Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Comox Valley Regional District

Forbidden Plateau to Mt. Washington – Sept. 30, 2017

— Read the original post on John Young’s blog

Wow! What colors! I’ve never been so dazzled by fall colors as I was yesterday on our Island Mountain Ramblers’ hike from Forbidden Plateau to Mt. Washington.

We started our 27 k. hike at 8:20 under cloudy skies, with showers in the forecast We headed up the old ski area, and although going from this end meant we had more elevation gain than starting from Mt. Washington, I was glad we got this part over first, as it wasn’t ‘t scenic at all. Thanks to our leader, John Robertson, for arranging our car shuttles and deciding to start from the old Wood Mountain (Forbidden Plateau) Ski Area.

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Wood Mountain to Paradise Meadows

–Submitted by John Robertson

Five hikers set out in 2 vehicles from north Nanaimo at 6am. By 8:20, we had dropped a vehicle off at the Mount Washington trailhead, and backtracked in the other, to the old Wood mountain ski area. Drizzle and cold wind greeted us as we shouldered packs, but with the initial climb up the old ski hill, we worked off any potential chill quickly.We stopped for lunch at McKenzie Lake. By that time, the wind had died to nothing, and the sun was doing battle with the clouds (although the clouds ultimately won the day). After lunch, we continued on our way, in a light rain. From this point, the trail became a bit more grown in, and we took turns in the lead position, filling our boots as we knocked accumulated water off the blueberry bushes that hung over the trail.The GPS recorded 27.7 kilometers, and we were all quite satisfied with our day. It’s a good hike, when, as soon as the pack comes off, the talk is about the next opportunity to do it again.

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Ash Pond Trail, Mt. Becher via Slingshot meadows

–submitted by Adrian Houle

We started at Wood Mountain parking lot. We traveled past the ruins of the old ski hill to the border of Strathcona park. From there we followed the trail and took the route signed as Drabble and lamountainie, skirting under the cliffs of Mount Becher.

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Wilderness Navigation – Mt Elma

–submitted by Jo Anne Potter

8

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.

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First Family/Novice Snowshoe of 2016

–submitted by Matthew Lettington

The forecast held true for our scheduled Family/Novice snowshoe trip for the winter 2016/2017 season. The skies were darkened by overcast skies air temperature hovered just below freezing, and there was hardly any falling snow. overcast skies and the air was slightly below zero, on the Island Mountain Ramblers first Family/Novice snowshoe trip of the 2016/2017 winter.

helen-makenzie-snowshoe-screen-0275

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Mt. Becher, via Boston Ridge

–submitted by John Young

The outing started out as a rather soggy affair, but before long the rain ceased and the sun came out, albeit only for a short time. So, we had no views, but the fall colours were wonderful and a good time was had by all. The trail up to Boston Ridge is wellmarked, for the most part, although finding the trail down to Boston Creek from the road at the trailhead took a little doing.

Mount Becher via Boston Ridge

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Hiking Fabulous Rees Ridge in Strathcona Park

Inhaling deeply, I hold my breath a long moment and then slowly exhale. I can hear my heart pounding in my ears, and feel it in my chest, as I release the shutter on my camera. It shudders as the frame is captured, preserving the moment. I’m high up on the summit of Mount Celeste, the highpoint on Rees Ridge, looking west over the mountain ridges and peaks that form the body of Strathcona Park. Behind me, the Aureole Icefield stretches the length of Rees Ridge. From my vantage point, I think about this place, its history, its visitors, and I reflect on its significance to me – the birthplace of my passion for mountaineering.

My introduction to mountaineering was not a trial by fire, but a trial by snow and ice. In July 2010, I joined the Island Mountain Ramblers and went on my first mountaineering adventure: a seven-day, ten-peak extravaganza through Strathcona Park. Although the trip included several ridge walks and a lot of traversing, the highlight was walking on one of Vancouver Island’s most precious mountain features: the Aureole Icefield on Rees Ridge. At a height of over 2000 metres, Rees Ridge gives access to some of the most outstanding views of Comox Glacier, Argus, Harmston, Tzela, Shepherds Ridge, Flower Ridge, Rousseau Ridge … if we were talking, I would be out of breath just listing them!

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