Hiking – Morte Lake Loop – 15 July 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Morte Lake Loop
Date 15 July 2020, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Vikki O’Brien
Contact Info resvo2004@yahoo.com; phone or text 250-938-2864.  Participants must contact the coordinator prior to the trip
Description We will hike the official Morte Lake loop, which passes through a wonderful variety of forest and has great views along the lake.  About 10 km and 4 hours.
Meeting Place Morte Lake parking lot
Departure Time 10:00
Difficulty
Moderate.
Costs none
Trip limits Maximum 8 participants, use of pods TBD
Dogs? Dogs welcome on a leash and kept away from others in the group due to covid concerns.
Notes: Bring lunch and gear for the weather.

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Protocols – as of 6 July 2020

The Outdoor Club held a planning meeting today and decided to resume outings under the provision of the following protocols.  These may be amended over time.  While many feel we have an elevated risk now with increased travel, we hope we can find the balance between staying safe and exercising and socializing outside. In general the Club members are vulnerable due to age, and many have other specific vulnerabilities. There is a wide range of sensitivities to the present risk. We recommend that everyone on a Club outing bring a mask, hand sanitizer and gloves.

Size of the group: In order to accommodate more hikers, we will try to break the group into pods of 2 to 4 people. The pods will start the hike about five minutes apart. This will be done on hikes where the risk of the group becoming separated is very low. On more complex routes, the group will either move as a distanced unit or use family radios to stay connected. Trip coordinators have discretion about the total number of participants on a trip.

Physical distancing: We may want to avoid busier trails, trailheads and times. Advance planning will include recognizing the width of the trail so that distance can be maintained with oncoming hikers, and wide places to stop for breaks or lunch as a group. We will stay two metres apart when stopped. Depending on individual comfort levels, more space may be requested when moving.

Talking can become problematic when the distance is considerable between hikers. We don’t want to bunch up in order to hear more clearly. While socializing is an important component of our activities, it may be preferable to converse at the beginning, at breaks or at lunch, and at the end of the outing, rather than while moving.

Sharing: Sharing of gear without disinfecting is not encouraged. Many people are not comfortable sharing food, so please do not assume that offers of shared food are welcome and don’t take offence, because it’s not personal.

Touching common surfaces: While it’s not the most common method of infection, hikers will want to give some thought to the rocks or trees they hold onto for balance and whether the hikers in front of them have also used those hand holds. You may wish to use hand sanitizer.

Who can participate: For now the Club will not include visitors on trips. Members who are locals or those who have been on the island for al least 14 days may join a trip. We encourage our members to be friendly to everyone they meet on the trail.

Car pooling: Car pooling is discouraged outside of family or bubble members. If it is necessary, the occupants would be encouraged to wear masks and sanitize surfaces and hands.

Hiking – Shellaligan Pass Trail – 8 July 2020

Activity Hiking
Destination Shellaligan Pass Trail
Date 8 July, Wednesday
Trip Coordinator Valerie van Veen
Contact Info vvv@qisland.ca; must contact the coordinator by 6:00 pm Tuesday night
Description Shellaligan Trail is a lovely, moderate hike that takes us along a rocky shoreline, to a beach where we can stop for snacks/lunch, then up into the woods to follow trails and old logging roads back to our cars. About 2- 3 hours depending on route, pace (moderate), and breaks.
To reach the trail, take the Hyacinthe Bay Road ( which, for unknown reasons, becomes Bold Point Road at the Granite Bay Road intersection) north to Valdes Road, turn right on Valdes, follow Valdes to the residential area, about one block past Marina look out for logging road access and trail signage on your left.
IF you are carpooling from the South End, as per COVID restrictions as discussed at our organizational meeting July 6, (or phone me for details), meet at Heriot Bay Foods Parking Lot at 10 am.
Otherwise, meet at the junction of the logging road (that accesses the Trailhead) and Valdes Road at 10:30 am. I will be at that junction in a green Toyota 4Runner. We will drive to one of the three trailheads, depending on the weather. If not raining we will do the complete Shellaligan Trail. If it is raining, then we will do only the land loop. As this is a “first of the year” hike for many of us, the pace will be very moderate. Speedy hikers who know the route are welcome to go on ahead.
Meeting Place Logging road access to trailhead
Departure Time 10:30
Difficulty
Moderate.
Costs none
Trip limits 8-9 max, in singles or “pods” as per our Club discussion
Dogs? MUST be in full control, or on leash (deer and fawns)
Notes: As per our Club discussions, we will walk either singly, or with your pod group of 2-3, separated by 6 ft. Our Club decided that: conversations while hiking would be kept to a minimum, even when possible; no sharing of food/snacks; (sorry Les, we will miss your treats!); we will keep distanced during breaks; no sign-up sheet, trip coordinator will keep a record of hikers for the Trip Report; hikers are expected to bring their own simple first aid kits to keep any emergency contact to a minimum; no non-members, family, friends, guests, or Woofers will be allowed to participate at this time; MUST pre-register with trip coordinator. Call or email by 6 pm TUESDAY NIGHT.

