Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Mount Waddington Regional Distrcit (Page 1 of 2)

Waring Peak: Striking Back

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the full report on his blog

Have you ever struggled to achieve an objective, and been turned back? I have–a lot! Waring Peak in the Sutton Range is among several peaks that we failed to summit last winter. My first attempt came to a premature end, with the group looking longingly at the base of the summit block, merely 200 metres away from the summit of the mountain. This August, we struck back at mountains that had turned us back last winter. This time, after only 2.5 hours of hiking, we were standing on the summit admiring the view, and enjoying the narrow upper ridge of this Vancouver Island peak. It’s satisfying to gain these summits, but it’s remarkable how different the approaches are in the different seasons. Of note, the biggest surprise is the bush!

 

Toal Distance:  9.1 km
Startin Elevation: 541 m
Maximum Elevation: 1599 m
Elevation Gain: 1071 m
Time:  5 h 15 m

 

 

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Jagged Peak: Grovelling in the Gully

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

[insert snappy introduction]

I love mountaineering in the Sutton Range because the peaks offer a sense of exploration I don’t always find in more popular regions. I attribute this feeling to the relative isolation of the peaks: they are a long way from the major population centres of Vancouver Island, and there are no paved roads to the trailheads. Because of this, we rarely see booted routes to guide us on our way. It’s in the Sutton Range that we found our Sunday adventure, on Jagged Peak.

Many of the peaks in the Sutton Range are dramatic, jagged forms that inspire feelings of dread (or excitement) as you look at them. Jagged Peak, aptly named for its long, crumbling gullies, is no exception. Jagged Peak is a less popular destination than other mountains in the Sutton Range, such as Victoria and Warden Peaks. Individually, they might be difficult to identify, but these dramatic, and iconic peaks rise together from the valley and create an easily identifiable Vancouver Island landmark.

 

Total Distance:  11.5 km
Starting Elevation: 605 m
Maximum Elevation: 1700 m
Elevation Gain: 1150 m
Total Time: 6 h 30 m

 

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Mt Rugged: day trip

–submitted by Clarke Gourlay

1Trip went well with 6 of us, arrived to within 80m of summit (Donkey’s Back feature), but needed to belay from there and didn’t have enough time to finish and get back with all 6.  As it was we had a 16 hour day car to car.  Got beyond the bergshrund below the East Ridge by belaying lead climber over an ice bridge to test it.

On the approach down low (near valley bottom), we returned differently than we went up, and it was a mistake.  As the approach trail (really an old decommissioned logging road) becomes VERY DENSE, turn up hill and proceed at 45 degrees to the hill in the same direction on a climb/traverse.  Much easier than slogging through brush in the valley.  All this could change as more logging is imminent.

Possible to do in a very long day, but we did not complete.

Mount Abel: A Great Spring Snowshoe in the Sutton Range

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the full report on his blog

The Sutton Range holds a good number of peaks that I’ve included my Island Alpine Quest, including our goal for the day: Mount Abel. The names of the peaks and valleys follow a pattern – Mount Cain, Mount Abel, Mount Adam, Adam River, Eve River, and so on – that have some people referring to that portion of the range as the Genesis Range. Mount Abel, like most mountains, has both an easy or a difficult approach. The west aspect is a dramatic rock wall, but from the southeast there is a good variety of easy mountaineering options.

We parked a short distance down a logging spur, just off Adam Road (~850 m). Only the week prior, the snow was piled at least forty-five centimetres high on the place we were now parked. That’s a lot of snow melt in seven days! Seeing how fast the snow is melting brought a smile to my face, as it’s a sure sign of summer ahead. At the same time, I groaned a little, knowing that we would be trekking through some sloppy conditions.

 

 

Total Distance: 9.9 km
Starting Elevation: 886 m
Maximum Elevation: 1819m
Total Elevation Gain: 943 m
Total Time: 6 hours

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Mt Cain — The Long Way Around

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the report on his blog

Being focused on an objective is a great way to track progress and remember to celebrate when you achieve a goal. But sometimes, I get so focused on the objective that I forget about everything that goes into making the day a success. On January 22nd, I had a good reminder that getting to the destination can be half the fun.

I’m usually the driver for our adventures. Behind the wheel, I’m focused on the moment: making sure I don’t fall asleep, leave us sideways on a patch of ice, or take the wrong road. I try to take in as much as I can, but I often let the landscape slide past me without paying it much mind. On January 22nd, I was a passenger — Oh, the sweet passenger life! I scrunched myself into the backseat, propped my head against the window, and watched the landscape roll by. I took it all in – well, at least the right side of the highway. We were on our way to … well, I don’t even remember where. I recall that our destination was past Gold River — a long drive, for sure! But where we were headed isn’t important, because we didn’t get there. In fact, we rerouted several times and ended up far from our original destination.

