–originally published by Eryn on her Facebook Account
What follows are Eryn’s words reporting her recent ascent of Splendor. Her final peak needed to complete her Lifetime Climbing Objective.
Splendor! How lovely. I headed into the backcountry for 5 days with Barry Hansen out of gold river, canoed across Matchlee Bay and up the Burman river until we could go no further, hiked logging roads for another 12ish km then unto the unforgiving bush filled with ground wasps and thick bush. People often ask me if i’m scared of wildlife such as bears and cougars, but really is those stinging tiny little *ssholes underfoot that truly terrify me. Within ten minutes of the end of the logging road Barry had stirred up a wasp nest and I suffered two stings, on my elbow (that turned into an arm with no elbow definition) and my butt (which resulted in half a brazilian butt lift.) The redeeming factor of the bush (and the subsequent bush on the next few days) was the overabundance of huckleberries and blueberries.
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.