COVID-19 Pandemic – as of 1 July 2020

As British Columbia enters phase 3 of the re-opening during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be time to consider whether the Outdoor Club should resume activities yet. A few people have mentioned that they miss the hikes and would like to start again.

Just to review what is recommended in phase 3, most of the changes from phase 2 have to do with commercial re-openings. There is currently a very low incidence of COVID-19 in our local area. Nonetheless, “if you are at greater risk (over the age of 60 or with underlying medical conditions), be informed of your risk, think through your risk tolerance and take extra precautions.” No gatherings over 50 people are permitted. The bubble size is still 2 to 6 people. For everyone else outside of the bubble, it is important to remain physically distanced, maintained proper hand sanitizing and other hygiene protocols. At this time the general belief is that the risk of contagion from outside activities, while following these protocol, seems to be quite low.

So, how many of you think it’s time to resume activities? Don’t be bashful. If you don’t speak up, it will seem as if no one is interested. If you think it’s a bad idea, you should also comment. Along with people who want to hike and perhaps kayak, we would also need coordinators. One possibility is to have a planning meeting (outside) to discuss what people want to do. This really needs to be a process driven by member interest. Please respond (either by e-mail or by commenting here) by answering these questions:

I think it would be a good idea to resume Outdoor Club hikes and kayaking outings – yes or no
I would attend a planning meeting – yes or no
I would like to participate in the following trips:
I would like to coordinate the following trips:
Here are my other comments about resuming activities:

 

COVID-19 Pandemic – as of 8 May 2020

Here we are at the beginning of May with gorgeous weather. There are no Outdoor Club members as the membership year began May 1st, and there are no trips currently planned. With spring turning to summer it’s wonderful that Dr. Henry has recommended that people go outdoors and our local parks are soon reopening for day use. She has also said that individuals can somewhat increase the size of their social bubble. So what does that mean for the Outdoor Club?

Here are some personal opinions. We now know a bit more about the mysterious COVID-19 virus. We know that there are vulnerabilities based on medical conditions, age and gender, and that it is highly contagious. So for the vulnerable individual, or someone in a household with a vulnerable person, it’s no safer now than it was before. Each person will need to decide about how much exposure they are willing to tolerate.

A bubble of two to six people is not very large for the Outdoor Club to make outings work. As I interpret this, the two to six people would need to be stable and not changing each week. This guideline works better if people make their own small group and venture out together regularly.

It’s easier to maintain adequate physical distance in a kayak than hiking on a narrow trail. It’s quite difficult to talk while walking on a trail and maintain distance.

The Outdoor Club would like to facilitate people on Quadra to get out for exercise, and the other benefits of sunshine and the beauty of nature. But I think the new guidelines are still too restrictive to start up weekly trips.

If you wish to give feedback on any of this, please leave a comment.

Trip Report – Breton Islands Spring Equinox Paddle – 20 Mar 2020

Six paddlers gathered (mindful of our interpersonal distance) at the Len Road access on a sunny, calm, 2° morning to start the season with our first paddle outing of the year. After refreshing each other on some basic paddle trip guidelines, a gear and flotation check, and COVID-19 protocols/discussion, we put in at 9:00 on a favourable tide and headed across Hyacinthe Bay. We cruised the shoreline through Open Bay, rounded the “Red Chair Point” and on into Moulds Bay. After a brief beach stop, we continued northeast through Shellalligan Pass into Hoskyn Channel to enjoy the view up the channel towards snow-capped Doogie Dowler and other mountains of the BC mainland. Turning south we paddled down the island chain on even calmer seas until we rounded the southern tip of Breton Island and our lunch stop destination on the cobble/gravel beach. After a leisurely, 90-minute lunch in the sun (physically distanced) we put in once again and headed west to Turtle Island and on to the take out, completing the circuit at about 3:00 pm. Although we saw no cetaceans or sea lions, and few harbour seals, we did enjoy the company of a large variety of sea birds, many of which were in breeding plumage. The trip coordinator will attempt to recall the identified birds and includes a list below.  15.0 km; 4 hour paddle without the lunch break

Varying numbers of: Common Mergansers, Harlequins, Barrow’s Goldeneye, Bufflehead, Loons (Common in transition to breeding plumage), Cormorants, Black Turnstones, Black Oystercatchers, Glaucous winged gulls, Canada geese, Surf scoters.

