August 22, 2020
~ submitted by Bil Derby
Planned as a do-over of an unsuccessful trip in 2018 this trip filled up quickly when posted on the schedule. By the time the week of the trip arrived the group reduced to just Gord and I. Leaving Nanaimo at 06.30 on Saturday we arrived at the trailhead at 09.00 and were set up in the lower meadows 3-1/2 hours later.
An afternoon spent scrambling about the gully and remnant snowfield above the meadows whiled away time and effectively silenced the work week. While Gord and I have known each other for a hair over 25 years this was the first trip together in several years, life and work having a habit of getting in the way, and the evening was spent catching up and telling stories – some may have even been true.
Sunday dawned bright and clear, quite a change from my last visit to Kings in 2018 when we turned back in miserable visibility. An early start put us on the summit before 10.30 and after exploring the ridge line a bit on the way up. It was interesting to see a tent up on the ridge itself – it would quite a lovely place to camp but one without a ready water source.
Back in the meadows just after 13.00 to pack up and work our way back to the truck after a very restful (mentally) visit to the mountains.
The trail was busy both days with other backpackers and the usual assortment of day hikers, some of whom turned back due to late starts and, on Sunday afternoon, poor visibility. And the trail runners … now there are some fit folks. Not sure how much they take in as they hustle up and down the mountains but they sure can make time.
For those that have not yet visited Kings the trail is challenging all the way up with some interesting, but thankfully short-lived, difficulties. The trail needs work in several spots below and above treeline, all as result of the increasing popularity of the area coupled with under funding of BC Parks.
Total round-trip distance = 15km +/-.
Total elevation gain = 1,880 meters inclusive of some off-route exploration