Blackjack Ridge (Ridge Ramblers Challenge)

December 3, 2022

~ submitted by Brian Fleming

First winter hike of the year!  

A group of seven Island Mountain Ramblers made our way up to one of the ridges in the Nanaimo First and Second Lake area.  

The drive to Nanaimo was horrible on the way down and bad on the way up.  Lots of ice, but the hike was great!  There was just enough snow to need snowshoes.

The hike started with about 4km of snow covered logging road.  Luckily some loggers had chained up and made a path part way up the road which made things a little easier to start.  Once we were off the logging road we followed a rough route up the hill twisting through the trees.

Matthew did most of the trail breaking but most of us did get a turn at the front.  I was lucky enough to have a turn when the snow seemed the deepest.  Our snowshoes were sinking 20″ or more.  This was super tough work!  It’s amazing how much different the experience is between being the first and the third person.  

By the time we had passed through, you had a trail groomed just as well as any on Mount Washington.

The weather was great while we were out.  The clouds were clearing when we started and we were looking at blue sky on the way up.  The clouds held off until we were part way down before moving in again.

Great start to the season!

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