It had snowed a few inches about 24 hours before, but most of the logging roads were fine.  However, we decided to walk rather than drive up the last steep section of road.  From the the road it was easy to get onto the ridge which leads gradually up to the summit of Mt. Drabble.  The ridge quickly becomes sub-alpine with great views and many tarns.  The route was well marked so that we could follow it in the snow without being familiar with the trail.  The snow made our time a bit slower as we checked frequently to make sure we were on track.  There was one significant dip in the ridge, but mostly the walking was steady and gradual.  From the end of the ridge there are great views of Forbidden Plateau, Georgia Strait and the mainland mountains.  The reward for effort is very high on this trip.  11.8km (4 km on the road); 442m elevation gain to 1,353m; and 6 hours (1¼ hours on the road).

.Debbie

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Trip Report – Elk Falls Loop – 21 Oct 2020

Eight of us hiked up the Campbell River on a beautiful, crisp fall day.  We started at the logging bridge and followed the trail on the north side along a side channel and on to the Canyon View trail.  Although we saw almost no salmon running, we soon encountered a young bear cub on this busy trail.  We avoided each other and continued to the bridge over the Canyon and on to the Millennium trail.  We had great views of Elk Falls from three different vantage points.  We stopped for lunch on sunny rocks above the falls and then continued along the river, passing some excellent old growth trees.  After Deer Falls we lingered at the pool below Moose Falls watching the eagles.  We took the most inland trail back to the Millennium trail and crossed to the south side of the river at the relatively new stairs and viewpoint at the generating station.  After admiring the new totem poles we continued back to the vehicles along the smaller trail along the river.  Apparently we walked by a mother bear and two cubs very near the Quinsam River.  We didn’t notice, but others turned back after getting between the bears.   This is a beautiful walk any time of the year, but it was particularly lovely on this late autumn day.  12.8 km; 5 hours.
Debbie

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Hiking – Elk Falls Loop – 21 Oct 2020

Trip Report – Rousseau Ridge Loop – 14 Oct 2020

Seven of us hiked to the top of Rousseau Ridge starting near the end of North Gowlland Road.  From there we followed the open mossy ridge as it gently sloped down, with a few steep sections and great views.  The route emerges onto a logging road.  We followed that back uphill to the end.  We continued on a short, wet trail which joins the Gowlland Trail below Heriot Ridge.  We followed that back to the start, with a side trip to the old growth grove of big Douglas fir frees.  The day before had torrential downpours, but the weather for us was good.  8.6 km; 4 hours.
Norris

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Hiking – Rousseau Ridge – 14 Oct 2020

Hiking – Kw’as Regional Park, Cortes – 11 Nov 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Kw’as Regional Park, Cortes
Date 11 Nov 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday.
Description We will hike through this lovely park, situated between Gunflint and Hague Lakes on Cortes Island.  Along with great views, there is fine old growth, interesting geology and history, and a good variety of trails.  We hope to include a bit of everything in the day’s hike.  We will return on the 1:50 or 3:50 ferry.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay ferry terminal to Cortes.  Drivers will need to be early enough to be on the ferry.
Departure Time 9:05 ferry
Difficulty
A few steep places, but mostly reasonable walking on good trails.
Costs Ferry costs;  If you wish to car pool, please make those arrangements privately and in advance, as the Club does not facilitate carpooling during the pandemic.
Trip limits Eight
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather. COVID protocol in effect.

Trip Report – Snowden Demonstration Forest – 7 Oct 2020

Eight hikers enjoyed a lovely fall day (possibly the last lovely fall day…) in the Snowden Demonstration Forest.  Starting from the Lost Lake parking lot (about 20 minutes from the ferry terminal), we walked the Lost Lake loop  – a pleasant and generally easy trail, with a good variety of fungi, lichen and moss.  After a short snack break at the picnic area (south end of the lake), we walked Mudhoney Pass, to complete the outing.  10.1 km; 3¼ hours.
 
