We left our departure point under partly clear skies. From the sound coming from Bush Creek, we were quick to realize that the recent rain had increased its flow. Our first stop was the old cabin, still kept in great shape by the Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club.
The logistics of this trip demand vehicle shuttles or two groups, each starting at opposite ends. With John Young leading (and planning) it is a simple task to co-lead from the opposite end.
With our trip planned to start at the Wood Mountain trail head and John’s trip to start at the Mt Washington trail head all participants met at Piercy Road at 08.00 for a vehicle swap – a great plan by John as it put each of our respective vehicles at the place where we would end the day.
A quick drive to the TH and we were off by 08.40. The direct route up from the parking lot through the old ski hill area is a fine, and hearth thumping, way to “warm up”. There was some good natured commentary about how much longer it would take John’s group to warm up on the flatter Paradise Meadows trails but we looked forward to end with a good leg stretch on kind trails.
John Young led the August rendition of the Augerpoint traverse, but as there were so many people interested, Greg Deabler, a very experienced mountaineer and fairly new Rambler member, was recruited to put on another trip in September. After cancellations and injuries, the group was down to six, but what a fine mix of six were we!
A quiet Wednesday evening led to us check out the crags. Most folks did not climb and were just there to check out the scenery.
With not a tonne of time (and a healthy portion of it spent on showing folks the tour of my favourite conglomerate crag on the south island) we only were able to get ropes on “The Roof Is On Fire 5.10a” and “Salamander 5.7.” Both were fun routes.
Planned as a do-over of an unsuccessful trip in 2018 this trip filled up quickly when posted on the schedule. By the time the week of the trip arrived the group reduced to just Gord and I. Leaving Nanaimo at 06.30 on Saturday we arrived at the trailhead at 09.00 and were set up in the lower meadows 3-1/2 hours later.
Having had this described as one of the best hikes in Cowichan, I had to find out for myself!
The route has quite the views on the way up. and is quite the thigh burner.
We turned around at the top of the false summit as it was easy walking to there. With nothing to prove and the weather in the high 20’s, we both agreed that turning around then and there was still a fine day!
On July 1, three set out from the TCT trailhead at Ninatti road, for a wander around Mount Hayes. The route included Camas Ridge trail, some old roads, and a few short stretches of bushwhack. The weather was cooperative, and the views were lovely.
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.
5040 Mountain is a favourite hike for many of our club members. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I had many inquiries about joining the trip I hosted. So much interest, in fact, that I enlisted the help of a second leader to take on the extra hikers that I couldn’t host; Sherry stepped up.
The 5040 hike of July 11 took place on Aug. 15 as snow levels and visibility were still an issue on July11. This hike was appended to Matt Lettington’s hike up 5040 and 7 people came along. It was a beautiful warm day so we started early, meeting at 6:30 am with 2 people coming up from Maple Bay (a VERY early start).
The coordinator, Sherry, was sweep and the reluctant hiker, Peter, was lead. This worked well until Holly realized that Peter was waiting too long for Sherry to catch up on the way down and took the lead. One and ¼ hours got the group to Cobalt Lake and about ½ hour further got us to the cabin. It was occupied but closed for visitors. We had snacks and the 4 am starters from Maple Bay decided to enjoy views from the cabin porch while the rest of us trudged to the top. By noon, we met the other Island Mountain Rambler group led by Matt Lettington and had nice chats about flying ants, bugs in general, and how to fine tune trip participant levels.
On the way down, Holly took the lead with a good pace and we congregated at Cobalt Lake for swims, dips, and water refills. The rest was a slow but steady descent through trees, roots, and rock to the cars. All were down by 3:30, thankful that we’d gotten an early start on a very warm day.