Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

Category: Strathcona Regional District (Page 1 of 2)

Our first failure at winter camping

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

Dear Hemingway,

We just finished our first father-and-son camping trip, or at least our first attempt. You’re only three and a half years old, and we’ve already done a lot of overnight backcountry trips, but never one in snow, and never just the two of us. I was excited, and so were you. It was an ambitious undertaking: I would be on skis, pulling you in the sled. Our goal was to head out from Raven Lodge, and camp between Battleship Lake and Kwai Lake. Beyond that, I was willing to be flexible, because above all else I wanted you to have a great time.

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A winter route up Big Den turns unseasonably warm

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read it on his blog

This year, winter on the West Coast has been full of surprises, though this may only have been noticed by those who venture outdoors. Winter keeps serving up a huge variety of weather! We’ve seen temperatures at sea level that dip below negative ten for so long that lakes in Nanaimo have frozen hard enough to walk on, snow piled up on the roadside and yards for more than a month, blizzards in the mountains, and now, temperatures in the high alpine that are reaching into the low teens. On our February 13th adventure up Big Den Mountain, the unseasonably warm conditions forced us to turn back.

Total Distance: 8.7 km
Starting Elevation: 109 m
Maximum Elevation: 1470 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1377 m
Total Time: 7h 15 m

 

 

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Mt Elma: Beginner Skitour

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

On February 19th, we met at Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay to gather the final pieces of backcountry ski gear needed for our day on the mountain. Lisa and I watched the sky, hoping that the hard rain would let up – or at least, that it was snowing on the mountain. Our original plan was to ski Mount Becher, but the rain forced us to reconsider our options; we decided to take our chances with Mount Elma instead.

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Family/Novice Helen Mackenzie Loop

–submitted by Matthew Lettington

January 28th, 9 participants braved the brooding overcast skies and head out on the well-booted route around Helen Makenzie and Battleship Lakes.

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First Family/Novice Snowshoe of 2017

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

A large group of Island Mountain Ramblers and guests assembled in the parking lot of Raven lodge, mid-morning of January 7th. The wind in the parking lot was frigid and the thermometer in my car read temperatures close to -10 C. In keeping with many of the trips I lead, I took a long time getting my seld ready for the trip.

snowshoeing, mount washington, snowshoing vancouver island, matthew lettington

 

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Crest Mountain

–submitted by Lisa Hanlon
Gorgeous day for a hike up Crest mountain. We met at the trailhead at 8:30am on Saturday, September 10th.. After a slog up the switchbacks through beautiful old growth forest, we were rewarded with the first views of King’s Peak. Once we emerged from the forest into the sunny alpine, we stopped for a snack break.

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Horseshoe Mountain: The Journey is the Destination

-submitted by Matthew Lettington: Read the original post on his blog

Everyone has a favourite hike. For some, that hike may be a well-travelled location, such as the Cape Scott Trail, or a route past Lake Helen Mackenzie. For others, favourite routes are more private, with information held close by those in-the-know; secret spots where not many people venture. Assuredly, Horseshoe Mountain belongs in the second category, as one of Vancouver Island’s best-kept secrets.

Horseshoe Mountain has views to rival many of the better-known routes. With easy Class 2 hiking through old-growth forest, and a final approach along a broad, high-elevation alpine ridge to the 1742-metre summit, it’s surprising that Horseshoe Mountain isn’t more well-known. The reason is simple, and the title of this post alludes to it: accessing the trailhead is a pain in the rump!

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Horizontal Distance 5.8 km
Starting Elevation 1230 m
Maximum Elevation 1742 m
Total Elevation Gain 642 m
Total Time: 3h 45m

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Rodger’s Ridge

–submitted by Michael Paskevicius from his blog.

Along with the Island Mountain Ramblers hiking club we explored Rodger’s Ridge on the north east edge of  Strathcona Provincial Park.  This was a great hike and a beautiful day!  As we do not do much alpine hiking this was a great opportunity to climb up on a ridge and see what alpine has to offer. I loved the wide open vistas, views, and alpine ecology.

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Rodgers Ridge summit shot

Rodgers Ridge: An Easy Alpine Ramble

The post Rodgers Ridge: An Easy Alpine Ramble appeared first on Explorington.


Rodgers Ridge is among my favourite easy alpine hiking routes. It’s a non-technical route with a lightly booted trail that ambles through the light alpine bush, past a secret hut, and along rolling slab rock. Once high on the ridge you can see views of Buttle Lake and many of the peaks in Strathcona Park. I’ve posted numerous reports from the area but my favourite is the time my car stuck on the logging road— 37 kilometres up the Argonaught and Granite Mainlines! I added it to the schedule and as one of the objectives for the Island Mountain Ramblers Ridge Rambler Challenge because this region is among my favourite ridge hikes.

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Nootka Island Trail Backpack – July 9-13, 2016

 

Maquinna Point

Isolated.
Rugged.
Awe-inspiring.
But most of all, humbling.

Yes, the Nootka Island Trail is all of these.

Isolated because it is an island off the north-west coast of Vancouver Island, accessible only by boat or float plane.

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