–submitted by Bill Derby

Seven intrepid Ramblers met at Starbucks in North Nanaimo under a bright blue early morning sky to make introductions, grab a coffee, and sort out vehicles before departing for the 5040 Peak trail head via Port Alberni and Highway 4. 

The 10km drive in on the Marion FSR was not without its moments of consternation, at the condition of the road in places, and admiration for Bryan’s consummate driving skills as he navigated the twists and turns of the cross ditches and slide areas in his Subaru outback while, on occasion, grading the road with his front bumper.

From the trail head, we headed up through on old clear-cut that is growing back nicely. A steep ascent to Cobalt Lake was rewarded with views of 5040 and her subordinate bumps along with Triple Peak and Cat Ears. After a quick bite, we were off for the summit along a trail that ascended through the forest, crossed heather slopes and a couple of steep snow slopes before turning the shoulder to give us our first views of Nahmint in the distance.  A quick ridge walk and we were at the summit for a snack, photos, soaking up the views and adding a new summit register book to the container. Down was…well, down. Back at the lake in less than an hour and back at the vehicle an hour after that. All in all a great day with great people.

I would be remiss if I didn’t send a shout out to Sherry Durnford who initiated this trip only to turn over the reigns to me as she recovers from an earlier than expected hip surgery. We all wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to sharing the trails with her soon.

Distance: 8.0km
Elevation: 1,028m
High Point: 1,536m (5,040 feet)