–submitted by Adrian Houle
Successful trip to ammonite falls. The waterfall had large amounts of ice with water cutting through it.
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.
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.
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.
Mount Arrowsmith (Judge’s-Route) was stunning, on January 1st. The largest mountain on southern Vancouver Island, definitely one for the more experienced hikers. It took us 6.5hrs at a steady pace, from dusk till dawn, steep and slippery, heart rate raiser and old injury breaker (knees/lower back). Snowshoes are not required. Crampons, poles, and axe are definitely required.
–submitted by Ken Warren
We weren’t the first to set out to hike Benson from Witchcraft Lake, but close to it. Eight of us went on tthis new year’s expedition for various reasons, but in part it was to remember our friend and club member Mike Hordelski who died hiking Benson in 2017. Mike loved Mt Benson and hiked it many times by many routes.
–submitted by Matthew Lettington
–photographs by Shayna Bussey
The group of five met in Pipers Lagoon at 6 PM. We had warm breezes and the surrounding cloud provided an excellent backdrop for the evening’s workshop, and ideal conditions for the workshop.
-submitted by Adrian Houle,
We passed through Morrell Sanctuary, under the power lines, up the trails and past the old DND road to the top of Roberts roost. We then follow a trail out the back side of Roberts roost onto some old logging roads that lead through a swampy valley and traced the Westwood cliffs until they lower to a hill and allowed us up onto the ridges. From there we follow the ridges back to a different part of the same trail system we started on, and back to the sanctuary.
–submitted by Mary Hof
It was a great day to spend with Carol and Ellen (guest) on this hike July 8th from Cameron Lake to Mt Cokely.
The pace was great and the views spectacular. We made it up in 3.5 hours, very little snow which actually made it harder as rocks were slippery, and the old ski hill had lots of that loose scree. The trail was in great shape and we took our time coming back talking with those going up, and spending some time at the creek. Just short of 8 hours, 20k and 1400m elevation gain.
–submitted by John Robertson
8 people met at the hike terminus, at Oyster Sto-Lo road, then piled into 2 cars for the drive to the trailhead, at Spruston Road. We had excellent weather, although a bit of atmospheric haze obscured the views slightly.