Hansen Lagoon Bust

–submitted by John Young; originally published on his blog

Four years ago, I went on an Island Mountain Ramblers’ trip to Lowrie Bay, and caught the bug–the bug of venturing (at low tide) along the shore and over headlands to the end of Hansen Bay. So when our trip to Nootka Island was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, I decided to return to Cape Scott, with the hope of forging our way along the lagoon to Nels Bight.

  • June 7 – camped at San Josef Bay (#3 on the map)
  • June 8 – over Mt. St. Patick to Lowrie Bay (10k; 6 hours 20 minutes)
  • June 9 – attempted to get to Rasmus Creek, but fallen trees forced us back and we camped just south of the point leading into Hansen Bay (a 10-hour day!)
  • June 10 – back to Lowrie Bay
  • June 11 – home sweet home

June 7 – a short 2.5k walk to our campsite

San Jo–arguably the nicest beach on Vancouver Island!

We managed to squeeze all 6 of our tents into this spot in the trees


Our beach-side kitchen, dining and living room


June 8 – up and over Mt. St. Patrick (416 m.) to Lowrie Bay

A rough trail, but oh! the view from the summit!

Bill with some fancy footwork crossing Russell Creek

Lowrie Bay


June 9—some beautiful and challenging seaside hiking


And the bushiest whacking I’ve ever experienced, especially with an overnight pack!


But fabulous flora along the way

Our camp in a small cove on June 9

Michael caching food for the night

June 10 – return to Lowrie Bay

Eli with a sea lion skull

Thankfully, the bear appears to be well fed!


Luckily, the weather cleared up and we relaxed back at Lowrie Bay

I had fun with this Japanese light bulb that I found, intact!


June 11 – back up Mt. St. Pat


And along San Jo Bay and back to the trailhead


Yes, my hands took a beating, but it was worth it!

Mt. Arrowsmith – Unjudges Route

June 14th, 2020

~ submitted by Greg Deabler

After watching the mountain forecast for Arrowsmith all week, we decided to move our trip up the Unjudges route to Sunday and take advantage of the partial sunshine forecast – haha.  5 of us met at Whiskey Creek and picked up a sixth at the Alberni summit hump.  We dropped a car at the judges route and took 2 cars to the unjudges trailhead.  

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Mt Richards

June 7, 2020

~ submitted by Mary Hof

Having said I would lead an official hike under the new normal for the Island Ramblers I kind of felt a bit apprehensive. I knew 5 of the 6 people (4 were members, and 2 were guests and no other member emailed) but for some reason I had this feeling that I never had in the 24 years I have been leading hikes.

I arrived at the Mt Richards trailhead early and with clipboard in hand I made sure I had everyone’s emergency contacts cell numbers. Usually I just pass the clipboard around but with COVID, I held on to it and took the information myself. I then carry that paper with me in case it’s needed. It always amazes me (not this hike) but some hikes that people don’t have a emergency contact they can give me, once I even had someone gave me their lawyer I mentioned their office was closed how would I reach him Lol. 

Today, once we made a circle and everyone introduced themselves, I felt good to go. It was a beautiful hike using my new trails on Mt Richards, hitting many few points and so many beautiful flowers, ferns, lake, and pine trees. We even had a photo shoot with some beautiful foxgloves flowers.

The hike was 11.5km and took 4.5 hours and the company was awesome. I love where we live and hike.

Helen Mackenzie Snowshoe Trip

March 14, 2020

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

On Saturday, March 14, I led a small group on a snowshoe trip to Lake Helen Mackenzie. It was two families, me with my two children, and Jes with his son Trace.  It was Hemingway’s first-time wearing snowshoes to walk, even though the conditions didn’t require it. We had very sunny conditions but cold air that kept the snow very dry and the sky clear.

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Mount Becher Snowshoe

March 8th, 2020

~ submitted by John Young

Lucky or what?  My fifth time snowshoeing in the last 2 months and each time the trees have been adorned with snow! Some years, you might never get that, as the snow melts off or is pelted off with untimely rains.

This time, we had snow on the trees right from the parking lot, and although the skies were clear when we set out at 9:45, cloud moved in, limiting our view from the summit.

Ascending Wood Mountain:

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Mount Becher Snowshoe: A Suitable Alternative

March 7th, 2020

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

The plan was to summit Mount Allan Brooks, but the weather had other ideas. On our start up the road to Raven Lodge, the snow on the road was so slippery that a long line of cars had formed not far from the lower chain up area—forget that noise! We detoured to Mount Becher, perhaps a bit far from our original destination, but the road was plowed and the snow just as fresh.

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Mt. Elma Snowshoe

March 1st, 2020

~ submitted by John Young

A Ramble up Mt. Elma – March 1, 2020

Ah, lucked out with another beautiful day snowshoeing up Mt. Elma with a wonderful group of nine members of the Island Mountain Ramblers.

We started out from Raven Lodge at 9:45 and meandered through Paradise Meadows, then up to Battleship Lake. The snow in the trees! The view of Strathcona’s peaks from the summit–oh! 

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