Mt Cain Snowshoe in the Dream Chute

Mt Cain parking area, Genesis Range

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Kick of to 2017!

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the report on his blog

2016 is remembered by most as a year full of foul events, a year that just kept kicking people when they were down! From my perspective, the year looked pretty okay. My family welcomed a second child, I went back to university (AGAIN), and I amidst the mayhem still managed to adventure with many friends. In December, I examined my GPS trip data and discovered that I hiked, kayaked and/or snowshoed more than 60,0000 metres of elevation gain, and more than 700 kilometres of horizontal distance. More importantly, Phil and I checked off more than 30 peaks on our Island Alpine Quest. I was eager to add Mt Derby and Mt Peel to that list of completed peaks.

The Island Mountain Ramblers have a New Year’s Day tradition of hosting a hike to celebrate a new year of adventure. To kick off 2017, I joined my three club-mates on a three-day winter trip to kick of 2017. If successful we would summit Mt Derby and Mt Peel. The trip included two days of alpine winter camping, my first true winter camping experience. As our day of departure approached the forecast brought an arctic outflow, we were looking forward too -if that’s even the right term- temperatures as low as -24 C!

 

Total Distance: 12. 4 km
Starting Elevation: 420 m
Maximum Elevation: 1160 m
Total Elevation Gain: 825 m

 

 

 

 

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Mount Ashwood & Bonanza Peak

–submitted by Matthew Lettington from his blog: explorington.com

Each summer I look forward to one of two longer multi-day trips, mountaineering through Vancouver Island’s back backcountry. I set the time aside and plan most of my summer around these trips. They become the focus of the summer. This summer we planned a 7-day trek through Strathcona Park, along the Wolfe/Cervus Divide. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans.
As the day of departure came, the long range weather forecast looked bleak: three days of heavy rain. It’s not the rain that doused our trip plans, we’ve hiked and camped in many a deluge. However, along with the rain the forecast predicted multiple days of lighting! Instead, we traveled farther north, to avoid the inclement weather, and used the days to do some climbing in the Bonanza Range. This report is for the first day Mount Ashwood and Bonanza Peak!

Mount Ashwood and Bonanza Map and GPS Route

Mount Ashwood and Bonanza Map and GPS Route

 

Total Distance:10.9 km
Starting Elevation: 690 m
Maximum Elevation: 1746 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1488 m
Total Time: 11 hours

 

 

 

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Unnamed Peak in the Genesis Range

-submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the report on his blog

On September 11th I joined three friends on an unsuccessful attempt at Mount Sarai, a peak in the Genesis Range. We were hastened by fine weather, and though we didn’t make our primary objective, we eventually summited an unnamed bump and enjoyed stellar views.

The clock ticked past 8:00 am as we turned off the Island Highway and onto the logging road. It was another 45 minutes of easy driving before we were forced to stop the Jeep, not far from the end of the road. A huge old-growth log crossed the entire road; it must have slid from high up on the steep slope. It’s here that we prepared for our adventure and proceeded on foot.

hiking and Mountaineering on Vancouver Island

hiking route and GPS track

 

Total Distance: 4.4 km
Starting Elevation: 770 m
Maximum Elevation: 1482 m
Total Elevation Gain: 716 m
Total Time: 3h 45m

 

 

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San Josef Bay to Lowrie Bay

Eden at Lowrie Bay 

An Island Mountain Ramblers’ Outing

The second San Jo beach on Friday morning, with rain threatening.

 

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Hiking to Lowrie Bay: How to Hike Down a Bog

The post Hiking to Lowrie Bay: How to Hike Down a Bog appeared first on Explorington.

Bucket lists are amazing–everybody should have one! They focus your intent, and provide measurable goals by which to evaluate success. On June 25, 2016, I checked off a long-standing item from my list: a trip to Lowrie Bay over Mount Saint Patrick. The trip exceeded my expectations in every way, but along the way I found myself asking, “What the heck am I doing here?!”

The light from our headlamps bobbed along the San Joseph Bay beach and danced across the crests of the rippled sand. It was midnight by the time the five Island Mountain Ramblers raced through the shadowy forms of the sea stacks, trying to beat the incoming tide around the headland. The waves lapped at our boots as we scurried between the rocky headland on our way to meet the final member of the group, Rishi, at San Joseph Bay’s Second Beach. Although I’m no stranger to starting hikes in the dark, normally it’s just before first light and not in the middle of the night. This was a special trip, and I could feel the adrenaline flowing as we walked–I was excited!

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