East Sooke Park is an amazing place that folks go to learn. They learn to hike, they learn to rock climb, slackline, they learn to navigate, and they learn about west coast beach ecosystems.
On this trip, on this corner of Vancouver Island, I tasked myself with learning to lead a trip. And it began before the trip with the logistics of organizing IMR members and non-members alike interested in the trip. On the morning of the hike, nervousness struck – what would I forget? First-aid kit? Sunscreen? Water? Did I forget to email anyone?
How funny the nervousness is. Is it pointless as nothing pertinent was left behind? Or is it a beast that helped me not to forget anything?
15 hikers came out March 10th for the Gowlland Tod Ramble Hike.
Half the hikers were Island Mountain Ramblers, others were from OCV, and Cowichan Hikers, all of which I am a member. It still amazing how much snow there still is on the hills, but we did see few flowers also coming out.
For quite a while I have been itching to start leading climbing trips (on the south island) with the Island Mountain Ramblers. On Tuesday June 5th I didn’t get as many members out as I was hoping for, but my climbing partner Danton (Who I convinced to join the Ramblers) was excited to join me on the trip! Danton and I spent most of our time on Dirt Stamp Wall, which is my favourite wall at Glen Lake. We hopped on various climbs including Wax On, 8 Litre Buckets, Stop Waxing Off, and Just A Bit Of Crack. There was a sprinkling of rain which added to the excitement.
We had enough time and light to also practice escaping the belay (An important rescue technique for multipitch), ascending using prussiks, and Danton taught me about trad anchors.
All in all, a great time, and I will start organizing these trips more regularly so more Ramblers can enjoy climbing outdoors. Climb on!
May 27th was a good day for a hike. Seven of us started off at Charters Creek (Sooke) and headed up to Grassy Lake. The lake was beautiful, after a snack we headed up to Mary’s Peak. The views were beautiful. After a lunch break we came down, headed toward Grassy Lake again, then turned off and headed to Monument. Reaching Monument we came down the slippery trail from bikers and headed back to Charters Creek. Total km 16.5k and 752m elevation gain. Hike took just under 6 hours. A wonderful day, with wonderful people.
Our trip started out a bit rocky as we had a bit of a miscommunication with meeting places. Port Renfrew has no service so that did not help either! We eventually started the trail in 2 separate groups and managed to find each other within the first 2 kms! It was all smooth sailing from there.
We had great weather and no rain, but the trail still had lots of mud! We also saw our fair share of wild life including bears! Our nights were nice and relaxing as Chloe brought her ukulele which was great around the bonfire! We also met tons of awesome people along the way. It was definitely a great place to spend Canada’s 150th birthday! Everyone brought their Canada day gear/red which got us tons of compliments along the way! couldn’t have asked for a better weekend with a great group of people!
Our plans were to ring in the new year out at Sombrio beach didn’t go as scheduled. On our way to Port Renfrew we encountered a white out and compact snow conditions on the road. When we finally got to Port Renfrew, well, it all just became black ice. Nice locals were able to help us find a place to camp and give us rides as it became unsafe to drive.