–submitted by Matthew Lettington; additional photography by Dorothy Benneke, and Sherry Durnford
It was a chilly mid-morning start for the club trip up Green Mountain. With the popularity of the trip, we hiked as three groups, departing several minutes apart. The well-worn boot track was easy to follow even though it was covered in a skiff of snow.
Six of us set off from the Ships Creek trailhead on a cool and overcast Saturday morning. The trail is in excellent condition and is still quite dry. We paused at the first lookout which can give views stretching from Mount Marks to the Comox Glacier, but the clouds had dropped low enough to conceal any mountain presence.
Monday dawned overcast with some rain but was forecasted to clear in the afternoon with Tuesday and Wednesday being cloudy with sunny periods.
Arrived at King’s Peak parking area at 12:30 pm Monday and enjoyed cool weather to hike the 1000 meters to the Meadow. Very peaceful as 3 groups came down, seemingly leaving me alone on the mountain. Interesting route finding in spots and washed out banks by the creek made for some interesting water sport. Getting across the mudslide just before the Meadow is a challenge. Helicopters provided background music in the late afternoon.
This was a 4 day trip up island for some car camping, hiking, and exploring. On our second day we left one vehicle at Atluck Lake campground and proceeded to Merry Widow Mtn on the backroads, coming at it from the South instead of the more common route via Port McNeil. (We wanted to find the Vanishing and Reappearing Rivers on the way. We only found the Vanishing but it was impressive!) Previous reports had said the climb up the hill on Merry Trail Main was deactivated, and in fact the sign saying so is still at the bottom. We quickly discovered a nicely graded road, and after a quick chat with a couple guys in a Western Forest Products pickup we discovered there is currently active logging both right at and beyond the trailhead. This is good for an easier drive up the road, but we were slightly more concerned at meeting a loaded truck, and the soundtrack to our hike consisted of chainsaws and machinery noises.
After many comings and goings of people on the trip list, all of the waitlist people were also invited and we ended up with 5 of us on the hike. It was a beautiful, somewhat smoke hazy day. The road is a bit rough, needing high clearance and 4×4.
The hike is an easy ramble up and along in the beautiful subalpine to a big cairn at the non-majestic summit. The views were hazy but we could see Comox glacier, Reese ridge, George V, Frink, Albert Edward, Regan, Jutland and more.
The hike is not long so we took our time, had a snack break and a nice long lunch break at the top. A good day with good company!
We left our departure point under partly clear skies. From the sound coming from Bush Creek, we were quick to realize that the recent rain had increased its flow. Our first stop was the old cabin, still kept in great shape by the Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club.
The logistics of this trip demand vehicle shuttles or two groups, each starting at opposite ends. With John Young leading (and planning) it is a simple task to co-lead from the opposite end.
With our trip planned to start at the Wood Mountain trail head and John’s trip to start at the Mt Washington trail head all participants met at Piercy Road at 08.00 for a vehicle swap – a great plan by John as it put each of our respective vehicles at the place where we would end the day.
A quick drive to the TH and we were off by 08.40. The direct route up from the parking lot through the old ski hill area is a fine, and hearth thumping, way to “warm up”. There was some good natured commentary about how much longer it would take John’s group to warm up on the flatter Paradise Meadows trails but we looked forward to end with a good leg stretch on kind trails.
An Island Mountain Ramblers hike from Mt. Washington to Wood MountainSept. 26, 2020In order to avoid the dreaded car shuttle that involves an extra 2 hours of driving, we swapped vehicles at the meet-up point on Piercy Road. My group of four then drove up to Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge, and the other three drove to the old Forbidden Plateau Ski Area. When we finished the hike, our vehicles were waiting for us.
Our Route – 26.5 km
Although the previous days had been rainy, the sun beckoned us forward through Paradise Meadows
John Young led the August rendition of the Augerpoint traverse, but as there were so many people interested, Greg Deabler, a very experienced mountaineer and fairly new Rambler member, was recruited to put on another trip in September. After cancellations and injuries, the group was down to six, but what a fine mix of six were we!
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.