November 15th, I joined up with Rod Szasz and a few other hikers, many from the Island Mountain Ramblers for a trip up a rarely summited peak in the Nanaimo Lakes Region/Cowichan Lake Region. Mt Hooper tops out around 1490 metres. For me, an most interesting aspect of the hike is that the weekend before I climbed the peak immediately across the valley. Folks who follow my blog will note that summit is Sadie Peak.
|GPS Route with Photographs
Total Horizontal Distance: 9.8 km
Starting Elevation: 795 m
Max Elevation: 1490 m
Total Elevation Gain: 865 m
We met at Rod’s place at 6 am, the thermometer on the car read -5 Celsius, the sun was not yet breaking on the horizon. 5 hikers piled into the truck and we picked up a 6th on at nearby elementary school . The six of us drove south turning off to meet the final group of hikers at the Youbou Firehall at 8:25.
From HWY 1 we drove about 80km reaching 800 m of elevation, before we started walking. After leaving Youbou we continued west to north shore road, which eventually turns into Nitinat River Main FSR. We continued well past Cowichan Lake, following the Nitinat River and ultimately turned up an old logging spur. The road along the entire spur was excellent, very few deep dips. The bigger issue is the encroaching alder. The farther up the road we moved the narrower the road becomes. Before long, the trees were scratching and clawing at Rod’s vehicle. Eventually we parked the vehicle and carried on, on foot.