Mount Becher: ONE DAY INSIDE A SNOW GLOBE

SUBMITTED BY MICK BAILeY; ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON BCTREEHUNTER

It was late January. I’d been signed up for a winter snowshoe ascent of Mt Becher with the Island Mountain Ramblers for a while, but the weather had not been easy to predict of late. In the end, it had to be postponed for a week, but with a forecast of light snow and afternoon clearing, the trip was a go for Groundhog Day. Well, I’m no meteorologist, but that sounded good to me. I’ve only seen that movie about twelve times by now!

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It’s Ground Hog Day! To get the real flavour of this film, naturally, you have to watch it more than once!

As our trip leader John was later heard to say “In Saskatoon, you know, we never really worried about the groundhog seeing his shadow. Six more weeks of winter didn’t sound too bad at all!” But I digress, despite the torrential rains of the previous Friday, it was time for us to gear up and head for the hills!

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Our route to the summit of Mt Becher

There were seven of us altogether: Fearless leader John, Mo, Karen, Sylvie, Goody, and I left Nanaimo at 730 am. We met Kristy on the mountain a little later on. As we drove up Highway 19, the sun and skies put on a bit of show, once we got north of Qualicum. I remember musing that it might just be the best light of the day, and that there had to be a storm behind it. Sure enough, when we reached the turnoff to Piercy Road, it had begun to snow lightly, and by the time we’d parked near the site of the old Forbidden Lodge, it was snowing harder and the wind had picked up considerably.

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Westwood Ridges Before the Club Meeting

October 27, 2019

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

It was a horrible day for a club meeting. The sun was shining, birds singing, and a light breeze chilled the air to keep us from overheating.

Our group of seven spent a little over three hours exploring the first two ridges. By the time we arrived back at the parking lot, we had completed a 10.5 km loop with just about 400 meters elevation gain. 


It was a perfect pre-meeting hike!

Mount Benson Project — Trail Work

–submitted by Matthew Lettington

The Mount Benson Project continues to roll along. During the summer, we spent our time diverting water and shoring up the eroding bank. Since then, we have been reluctant to do any work that relies on the integrity of the work previously done. When the fall rains arrived, we examined the results of the work, and it appears that most of the water is being diverted off the trail. Though there is still more work to be done in this area, we are ready to move into some other areas of work.

Dustin, using the hammer drill to create a socket for rebar.

On Wednesday, October 30, Dustin and Matthew loaded their backpacks and set out with adhesive, rebar, and hammer drill do work that added steps in a few key places within our section.

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Pinder Peak in the Province Range

–submitted by Matthew Lettington; orginally published on explorington.com

Our late September trip to Pinder Peak was fantastic! The combination of a dry, cool day on a snow-free route filled with plenty of alpine berries reminded me why I (sometimes) love fall hiking! This trip was very different from my first trip to Pinder Peak.

summit cairn

If you’ve ever driven along by Atluk Lake, you’ve probably spotted the Pinder massif out your window. It rises from the wooded shores of the lake as a rocky tower that begs the mountaineer to climb it. The summit massif is marked by two prominent features, either of which is a worthy objective, though the subpeak is probably more of a challenge.

Total Distance: 14.0 km
Starting  Elevation: 360 m
Maximum Elevation: 1550 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1223 m
Total Time: 7 hours

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Mount Cokely from the Arrowsmith Saddle

August 24, 2019

~ trip report by Mick Bailey

Mt Cokely sounded like an interesting destination. I had read about the trip on the Island Mountain Ramblers page several weeks before, and though at first it was fully booked, I managed to latch on when a few people cancelled. The plan, for our group of ten, was to ascend the Saddle Trail, scramble up to the ridge of Cokely, and then further on to the summit. On the return trip, we’d return to the ridge, find the Rosseau Trail, and return to the vehicles via that route. This would be my first visit to the Mt Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, and I was looking forward to the views!

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Arrowsmith massif from the Nanoose Bay area

The lightest of rains and low clouds followed us as we made our way from Nanaimo on the Island Highway toward Highway 4. By the time we passed through MacMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove) and turned onto Summit Main, the rain had begun to fade. Next came more logging roads, as we followed Cameron Main and Pass Main to the trailhead high above, at roughly 1000m in elevation.

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