The many peaks in the Prince of Whales Range feature some of the greatest views of the Johnstone Strait; the distant peaks to both the east and west aren’t too hard on the eyes either. If you haven’t had a chance to hike in the region yet, I urge you to throw on some boots and head for the hills! My first hikes in the area were only this past summer, first when Phil and I hiked Mount Kitchener, and then when Phil led an Island Mountain Ramblers hike up the Stowe Creek Trail to H’Kusam Mountain. Having enjoyed these hikes, we eagerly planned to do another; we even entertained the idea of summiting Springer Peak and Stowe Peak in the same day. Ultimately, however, we would only achieve the first peak; conditions were wintery, and even at the lower elevations frozen ground made progress slow and dangerous.
|approaching the final pitch tot he summit of Springer Peak|
|Springer Peak Map and GPS route|
Total Distance: 9.7 km
Starting Elevation: 46m
Maximum Elevation: 1604 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1558m
Time: 6 hours 50 minutes
Trail conditions were surprising. We anticipated a trail similar to that of the Stowe Creek Trail, but the two were nothing alike. Although Bill’s Trail is very wide and easy to traverse, it terminates around 1000 metres and transitions into the more traditional Vancouver Island mountaineering route: up and over rocks, through steep sections of moderately exposed forest, and featuring several viewpoints. This transition turned me into a liar! In my trip description, I classed the hike as steep Class 2, obviously underclassed. Bill’s Trail leads from Seaward to the col between Stowe Peak and H’Kusam Mountain. The trail is notoriously used in the H’Kusam Klimb, and the event produces a great map with many features marked.
Read the full report on his blog Boring Art, Boring Life