Margaret Symon — Lifetime Climbing Objective –Bronze

We are thrilled to present Margaret Symon with her recognition of achieving the Bronze level of the Lifetime Climbing Objective –10 of the 20 peaks on the list.

Margaret Symon, a then young and enthusiastic IMR member from 1973 to 1984 (part of which time she served as Secretary) is notably credited as the co-leader of the first party to summit a then-unnamed peak in Strathcona Park. The name MS Mountain was granted the massif in 1980 in recognition of the leaders of that trip. The peak remains a very seldom summit feature of Strathcona Park.

10+1 peaks climbed

Mt. Arrowsmith, Judges Route – first climbed Sept 1973
Bob Tustin leader. Other trip members: Bruce McInnes, D. Tarmowski

Mt. Arrowsmith via Mt. Cokely- climbed May 1974
Bob Tustin leader. Other trip members incl. Kim Hourston

Mt. Klitsa – climbed June 1980 (mostly a snow climb) via Taylor River Main.
Trip leader Mike Taylor

Elkhorn – climbed July 1974
Trip leader R. Hutchison (of Rafe’s way)

Filberg – climbed July 1974.
Trip leader B. Tustin

Golden Hinde – climbed August 1974 via Elk River Trail (multi-day trip)
Trip leader B. Tustin. Trip members included: J. Fraser, J. Symon, D. Coombes, B. Johnson, V. Humphries, A. Harrison

Kings Peak – climbed July 1974.
Trip leader R. Hutchison

Mt. McBride – climbed August 1974
Trip leader B. Tustin

Mt. Matchlee – climbed May 1975
Trip leader A. Harrison. Trip members included: D. Kanachowski, D. Coombes, B. Johnson

Rambler – climbed August 1974 via (Elk River valley)
Trip leader B. Tustin. Trip members included J. Symon, J. Fraser, D. Coombes, V. Humphries, A. Harrison.

Maitland Range – Pogo Peak climbed August 1974
Trip leader Bill Perry. Trip members included B. Tustin. M. Taylor. B. Johnson, T. DeGroot.

Mt. Maitland – climbed May 1975. Trip leader Bill Perry.

Also – did the first ascent of Ms Mountain May 1975. Trip leader: M. Symon. Trip members included: A. Harrison, D. Kanachowski, B. Johnson, D. Coombes

Beating the heat on Mt. Cokely – August 16, 2020


As the temperatures soared to 30 degrees in the valley below, the strong wind on Mt. Cokely kept us cool, for the most part. The views, the flowers, the rock scrambling, and the wonderful company made for another great outing in the mountains of Vancouver

Island. We started off about 9 a.m. with a short walk up the old road.

And then through the trees

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Sutton Peak via the West Ridge


Sutton Peak is one of Vancouver Island’s illustrious 6000 footers. It’s a destination that I frequently poke Phil about doing; since he first summited – without me—back in 2016. Aside from its height, this route’s sparkling feature is the long west ridge that leads mountaineers to seek this summit.

No GPS Track Available

Total Distance: 15 km
Starting Elevation: 1094 m
Maximum Elevation: 1870 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1511 m
Total Duration: 8 h 30 min

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The Golden Hinde(less) Traverse – July 18-24, 2020

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What a blast on the Augerpoint Traverse!


What a difference a year makes! Last year when we hiked this trail, we saw nary a soul past Mount Albert Edward, but this year we met more than 20 others. One big group of about 20, a group of 3, a solo man and his dog, and two runners completing it in a day. The trail is also much better defined than it was just last year – a well-worn tread with many cairns leads the way. Although it is popular and pleasant, it’s far from a “walk in the park,” as over it’s 30 km it gains 2150 m and loses 3000 m. Lots of ups and downs! Since we started from Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge with an elevation of 1100 m., we had an overall elevation loss of 850 m.

We started off with a stroll through Paradise Meadows

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Golden Hinde Traverse

–submitted by Bill Jackson

In the fall I posted a July trip to the Hinde.  Greg Deabler offered to co-lead, which made the thing possible.  Even with that much lead time, and even if Covid hadn’t interrupted hiking, I’d have trouble preparing to lead that serious a trip.  Later a suggestion was made to change the plan to a traverse.  John Young would lead a traverse from Elk River to Buttle Lake, ascending the Hinde along the way, and our group would do the same in the other direction.  We conferred with those who were down for the trip that was originally planned and the decision was a “go”.
As it turned out, we didn’t complete our objectives but it was a great time in the mountains.

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A Traverse in Strathcona Park: Wolf & Puzzle Mountains with a Circumnavigation of Volcano Lake

–submitted by Matthew Lettington; originally published on

I’m a prisoner to my work schedule, and my summer vacation kicks off in the final weekend of June. However, since meeting Phil, I’ve come to participate in an annual pre-summer trip known as the Birthday Hike. This annual prelude-to-summer trip has brought us to some of the best places on Vancouver Island.

Wolf Mountain

For two days, starting June 22, 2019, we set our sights on the three peaks which rise high along the ridge, on the west side of the Elk River Trail. The ridge is among the best Island Alpine I’ve had the pleasure of hiking; its near-pristine nature is protected by the awful bushwhack of Butterwort Creek on one end and a gnarly few steps on the other. It’s the type of terrain that is only visited by the crazy few who would seek out these diminutive objectives over the many giants of the Elk River Valley.

Total Distance 28.6 km
Starting Elevation: 312 m
Maximum Elevation: 1826 m
Total Elevation Gain: 2421 m

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Adder Mountain

–submitted by Wendy Langelo

Sept 7 – Phil picked up 3 of us in Parksville Saturday morning at 7:15 – we jumped in with him and headed off to Sutton Pass and the logging road up to the trailhead. The logging road up was quite a trip in itself – apparently the logging company deactivating the road had gone relatively crazy with the waterbars in the last 2 years since Phil and Debbie had been up there. I got a lesson on what my Jeep may be capable of with a competent driver 😉

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