Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

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

Moriarty…no wait, Arrowsmith

~ submitted by Bil Derby

June 2, 2018

Following a recce of the access roads to the Moriarty trail-head and a lot of discussion back and forth about the likelihood of gaining access to the Moriarty trail-head it was decided to switch locations and hike the Judges route on Arrowsmith.

Seven intrepid hikers met at Starbucks at 0630 to carpool and fuel up on caffeine before heading off to the mountains.  Arriving on schedule at the Judges trail-head at 0800 we quickly geared up and wandered off up the mountain in what appeared to be improving weather……….more on that later.

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Lost Gully – Mount Arrowsmith

~submitted by Chris Istace –The Mindful Explorer-

May 12, 2018

A beautiful May weekend for a climb up Mt Arrowsmith and the timing for the Ramblers club day trip couldn’t have been better. We all met at 8am at Creekmore Coffee just off the Alberni Highway and carpooled for the trip up the mountain. The 6 of us split between the two vehicles and headed on our way. The first destination was the end of the spur road for Judges route which would be where we dropped a vehicle for the descent route. We all hopped into one truck and then headed back down to the lower spur on pass main to the end of that road where the Lost Gully trailhead is.

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Wesley Ridge

~ submitted by Adrian Houle

March 30, 2018

A successful hike up Wesley Ridge with a group of Island Mountain Ramblers on Friday, March 30 2018.

       

 

Canoe Peak: Go Slow to Go Fast

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

One of the reasons I’m drawn to travelling in Vancouver Island’s wild places is the charge I get from overcoming the challenges associated with it. It’s not the challenges that I’m attracted to, nor some sort of macho self-reliance; rather, it’s proving to myself that I can do it. It’s setting a goal and finding a way to achieve it. It gives me a way to measure my successes. And wow, I’ve had a lot of failures over the years.

I can’t say there’s a secret to finding success, at least not one this post is going to offer, because success is a feeling that each of us measures differently. But, generally speaking, finding success includes learning a lot of lessons, and gathering a lot of knowledge. Travelling in the backcountry is no different.

Some of these lessons are easy to gather. They can be found on the internet, in a book, in a formal education setting, or shared among friends on a hike. But there are just as many that can only be earned through lived experience. It’s these lessons that sometimes must be learned over and over before they become part of our way of being. I thought a lot about this on my April 15th trip to Canoe Peak in the Mackenzie range.

On my first (failed) attempt at Canoe Peak from the micro-dam, we were rewarded with excellent views, but avalanche conditions turned us back. This time, we arrived at the trailhead with knowledge of the route, provided by a few friends who had summited just a week earlier.

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Alberni Inlet Trail Stage 2

– submitted by Ken Warren
March 10, 2018

Four club members and two guests set out from China Creek in bright sun to hike stage 2 of the Alberni Inlet trail. Trail conditions were excellent with no mud and few obstructions. There are viewpoints and beach access all along the trail. We spent a bit of time on and in the 1913 concrete culvert that is one of the many artifacts of the early 20th century CNPR rail project found along the trail. We snacked at Nina’s Cove and were warned by boaters of a large cougar that had left the beach several hundred meters from us heading towards the trail, but we saw no sign of it. The last 1.5km of the trail is closed due to logging, so we had lunch and naps in the sun at the southernmost viewpoint. There was no excitement but a few laughs on the way back. Ice cream at Whisky Creek made a superb end to a perfect day. Thanks to all for the pleasure of your company.

 

 

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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Big Interior Mountain: A Failed Attempt of Nine Peaks

–submitted by Matthew Lettington. Originally published on his blog, explorington.com

Every year, Phil and Rick celebrate their birthday by hiking to a remote peak on Vancouver Island. It was as part of this tradition that in June 2017 Phil, Rick, Colleen, and I made an ill-fated attempt to summit Nine Peaks as a day trip. Seriously, what better way to celebrate your birthday than with a 40 km hike, including more than 3500 metres elevation gain, and all on a day when you didn’t sleep? I can’t imagine what could be better!

Total Distance: 24.8 km
Starting Elevation: 500 m
Maximum Elevation: 1866 m
Total Elevation Gain: 2045 m
Total Time: 16h 18 m

The trip was destined to fail from the start: the distance was too far, the elevation gain too much, and we were just too tired. We started the hike at shortly before 11:00 pm, after a full day of work and no sleep; not the ideal way to start a heroic (but otherwise possible) effort. Despite our ragged condition and the fact that we didn’t reach the summit, everything worked to our best advantage. We had clear night skies, warm breezes in the valley – warm enough that we hiked through the night in t-shirts! – and excellent snow conditions that allowed us to walk on the surface without post-holing.

Big Interior Mountain, on the right in Strathcona Park Phil enjoying his moment in the sun

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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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