Monument Mountain to Grassy Lake

January 13th, 2024
~ submitted by Su Castle

The intended trail head (parking lot #2/Sooke Potholes) that would have us closer to our intended destination was locked (icy, windy, steep road); so we changed plans and started off from the Charters Creek trailhead.

Through -5 temps, clear skies, snow and ice underfoot; 4 humans and one dog tromped up Monument instead. We had a brisk pace with very short stops to stay warm.

Coming down off the hill towards the north, we caught icy winds in the face for a short time. We stopped to admire the frozen Grassy lake before returning down Grass Lake trail.

We wanted to include Devastation Hill, but the creek crossing was a little larger than we wanted to attempt.

Took us about 3 hours to hike 12.5 kms with 550 metre elevation gain.

Mount Becher New Years Day Celebration

January 1st, 2024
~ submitted by Greg Deabler

Our New Year’s Day stroll up Becher was thoroughly enjoyed by seven Ramblers: It was +2 at the trailhead with slight traces of snow along the plowlines of the road up and no snow at the parking lot.

Given that there had been rain during the previous week and little fresh snow, we made the decision to leave the snowshoes behind and trust our microspikes. A good decision, the snow was hard and supportive all the way to the summit. No wind and and lots of fog as we ascended and came down served to negate most of the views but made for perfect hiking comfort conditions for the day.

A lingering lunch on top, a few photo shoots involving an igloo constructed by a group who had spent the night, as well as the resident and persistent whiskey jacks made for a nice stop. Headed down at a good pace and arrived back at the cars by 2:15 pm.

A great day with even better company!

The Central Walbran Valley — August, 2023

This August, I made two trips to the Central Walbran Valley, on August 2-3 with Chica, and on August 22-24 with three friends, and Chica, naturally. I had been wanting to get into this area for a few years, ever since my friend Rishi raved about it, and I finally did it. And I plan to return! Wow!

The area is jam-packed with hundreds of monumental red cedars, especially in the spectacular “Castle Grove,” which is perhaps the most extensive stand of near record-sized cedars on Earth. (Ancient Forest Alliance)

The road going in, however, is a deterrent, and it degrades appreciably in the last ten kilometres. Slow going, so slow, that I only averaged 22 k an hour for the two hours on the return. 

Slow going or what!

Untitled photo

The reason for the slow progressThese photos were taken going in and returning on my first trip. 

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Ridge Rambler- Gowland Todd One way

–submitted by Su Castle

We left a vehicle at both trailheads and commenced the10km ridge hike at Caleb Pike, taking 3 hours with stops for photos and a detour to see both Cascade Falls and the extremely high tide at McKenzie Bight. While there was wind on the ridge, there was no rain! Elevation gain travelling in this direction was minimal, only 400m.

CPR Trail – Arrowsmith Regional Park

–submitted by Clint Millar

We left from Hwy 4 up the logging road to the TH and made our way up to the lookout. Did the out and back route. Stunning water falls at the bridge, views as we made our way up. When we reached the summit, we were treated to the most beautiful sunny views and enjoyed the inverted cloud views with little to no wind. Being greeted and dive-bombed by whiskey jacks was a highlight as we fed them, and they took it upon themselves to steal what they could of our lunches. The CPR trail is one of my favourites for sure!!

A pretty successful trip for my first time leading!!

Mt. Prevost-Remembrance Service

–submitted by Mary Hof
For 21 years the Cowichan Hikers have been doing a Remembrance Day Service at the cairn on Mt. Prevost, on Remembrance Day. I invited the Ramblers to join. Starting with a welcome as we watched 6 planes flying below, it was very moving. We followed with the trumpet recording of the The Last Post at 11am. We had 2 minutes of silence followed by trumpet playing the Reveille. Flanders Fields was read followed by a Prayer.

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Mount Landale Loop

October 7th, 2023

~ submitted by Su Castle

We started up Cottonwood main just after 7am. Beautiful day, unusual warm and dry October.

Very sad to see Mosaic has come in to fix the road – bridges are in, ready to log again. This way may not be so appealing in the future….

I have looked at the Landale Loop on a map for years. After a satisfying summit, (fall colours! warm rocks! views!) We descended off the ridge on a lovely, marked, easy to find trail. Maybe 500 m to the top of he logging roads.

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Mount Apps

September 30th, 2023

~ submitted by Mary Hof

Today I led a group of 8 on a hike to Mt. Apps for the Island Mountain

Mt Apps is the second highest summit in the Beaufort Range and overlooks the east
coast of Vancouver Island as well as the Alberni Valley to the west and south.
It also presents excellent views of the southern part of Strathcona Provincial
Park to the northwest. We could see forever today.

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