Vic

click to enlarge the photos

Kayaking – Hyacinthe and Open Bays to Breton Islands – 20 Mar 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic – as of 22 March 2020

It is with the greatest reluctance that the Quadra Island Outdoor Club has decided to suspend any further trips in our schedule for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis. In the last 10 days the acceptable size of a group has dropped from 250 to 50 to something between two and zero. Dr. Henry’s statement on March 19th said “…right now we need to be in small groups … one or two of us. And we need to maintain our distance with others….. We are not to be outside in groups….” The Physicians of Comox Valley Division of Family Practice have advised that people should associate outside only with family members.

With an older demographic on Quadra and a significant number of vulnerable people in the community, we think being cautious is particularly important. We know that hiking with family is not an option for some of you, but our hands are tied. We hope that everyone will continue to get out each day for the benefit and beauty that it provides. If you want advice about trails on the island, don’t hesitate to e-mail. Please stay safe, follow health hygiene protocols and maintain physical distance.

Trip Report – Rampart Hill – 18 Mar 2020

We had beautiful spring conditions to snowshoe from Ramparts Hill.  Warm and sunny, with good spring snow.  We headed steeply up the hill from the parking area until we reached the open bluff with great views of the Forbidden Plateau mountains.  We wandered along wide and narrow paths as well as untracked snow.  We meandered down to another great viewpoint where we stopped for lunch.  We continued on looking for the old cabin, but another group told us we wouldn’t find it because it has burned down.  A piece of history gone.  We continued east and south, with better views of the BC mainland mountains.  In total we had views through about 270° from Mt. Albert Edward to Mt. Waddington.  This was a beautiful day at a superb area for snowshoeing.  The terrain and views couldn’t be better.  6.3 km, 3 hours 

Debbie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Snow – Mt. Washington – 18 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Ten hikers enjoyed a three-hour hike on a series of biking trails south of Walcan Road. Beginning at the Reed Lake pullout on Walcan Road, we headed south on Straight-As-A-Dime. This is a winding uphill trail with intermittent sections of logging roads which are beginning to grow in. After a short time on Navel and Silk Stockings Trails, the group turned east onto Backdoor Trail which winds its way over an extensive rock bluff plateau covered with vibrant green moss and pine forest. We stopped at a warm sunny spot to have lunch and enjoy the rays. Continuing east to the junction of Cash Only, and through the Rose Garden, we took Dick’s Ride north to the Yellow Mud Trail. Here we found a few pink salmonberry buds about to burst open. It was a pleasant walk along Wood Duck Lake, created by the extensive beaver dam at the east end of the lake. There were ring-necked ducks and bufflehead on the lake. We continued northwest on Yellow Mud Trail through mature hemlock and Douglas fir forest and along McKercher Creek to arrive back at the vehicles. The weather was sunny with a cold north wind blowing. This loop should not be attempted without being familiar with the biking trail system and having a specialized bike trail map, since the trail names have worn off the flagging at main intersections and the trail system is extensive. 8.0 km; 3½ hours

Janis

Hiking – Reed Lake Loop – 11 Mar 2020

Trip Report – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020

Ten of us explored the Deepwater Main and Creek area to a variety of destinations.  We first stopped at the old rail trestle.  Only the posts remain, but some are impressively tall and it’s a reminder of Quadra’s history.  We continued along the logging road and were surprised by the amount of snow on the road.  We probably should have been expecting  it, but the cloud on the Mt. Seymour Ridge had been so low we hadn’t noticed.  We hiked up the old logging road to the Benn Mine, which was covered in enough snow to completely change the landscape.  The sample cores and even the old car were not visible.  After taking care around the open pits, we scrambled down to view the tunnel shaft.  2.5 km; 150m elevation; 1¼ hours.

We returned to the vehicles and continued further on the active logging road covered in some patches of snow.  We hiked down the old logging road following Deepwater Creek.  The creek was as beautiful as we have ever seen it, with plenty of water flowing and deep greens in the valley.  The route is somewhat eroded, but the frequent winter deadfall had all been chain sawed, making our progress very easy. 

We had not visited the old fish hatchery since it had been sold and rehabilitated by private owners.  The area is much improved.  We are very grateful that the new owners are permitting “leave-no-trace” visitors.  It’s very generous of them.  We stopped on the shore for lunch in the sun, with great views all around of Deepwater Bay, Discovery Passage and the mouth of Deepwater Creek.  It was a lovely and varied hike.  4.8 km, 235 m elevation; 2 hours.

– Debbie

(click on photos to enlarge)

Hiking – Benn Mine and Deepwater Bay – 4 Mar 2020