5040 Hike – Aug.15, 2020

–submitted by Sherry Durnford

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.

Mt. Arrowsmith – Unjudges Route

June 14th, 2020

~ submitted by Greg Deabler

After watching the mountain forecast for Arrowsmith all week, we decided to move our trip up the Unjudges route to Sunday and take advantage of the partial sunshine forecast – haha.  5 of us met at Whiskey Creek and picked up a sixth at the Alberni summit hump.  We dropped a car at the judges route and took 2 cars to the unjudges trailhead.  

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Katzenjammer 2020 (Mount Arrowsmith)

January 1st, 2020

~ submitted by John Young

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve summited Mt. Arrowsmith for the annual New Year’s Day expedition, but it must be at least 10. The first year I participated was in 2001, and I climbed it in my backcountry touring skiboots. They provided great support, but were heavy and of course cumbersome. But there was a lot of snow that year, right from the parking lot off Pass Main, and they were great for kicking steps.

Before leading this year’s climb I was apprenhensive:

  • after a 6-week trip to Mexico I wasn’t in the best of shape. Could I handle it?
  • of the 7 others in our group, I didn’t know 3. Would they all be okay?
  • there have been three accidents in recent years on this climb, and I fretted about the conditions. Would it be icy and treacherous?

Thankfully, though, my fears were unfounded. Everyone did just fine, and it was probably the easiest winter climb I’ve had up Arrowsmith with good snow conditions, for the most part.

The trail was bare of snow until we’d hiked up for about 1/2 hour.

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Wesley Ridge (Ridge Ramble)

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

December 15, 2019

We pushed the limits of a B rating on our sunny, December trip along Wesley Ridge. We had an excellent day on the ridge. The leisurely pace helped with this as it allowed for in-depth conversation on a diverse range of topics. 

The most challenging effort of the day was gaining the ridge. To ease the transition from sitting to hiking, we took our sweet time. Once we gained the hill, we found ourselves first walking in hoar frost, and eventually the lightest dusting of fresh snow. Though the first highpoint was mired in a fog that obscured any meaningful view, it didn’t last long. By the time we were halfway along our route, the cloud dissipated and the sun shone down. 

Though it remained cold throughout the day, we kept ourselves warm by maintaining a consistent though relaxed pace to cover the 1000 meters of elevation gain and 14.4km. 

So did we make it in under 6 hours? No, we needed an extra 15 minutes. We might have made the 6 hours mark but for the blowdown along the ridgetop and missteps at the very beginning of the day. I heard no complaints over the smiles on people’s faces as we finished up this Ridge Ramble!

Mount Horne (A Wander in the Clouds)

~ submitted by Phil Dol

November 10th, 2019

The six of us started at the Cathedral Grove parking lot. We followed the cabin road to the start of the trail, from there it is a steep hike up to the deteriorating railroad tracks. After a short wander along the tracks it was time for more uphill hiking until we reached the logging road followed by the last uphill section to the summit for lunch.

Even though all the weather forecasts predicted clearing  around mid-day, it wasn’t until we were back at Cameron Lake that the sun broke through.

When we returned to our vehicles, what had been an empty parking lot was now full of noisy vehicles and people, a stark contrast to the peaceful hike we had just completed.

Mount Cokely from the Arrowsmith Saddle

August 24, 2019

~ trip report by Mick Bailey

Mt Cokely sounded like an interesting destination. I had read about the trip on the Island Mountain Ramblers page several weeks before, and though at first it was fully booked, I managed to latch on when a few people cancelled. The plan, for our group of ten, was to ascend the Saddle Trail, scramble up to the ridge of Cokely, and then further on to the summit. On the return trip, we’d return to the ridge, find the Rosseau Trail, and return to the vehicles via that route. This would be my first visit to the Mt Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, and I was looking forward to the views!

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Arrowsmith massif from the Nanoose Bay area

The lightest of rains and low clouds followed us as we made our way from Nanaimo on the Island Highway toward Highway 4. By the time we passed through MacMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove) and turned onto Summit Main, the rain had begun to fade. Next came more logging roads, as we followed Cameron Main and Pass Main to the trailhead high above, at roughly 1000m in elevation.

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Adder Mountain

–submitted by Wendy Langelo

Sept 7 – Phil picked up 3 of us in Parksville Saturday morning at 7:15 – we jumped in with him and headed off to Sutton Pass and the logging road up to the trailhead. The logging road up was quite a trip in itself – apparently the logging company deactivating the road had gone relatively crazy with the waterbars in the last 2 years since Phil and Debbie had been up there. I got a lesson on what my Jeep may be capable of with a competent driver 😉

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