 
The Demonstration Forest has an extensive network of biking/hiking trails, with several access points.  We took mainly level trails, but there are many with more ups and downs over rocky bluffs.  The coordinator stumbled onto one of these the next day, a black rated trail that looked, at first blush, like a shortcut….
 
Darcy 

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Hiking – Snowden Demonstration Forest – 7 Oct 2020

 

Hiking – Big Tree – 28 Oct 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Big Tree
Date 28 Oct, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Norris Weimer
Contact Info norris.weimer@ualberta.ca or 3710; please contact the coordinator in advance of the trip
Description The destination for this trip is (what we believe) is the biggest Douglas fir on Quadra.  The walk to it is not long, but there is no trail and the route up goes up and over a saddle and down the other side, somewhat steep (and back up and over on the return).  We can visit several big trees in this valley.  Expect to climb over deadfall.  The approach is by logging road.
Meeting Place Heriot Bay store parking lot to convoy to the start of the hike.
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
Easy to moderate (short, but no trail)
Costs
Trip limits 8
Dogs?
Notes: Bring snacks/lunch; hiking poles if you use them.  Wear good boots.  COVID protocol in effect.

Trip Report – Kanish Bay – 30 Sept 2020

We put in at low tide in Granite Bay and were ready to go by 10:00. Our group of five paddlers headed west, at a very leisurely pace, into a flat calm Kanish Bay and to the Chained Islands. As rest stop was in order by the time we reached the campsite on the next to last island of the group we had a chance to assess the site for future overnighting. As we approached the island we met up with a group of 5 kayakers from Vancouver Island who had crossed from Browns Bay on a large Zodiac for a day of paddling.

We headed north east to the north shore of the bay and worked our way east to Orchard Bay (finally!). As we approached OB a couple in a double kayak came straight for us out of Small Inlet – it was Debbie and Norris who had come out from Small Inlet and their anchored sailboat to visit. At this point we also observed 2-3 harbour porpoise circling about in the bay. Also observed while crossing Kanish Bay were a number of salmon jumping and a flock of about 30 loons that took flight as a very noisy, very fast speedboat roared down to Granite Bay and back out to Discovery Passage.

We then enjoyed a long lunch break in the sun at Orchard Bay and scouted out the area for camping potential. It was about this time that we noticed that the air was becoming somewhat smoky.

From this point we headed towards Small Inlet – decided it was taking on too much to venture in – and explored the shallows around the islands (a bit too shallow!) as we headed back to Granite Bay and the takeout at high tide.  6 NM (approx. 12km) over 5¾ hours.

Vic

Thanks to Vic, Valerie and Norris for the photos.

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Kayaking – Kanish Bay – 30 Sept 2020

Hiking – Elk Falls Loop – 21 Oct 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Elk Falls Loop
Date 21 Oct 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Debbie Quigg
Contact Info 285-3710 or debbie.quigg@ualberta.ca.  Please contact the coordinator by Monday.
Description The plan is to hike the full loop beginning at the logging bridge across the Campbell River.  We will hike along the north shore of the River, across the Canyon View Bridge, along the Millennium Trail up to the Elk Falls viewing area, beyond to Moose and Deer Falls, before heading back down on the south side of the River.  We have not done this hike since the completion of the BC Hydro construction project.  About 12 km and 5 hours, if we do the full loop.
Meeting Place Q Cove Ferry terminal.  Drivers will need to be early enough to be on the ferry.
Departure Time 9:00 ferry
Difficulty
A few steep places, but mostly reasonable walking on good trails.
Costs Ferry costs
Trip limits Eight
Dogs?
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for weather. COVID protocol in effect.

Trip Report – Sunshine Coast Trail – 15-19 Sept 2020

In order to encourage more participants and because of the dates of the club’s kayak trip, this trip’s goal was changed, to focus on the Malaspina Peninsula, and was delayed by one week. Being well into September there was some concern about the good weather holding. Although we did leave with this year’s southern fire smoke in the air, the timing regarding weather was perfect, as the first daytime rain followed immediately after reaching the end of our trek. It turned out to also be auspicious timing regarding dates, as we only encountered 4 other back packers, and only shared a campsite on the first night.

