Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (Page 1 of 2)

5040 Spy Mission

–Submitted by Clarke Gourlay

Wet day (first of the summer for some of us!) and windy at the summit, but it cleared up enough in the afternoon for a quick swim in the lake on the return trip.

Great big team working hard in the rain at the new nut location, and very fun to see the project enroute.  There is a long way to go, potential volunteers, but the resulting hut is going to be huge and very solid, in a beautiful place.  Many more trips to 5040 in the future!

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5040 Peak on a hot summer day!

–submitted by Bill Derby

Seven intrepid Ramblers met at Starbucks in North Nanaimo under a bright blue early morning sky to make introductions, grab a coffee, and sort out vehicles before departing for the 5040 Peak trail head via Port Alberni and Highway 4. 

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Keeha Bay Backpack, June 2-4, 2017

 –Read the post on John’s blog

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Wild Side Trail with a Three Year Old

–submitted by Mathew Lettington; Read the full report on his blog

Dear Hemingway,

We did it! We survived our first father-and-son backpacking adventure. I’m happily writing the trip down as a success! We picked the perfect location, Flores Island’s Wild Side Trail, and lucked into a spate of great weather. Of course, our adventure companions helped us enjoy the trip all the more. We were just two members of an eighteen-person trip that I was co-leading. Trips of this size are often complicated, and the Wild Side Trail is fraught with additional issues. This trip proved no different. Aside from the normal challenges with the water-taxi, some of our hikers had contacted me the night before because they were stranded with a broken axle.

As I expected, you fell asleep on the drive to Tofino on the day before the trip, which made you grouchy and unwilling to go to bed that night. What’s a dad to do? We made the best of it by wandering the mean streets of Tofino, even though it was well past your normal bedtime. I treated the trip with the care that it deserved: we ate pizza-by-the-slice, I bought you a toy car at the Co-op, and when we returned to the hostel (the Doctor’s House, as you called it), we watched the sunset from the big window in our room. It was ten o’clock by the time you were asleep, after we read all the way through the Five-Minute Star Wars Stories book–twice!

 

Total Distance: 15 km
Total Time: 3 days

 

 

 

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Magical Meares Island

On the summit of Lone Cone with a marvelous view of Clayoquot Sound, Tofino, and surrounding islands.

I had wanted to visit Meares Island 20 years ago or more, and didn’t, but this winter when I was planning trips for the spring, I looked into it once again. I found the site to the “Lone Cone Hostel and Campground,” with information about climbing adjacent Lone Cone Mountain, and further details about the nearby Big Tree Trail. I was stoked! I listed it on the Rambler’s website, and before long I had 10 other eager hikers.

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Meares Island : Lone Cone & Big Tree Trail

Read the full report on Matthewès blog

To early European explorers, the western edge of North America must have been an overwhelming place to visit. We humans navigate by landmarks, known places with names; explorers applied names to many places, making them easier to identify on maps. At some point, it must have been really overwhelming to provide names to so many different places, or perhaps they lacked the creativity to do so; thus, we ended up with names like Elkhorn South Mountain. The name itself isn’t an issue, except that Elkhorn South is immediately south of the much grander Elkhorn Mountain, and shouldn’t be confused with the south peak of Elkhorn Mountain, which is completely different. Even the name Vancouver Island has caused issues for travelers who mistake the location of either the island, or the city of Vancouver. But this post isn’t about Vancouver Island’s haphazard naming structures – it’s about Meares Island.

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Mount Spencer: Revenge on the Mountain

–Submitted by Matthew Lettington: read the full report on his blog

Back in early November, I led a group of Island Mountain Ramblers on a memorable snowshoe trip to summit Mount Spencer. It was the most challenging snowshoe trip of the season: a gruelling 12-hour slog, hiking over 21 kilometres through the worst type of snow, and we were benighted on our way back to the vehicles. It was a grind, to say the least. But, the biggest sting of the trip? We didn’t even summit! We were only a few hundred metres from the summit, though at the time, it looked like we were another hour away. When I returned from that trip, the first thing I did was reschedule the hike. This is the trip report for that second attempt: the revenge on Mount Spencer.

Mount Spencer GPS track & map

Mount Spencer GPS track & mapTotal Distance: 10.8 km
Starting Elevation: 822 m
Maximum Elevation: 1460 m
Total Elevation Gain: 907 m
Total Time: 6h 30 m

 

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Alberni Inlet Stage I

–trip report submitted by Ken Warren
–Photos submitted by Kerry Hart

Although the weather forecast was not encouraging, we had a dry day on the Alberni Inlet Trail.  Our start time was delayed by bridge inspections on the China Creek Road, but we set out from Ship Creek around 11 o’clock.  The first stretch is impressive old growth fir and cedar opening up into views of the valley with Arrowsmith Massif obscured by clouds. Frogs to the left and right cheered us along the trail.

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Mt Grey, another in a growing list of failed summit attempts

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the full report and see more images on his blog

Mount Grey is a lovely hike through old-growth alpine fir and along a treed alpine ridge, up to a summit that offers great views of the Alberni Inlet. My Mount Grey trip had two portions of adventure: the cold from an arctic outflow, and the ride home.

On January 8th, I joined a group of six Island Mountain Ramblers on a trip up Mount Grey. Our original trip plan was Mount Adam, but we were concerned about avalanche and difficulty ascending the two incredibly steep slopes on the route. Our failed trip up Mount Derby and Mount Peel had given us first-hand knowledge of the region’s conditions, and currently, the avalanche conditions were rated considerable. It was a smart choice to change our plans, and I was happy to be attempt Mount Grey. We had high hopes that the conditions would be stable, due to lower elevation and proximity to the Alberni Inlet.

http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/lettington/2017-mount-grey/

Mount Grey GPS Route and Map

 

Total Distance: 9 km
Starting Elevation: 434 m
Maximum Elevation: 1337 m
Total Elevation Gain: 894 m
Total Time: 6 h 45 m

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Mount Spencer: The Great Congo Line of December 2016

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, see more images on his blog

I’ll cut to the chase– we didn’t make the summit of Mount Spencer. Of course, as with most of my stories, the devil’s in the details.

On December 18th, Vancouver Island was deep in a colder-than-normal shoulder season. The day held a forecast for overcast skies and precipitation. Further, the Mount Spencer trip was scheduled on a day with only 8 hours of daylight, almost the shortest day of the year.

The cold month had brought snow low down on the mountains, and covered the logging roads in snow. From a hiking perspective, with our approach routes covered in snow, we wouldn’t be able to drive very far — meaning that our Mount Spencer hike was double the normal distance.

snowshoeing, vancouver island, explorington, matthew lettington, hiking, mountaineering, Mt Spencer, Alberni Valley

Mount Spencer map and GPS route

 

Total Distance: 20.6 km
Starting Elevation: 388 m
Maximum Elevation: 1430 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1414 m
Total Time: 11 h

 

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