Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Snowshoeing (Page 1 of 2)

Mount Abel: A Great Spring Snowshoe in the Sutton Range

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the full report on his blog

The Sutton Range holds a good number of peaks that I’ve included my Island Alpine Quest, including our goal for the day: Mount Abel. The names of the peaks and valleys follow a pattern – Mount Cain, Mount Abel, Mount Adam, Adam River, Eve River, and so on – that have some people referring to that portion of the range as the Genesis Range. Mount Abel, like most mountains, has both an easy or a difficult approach. The west aspect is a dramatic rock wall, but from the southeast there is a good variety of easy mountaineering options.

We parked a short distance down a logging spur, just off Adam Road (~850 m). Only the week prior, the snow was piled at least forty-five centimetres high on the place we were now parked. That’s a lot of snow melt in seven days! Seeing how fast the snow is melting brought a smile to my face, as it’s a sure sign of summer ahead. At the same time, I groaned a little, knowing that we would be trekking through some sloppy conditions.

 

 

Total Distance: 9.9 km
Starting Elevation: 886 m
Maximum Elevation: 1819m
Total Elevation Gain: 943 m
Total Time: 6 hours

Read More

A winter route up Big Den turns unseasonably warm

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read it on his blog

This year, winter on the West Coast has been full of surprises, though this may only have been noticed by those who venture outdoors. Winter keeps serving up a huge variety of weather! We’ve seen temperatures at sea level that dip below negative ten for so long that lakes in Nanaimo have frozen hard enough to walk on, snow piled up on the roadside and yards for more than a month, blizzards in the mountains, and now, temperatures in the high alpine that are reaching into the low teens. On our February 13th adventure up Big Den Mountain, the unseasonably warm conditions forced us to turn back.

Total Distance: 8.7 km
Starting Elevation: 109 m
Maximum Elevation: 1470 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1377 m
Total Time: 7h 15 m

 

 

Read More

Snowshoe to Boston Falls Lookout: A Sunny Day below Mount Becher’s Summit

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the report on his blog

When I’m stuck inside, it sometimes feels like I won’t ever break free and get outside! If you’re passionate like I am, you probably feel the same. Now that I’ve added two kids to the equation, it’s even more difficult to balance the time between my family obligations and my passion. Not that the two are mutually exclusive; as often as I can, I try to merge the two together. But it’s not as simple as stuffing a child into a carrier. There are the known issues to deal with– diaper changes, toys, and extra snacks– but heading into the backcountry adds extra challenges. Changing a bare bottom in the wind is no cup of tea, and neither is a cup of tea, for that matter! Fortunately, at three and a half years old, my son has emerged from the long cold winter that has been his era of wearing diapers.

Read More

Mt Becher — ski and snowshoe

–submitted by Matthew Lettington

Mount Becher is a popular destination for ski touring, hiking and snowshoeing, but on February 4th, it wasn’t our primary objective. Our first option was Mount Curran, in the Beaufort Range, but an unexpected snowstorm conspired against us. Mt Becher was a better goal for a day with a heavy snowfall forecast. I was only slightly disappointed to leave another peak on my Alpine Quest unclimbed because I was keen to work on my ski skills, and Mount Becher is always a great place to ski.

Read More

Family/Novice Helen Mackenzie Loop

–submitted by Matthew Lettington

January 28th, 9 participants braved the brooding overcast skies and head out on the well-booted route around Helen Makenzie and Battleship Lakes.

Read More

Mt Cain — The Long Way Around

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the report on his blog

Being focused on an objective is a great way to track progress and remember to celebrate when you achieve a goal. But sometimes, I get so focused on the objective that I forget about everything that goes into making the day a success. On January 22nd, I had a good reminder that getting to the destination can be half the fun.

I’m usually the driver for our adventures. Behind the wheel, I’m focused on the moment: making sure I don’t fall asleep, leave us sideways on a patch of ice, or take the wrong road. I try to take in as much as I can, but I often let the landscape slide past me without paying it much mind. On January 22nd, I was a passenger — Oh, the sweet passenger life! I scrunched myself into the backseat, propped my head against the window, and watched the landscape roll by. I took it all in – well, at least the right side of the highway. We were on our way to … well, I don’t even remember where. I recall that our destination was past Gold River — a long drive, for sure! But where we were headed isn’t important, because we didn’t get there. In fact, we rerouted several times and ended up far from our original destination.

Mt Cain Snowshoe in the Dream Chute

Mt Cain parking area, Genesis Range

Read More

Mt Grey, another in a growing list of failed summit attempts

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the full report and see more images on his blog

Mount Grey is a lovely hike through old-growth alpine fir and along a treed alpine ridge, up to a summit that offers great views of the Alberni Inlet. My Mount Grey trip had two portions of adventure: the cold from an arctic outflow, and the ride home.

On January 8th, I joined a group of six Island Mountain Ramblers on a trip up Mount Grey. Our original trip plan was Mount Adam, but we were concerned about avalanche and difficulty ascending the two incredibly steep slopes on the route. Our failed trip up Mount Derby and Mount Peel had given us first-hand knowledge of the region’s conditions, and currently, the avalanche conditions were rated considerable. It was a smart choice to change our plans, and I was happy to be attempt Mount Grey. We had high hopes that the conditions would be stable, due to lower elevation and proximity to the Alberni Inlet.

http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/lettington/2017-mount-grey/

Mount Grey GPS Route and Map

 

Total Distance: 9 km
Starting Elevation: 434 m
Maximum Elevation: 1337 m
Total Elevation Gain: 894 m
Total Time: 6 h 45 m

Read More

First Family/Novice Snowshoe of 2017

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the full report and see more images on his blog

A large group of Island Mountain Ramblers and guests assembled in the parking lot of Raven lodge, mid-morning of January 7th. The wind in the parking lot was frigid and the thermometer in my car read temperatures close to -10 C. In keeping with many of the trips I lead, I took a long time getting my seld ready for the trip.

snowshoeing, mount washington, snowshoing vancouver island, matthew lettington

 

Read More

Kick of to 2017!

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the report on his blog

2016 is remembered by most as a year full of foul events, a year that just kept kicking people when they were down! From my perspective, the year looked pretty okay. My family welcomed a second child, I went back to university (AGAIN), and I amidst the mayhem still managed to adventure with many friends. In December, I examined my GPS trip data and discovered that I hiked, kayaked and/or snowshoed more than 60,0000 metres of elevation gain, and more than 700 kilometres of horizontal distance. More importantly, Phil and I checked off more than 30 peaks on our Island Alpine Quest. I was eager to add Mt Derby and Mt Peel to that list of completed peaks.

The Island Mountain Ramblers have a New Year’s Day tradition of hosting a hike to celebrate a new year of adventure. To kick off 2017, I joined my three club-mates on a three-day winter trip to kick of 2017. If successful we would summit Mt Derby and Mt Peel. The trip included two days of alpine winter camping, my first true winter camping experience. As our day of departure approached the forecast brought an arctic outflow, we were looking forward too -if that’s even the right term- temperatures as low as -24 C!

 

Total Distance: 12. 4 km
Starting Elevation: 420 m
Maximum Elevation: 1160 m
Total Elevation Gain: 825 m

 

 

 

 

Read More

Katzenjammer Light

–submitted by Ken Warren

New Years morning was cold, breezy and clearing when four Ramblers set out in the snow from Witchcraft Lake to Mt Benson. There was one truck in the parking lot before us and a single hiker ahead of us.  Trail conditions were fair with around 6cm of fresh snow softening up the ice slick of the well used track. We made good time to the halfway point with a short off trail ramble to mix things up.

Read More

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén