Morrell Sanctuary along Benson Ridge to [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ]

–submitted by Mary Hof

Hike from Morrell Sanctuary to [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ] and along the South Ridge to the summit of Mt Benson and down the North Ridge to Witchcraft Lake. October 2, 2016.

This was my first hike I led as a Rambler, for over 20 years I have been leading hikes for the Outdoor Club of Victoria, and the Cowichan hikers. I joined the Ramblers earlier this year as I wanted more variety and some tougher hikes.

For this trip I had many emails and correspondence till the day of, people joining, canceling etc, and with the weather the way it was, I was very pleased to have 5 very keen hikers joining me.
I arranged a car shuttle leaving three cars at Witchcraft and a couple at [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ].
The rain had stopped and we were on our way. We got to [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ] and I showed the group where we were going. Coming down the backside of the [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ], I took a trail with flagging, I usually take the other one, but I thought this will get me out to the road. Hugging the side of the hill we went up and down and I said to the group, this is not correct, I believe it will take us there, we can continue, or we can go back and take the proper trail.
Continue was the voice of all, well, we came to the end of the trail, I could see the road, but before us was going to be a huge bushwhack to get there, and I mean huge, the group said, let’s bushwhack, and that’s what we did. I was soaked to my waist, the group was awesome, they loved the adventure, me not so much.
Anyways, getting to the summit was 3.5 hours, the sun was coming out and it was beautiful. At the summit the sun was shining, but below there was fog, so our views were limited. We had a nice lunch at top, and headed down the Northern route along the ridge. We arrived back at Witchcraft Lake, 6.5 hours later.
I look forward to doing more hikes with the Ramblers, and leading hikes for them.
Mary Hof
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