Mount Phillips via Arnica Lake

I’m using Island Alpine as a benchmark of mountaineering achievement, a checklist of mountains to summit. It mostly leads me to exciting adventures which I approach with anticipation, but every so often I find a hike where my expectations are low. Setting out to hike Mount Phillips in Strathcona Park is an example. In August 2013, I hiked the lengthy Phillips Ridge to the peak of Vancouver Island, The Golden Hinde. I assumed I would be hiking a well-booted trail through open terrain to a summit that many people regularly visit. The day would blow my expectations out to the water.

Mount Phillips, Strathcona Park, Vancouver Island, Map and GPS Route

GPS route with photographs in place

Total Distance: 29 km
Starting Elevation: 350 m
Maximum Elevation: 1722 m
Elevation Gain: 1900 m
Total Time: 9.5 hours

 Our new hiking tradition seems to be setting out well before dawn. On Sunday, October 18th, we set out from Phil’s house at 5:30 am, and arrived at the trailhead near the Nystar Mine not too long after sunrise. On the drive in we were mired in dense fog, but temperatures were warm, around 12 degrees, even before dawn. We were in for a cracker of a day!

-Read the full report on Matthew Lettington’s Blog: Boring Art, Boring Life

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