Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Nanaimo Regional District (Page 1 of 4)

Westwood Ridges – Ridge Ramble

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

June 2, 2018

Our Westwood Ridges Ridge Ramble was hiked under mixed skies. The five adults and two children took our time exploring the picnic shelter, memorial garden and picking our way through the salal to the upper ridge.

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Christie Falls – Thistle Mine – Camas Ridge

~submitted by Bil Derby

May 27, 2018

Eight of us gathered at the end of Arroyo Road just south of Ladysmith to make introductions and swap out flip-flops for boots before starting up the logging road at 09:00, right on time.  The grind of logging road walking was offset by laughter and stories as we wandered along to the trail that leads up to the old cabin and on to Christie Falls, or in Mike’s words it’s “Christie Hill” for lack of water.

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Mount Benson from Morrell Sanctuary

~ submitted by Bil Derby

May 13, 2018

Five intrepid Ramblers and one guest (Karen’s son Nick) met early on Mother’s Day at Morrell Sanctuary before heading up and over Roberts Roost to gain the shoulder of Mount Benson and follow the SE route to the top. The less than pleasant bit of road walking between exiting Roberts Roost and gaining the tree line on Benson itself foreshadowed the afternoons return trip but all was soon forgotten as the terrain steepened and we worked in and out of small bluffy areas that afforded increasingly pretty views and, at one, a place for a quick bite to eat.

The day started warm and grew warmer as we progressed upward and we were thankful for a light breeze and the shade of the forest. Gaining the summit, we settled in for a proper lunch, a nice view, and enjoyed soulless whine of a drone flying about the summit.

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Northwood Bluff Climbing

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

April 23, 2018

Four club members met for an evening of climbing at Northwood Bluffs; a first for the year. We very quickly ran through our gear, set up a top rope, but only managed to squeeze one line in each before it was 7:30!

Next time, we’ll set up the second rope.

Mount Flannigan – Spring Summit

-submitted by Matthew Lettington

March 25, 2018

On March 25th, three Island Mountain Ramblers braved a poor forecast and made an early spring summit of Mount Flannigan. The three met at the Hydro Project at 7:15 am, found luck with the hydro gate being open, and drove nearly 20 km down the logging road where they finally parked at ~550m.  Using a route that climbed through steep slash and beautiful old growth ridge, the three made their summit and then head off to the highpoint on the ridge.

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Heart Lake and Camp 6

-submitted by John Robertson

March 24, 2018

The forecast was mediocre, but the day looked promising when 5 of us set out from  the trailhead in Ladysmith. We made good time along Holland Creek, and up to the base of the Heart Lake trail. The grind up to the lookout paid off with good views of Ladysmith harbour, and a few minutes to catch our breath and have a drink. By the time we got to Heart Lake itself, it was a beautiful bluebird day. The sun decked the branches in jewels, as it melted the snow from the night before.

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Ammonite Falls

–submitted by Adrian Houle

Successful trip to ammonite falls. The waterfall had large amounts of ice with water cutting through it.

Mount Benson, a Snowy Day

–submitted by Bil Derby

On a foggy damp Sunday morning, the six of us met at the Witchcraft Trail Head, made introductions, tidied up the necessary paperwork, and offered our hopes to the weather gods before getting underway at 08:10.  Veering right away from the “tourist route” at the first trail junction we climbed upwards to cross McGarrigle Creek at 460 meters, more or less, to follow the Outer Route.  A brisk uphill from there led us to a brief stop at the first bluffy viewpoint just above the climbing wall. From here on the trail gets a bit bushy and there may have been a word or two about the use of hiking partners as dewatering tools for the salal.

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Avalanche rescue skill refresher & beacon hunt

–SUBMITTED BY CHARLIE BREAKY

A small but eager group gathered on the second beach at Westwood Lake. Objective? Remind ourselves of what to do if we are in the unfortunate situation of needing to do a companion avalanche rescue. 

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A leg stretcher: Copley Ridge

— submitted by Matthew Lettington

We had high hopes for the day, but not all plans come to fruition. Canoe Peak was a lofty goal for any day, but we were adding to the challenge by attempting a winter ascent. On our way through Sutton Pass (230 m) snow was falling fast and accumulating so fast that vehicle tracks were being obscured within minutes and within 15 minutes there was an inch of fresh snow on the road.

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