Day 1 – Tuesday: Leaving the ferry behind at 10:15, we left one vehicle at a friend’s house near Mowat Bay, near the end of our walk, and drove on to Lund with our other vehicle, catching the Lund water taxi at 2 pm, destination: Sarah Point. The taxi dropped us off in hazy conditions on a dry rock shelf, from which, after the “before” photos, we donned our lightweight backpacks and started the walk through arbutus and manzanita groves to Feather Cove, our first campsite. We shared this site, looking east towards Malaspina Inlet, with a young kayaking couple, and were visited frequently by a curious sea lion as we set up camp. At this point, one is in Malaspina Provincial Park, and the campsite is outfitted with an outhouse, food cache and picnic table. This was truly roughing it. This is where one of our group revealed their secret weapon, a backpacking chair, and quest for seating began!

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Day 2 – Wednesday: Wanting to gradually add to each day’s mileage considering the placement of campsites along the route, we rose around 7 am, stretched as all conscientious aged packers do, and were on the trail by 9. Our goal was a 9.2 km hike to Wednesday Lake. At Hinder Lake outflow we were able to fill up with water.

The route took us through a green mossy forested landscape, with the first two thirds including some pleasant forested walking trail. This disappeared the last kilometer and a half before Wednesday Lake, as we had 2 successive uphill grunts up root filled inclines, until finally gaining site of Wednesday Lake. The old, non-parks standard outhouse was in stark contrast to our cushy appointment at Feather Cove, and the first camp clearing was rudimentary and a poor prospect for clean drinking water. Luckily, a short distance around the lake shore brought us to the real campsite, with adequate flat space for our 3 tents on a rock bluff, and good access to water and a swim! We walked about 6 hours that day, and being our first day of real backpacking, we were very ready to lose our loads here. We were humbled later in the early evening when a young speed backpacker dropped in, after leaving Sarah Point only 3½ hours earlier that day. Her plan was to hike the entire Sunshine Coast Trail, some 150 km, in 4½ days. We gave her all the experienced hiking tips we could offer in about 10 seconds, and bid her good evening.

Entertainment that evening was shared between stealing a backpacking chair, and watching three seasoned backpackers comically hone their technique of launching a rock-weighted line over a tree limb, to provide a food cache; entitled: Quest for Rocks. Nominations for the Darwin Awards have been submitted!

Day 3 – Thursday: Again we were back on our route by 9 am. We had to climb out of Wednesday Lake but the trail had some pleasant forested walking before our accent to the Gwendoline Hills. The walk along this ridge was fairly flat, but again we climbed as we neared McPherson Hill, after leaving Malaspina Park behind. After a walk through lovely old growth, we reached Manzanita Bluff, where a beautiful mountain hut awaited, and an expansive view of the Salish Sea would have been our reward, if it hadn’t been obscured by alternating smoke and fog. Unfortunately, we could barely see the darker mass of Hernando Island in the distance. Nevertheless, it was a beautiful lunch spot with picnic tales. We now descended through commercial forest lands, containing some lovely old trees, where the forest companies have allowed a right of way for the trail. Later, we came to Emil’s Bench, dedicated to Emil Kormpocker, a veteran logging contractor who had the foresight to save a stand of old growth trees in this area. Unfortunately, the younger forest around us obscured views of the saved old growth. Here you also have a view of Okeover Inlet below. Eventually, through some older forest, we crossed over Malaspina Road, and continued on to our next campsite, Fern Gully Creek. Here we had one of our darkest campsites, thanks to some old growth giants, There was adequate space for tents here and a rustic table. Although we had water, the pools may be drier at the end of a hotter summer. And we could find no outhouse.

