Mt Benson: The Outer Route

–submitted by Bil Derby

Eight of us met at Morrell Sanctuary to make introductions, do the paperwork, and shuttle cars to the Witchcraft Lake trail-head. We were on the trail at 09:00 heading up the northernmost trail towards the creek crossing, the ascent to the climbing wall and first or many viewpoints. Unfortunately, two had to turn back, one for who the trail was more strenuous than expected and one who graciously cut her day short to escort the first back to  Witchcraft Lake.

Six of us carried on enjoying a lovely sunny hike filled with good chatter and a few laughs. We made the summit at noon where mother nature provided confirmation, in the form of a hail storm, that it is not quite spring in the hills just yet. A quick summit lunch and we were on our way down the south-east ridge moving briskly in an ever-intensifying hail storm.

The trails down the south-east ridge follow a nice line through a very pretty forest, despite the trail braiding that is happening – both by hikers and dirt bikers. A quick hop up and over Roberts Roost and we were on the home stretch finishing up at Morrell Sanctuary at 15:30 for a total of 6-1/2 hours, 13km, and 940 meters of gain. A nice hike made better by great company.


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