–submitted by Ken Warren
We weren’t the first to set out to hike Benson from Witchcraft Lake, but close to it. Eight of us went on tthis new year’s expedition for various reasons, but in part it was to remember our friend and club member Mike Hordelski who died hiking Benson in 2017. Mike loved Mt Benson and hiked it many times by many routes.
Conditions were excellent with the temperature around zero, a mix of sun and overcast and enough snow to make it feel like a winter mountain experience. The snow became quite deep as we ascended, but it was trampled enough to ease our path without being icy. We made good time, stopping for a snack on the upper lookout which gave us views of the snow-topped coastal mountains above the fog that had formed over Georgia Straits. We made our way to the summit where for once there was no wind so we sat in the sun and enjoyed an early lunch with 360 degree views.
We weren’t the first to summit, but that in no way diminished the feeling of being on top of a mountain on the first day of a new near. I hope it sets the tone for the rest of the year. Happy New Year!