Day 4 – Friday: We were back on the trial this day around 9 am knowing that we would add the first real increase to our daily distance, covering 13 km. The first part of this day had us climbing up the Thunder Ridge Trail.. After the Plummer Creek Road we were treated to an old forested rail grade, which lead us to a rest spot at Plummer Creek Bridge. Below, a 5 minute walk leads to the Plummer Creek campsite, near the bottom of Toquenatch Creek. After our break, about an hour later, we arrived at Toquenatch Falls, where water still cascaded over rocks, although nowhere the force that would exist after a rainy fall. The trail continued up the creek valley, sometimes using old rail grade, and eventually comes to a newer logging area where we had another reminder that we were out of the park, as we could hear a logging truck close by, lumbering up a grade. Eventually, the trail took us to a road system, and the Homestead Forest Recreation site. This was accessible by vehicle, and after a quick lunch held no real interest for us. Here, we met, Nick, a young fellow from Victoria, who had passed us the previous evening at Fern Gully, but was now lying on the ground, in some obvious discomfort, nursing a nerve injury from long bouts of car driving. We could only offer ibuprofen and encouragement, but Nick seemed to be familiar with the condition and was weighing his options. The afternoon then brought us up a climb to Rievely Pond with its lovely hut in an open spot above the pond. Water was not the best here, but we enjoyed a rest and continued to our intended goal, the Appleton Creek Bridge Campsite, a lovely open site amongst several old growth giants, next to a very good running water source. Above the campsite is a trail leading up to a bathing pool in the creek. We had benches at camp for cooking and sitting, and an outhouse, although its location was hidden to us until the next morning.

Because of the weather forecast, we set up two tarps to be prepared for the next morning. Two trail walker/runners passed by, who were doing the peninsula trail in one day, They were only carrying fanny packs and intended to continue through to Powell River with just 2 hours left. We did celebrate our last camp on this Friday evening by sharing some extra food and having a small campfire.

Day 5 – Saturday: This morning, the darkness of the forest and the night’s rain had us up a little later, but we were on the trail a little after 9. We had another 15 km to reach the end of our route. The descent down Appleton Creek was a mossy forest trail with several stops for small cascades and the larger Gorge Falls. Further along we entered lands given by the Sliammon people to allow the trail to continue to Sliammon Lake and Little Sliammon Lake, with its picnic pavilion, boat wharf and road access. The trail around the lakes is an up and down workout around bluffs and roots, but only for a portion of the days hike. From Little Sliammon we mostly followed old forest roads down to Sunset Park, and increasingly saw bear scat, and many friendly day hikers as we approached the suburb of Wildwood. At Sunset Park, we dropped our packs and congratulated ourselves. Two of us continued along streets to the bridge at Powell Lake outlet, and then again picked up the Sunshine Coast Trail to Mowat Bay, just down the road from where we had left our parked car. The timing was perfect, as we encountered our first daytime rain just before we reached Mowat Bay.

This trail is obviously not a walk in the park, carrying loaded packs for 5 days. But, after our plan to gradually build up each days distance, we not only found it manageable, but enjoyable and well worth the effort. It offered a great deal of variety within the coastal forest setting, including views, water courses, a variety of forests, and some excellent camping. This part of September proved to be a good choice, as there was little traffic on the trail, and offered many opportunities for solitude. The group turned to have excellent dynamics and the common love of the outdoors, plus an ample dose of good humour, allowed us to get beyond familiarity. A very positive journey!

Brent

Thanks to Brent, Norris, and Diana for the photos

Multi-day hiking – Sunshine Coast Trail – 15-20 Sept 2020

Kayaking – Kanish Bay – 30 Sept 2020

Activity Kayaking
Destination Kanish Bay (Granite/Small)
Date 30 Sept, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vic Gladish
Contact Info 250-285-2111; cell 250-287-0459
Description Plan A – Kanish Bay – Chained Islets to Ashlar Creek to Orchard Bay
Plan B – Orchard Bay to Small Inlet and short hike to Waiatt Bay.
Meeting Place Granite Bay boat launch
Departure Time 10:00 on the water
Difficulty
Moderate to difficult depending on weather, tides, winds, distance.
Costs Use of ramp $ 5.00
Trip limits 8 kayaks
Dogs? no
Notes: Meet at 0930 for a 1000 departure. Must have a sea kayak and equipment that meets club and coast guard regulations.
Bring lunch and be prepared for fall weather.