January 13th, 2024
~ submitted by Su Castle
The intended trail head (parking lot #2/Sooke Potholes) that would have us closer to our intended destination was locked (icy, windy, steep road); so we changed plans and started off from the Charters Creek trailhead.
Through -5 temps, clear skies, snow and ice underfoot; 4 humans and one dog tromped up Monument instead. We had a brisk pace with very short stops to stay warm.
Coming down off the hill towards the north, we caught icy winds in the face for a short time. We stopped to admire the frozen Grassy lake before returning down Grass Lake trail.
We wanted to include Devastation Hill, but the creek crossing was a little larger than we wanted to attempt.
Took us about 3 hours to hike 12.5 kms with 550 metre elevation gain.