Benson from the South-East

-Submitted by Ken Warren
-Photographs submitted by Deb Adams & Bil Derby

On Saturday March 14th eight of us set out from Morrell Sanctuary to tackle Benson from the south-east ridge. The forecast was for rain easing to showers with a probability of wind and a possibility of sun. It did rain, but it slowed as the morning went by. At Roberts Roost the views were starting to show, although it still looked socked in over in Whymper’s direction where the other club hike was happening. [As it turns out, the Whymper trip was cancelled do to a really terrible weather forecast]

The day continued to improve to the soundtrack of the rising wind as we worked our way upward along the rocky ridges and old growth with occasional views to the north and south. We did take an unintended side trip adding 35 minutes to our ascent, but I’ll mark that up to exploration. At the four hour mark approaching the summit we wondered what was making such incredible noise. With the communications towers in sight we realized it was the wind screaming through the masts and the guy wires. We tarried at the summit only long enough to claim completion before backtracking to the road and having lunch and enjoying the views in the sheltered area below the flag.

Taking the Te’tuxtw’tun trail down and onto the roads, we passed the Cougar Bluff Loop and descended the old trails through the switchbacks, arriving at the base of the Westwood Ridges trails. We headed right towards Morrell completing the hike there in 7 ¼ hours.

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