Thank you to Ken Warren and the other members of the Island Mountain Ramblers Executive for their work in creating the new language for the updated constitution. And, thank you to the Island Mountain Ramblers membership for making the adoption process nearly painless, at the March 2018 meeting.
–Photographs by Mike Hincks and Kim Leong
You’re a natural outdoorswoman! It was back on December 16th, 2017 that we finally got you out on your first snowshoe trip. I hosted a family/beginner snowshoe trip with the Island Mountain Ramblers as a way to get the whole family outdoors together. You were already 14 months old at the time — a whole year older than your brother’s first time! I’m sorry we waited so long to get you into a backpack and out in the snow! We tried to make it happen last winter, but between your age and the weather, we just couldn’t find a day that worked.
–submitted by Phil Jackson
Leaving Nanaimo at 5:30am Phil and Matt proceeded to Campbell River where we picked up Mary then proceeded to where Palmerston Rd meets Eve River main. Rishi was there waiting for us, Rick and Lisa weren’t to far behind.
A slight departure from the scheduled route, an extra leg was added to the hike to extend the day trip.
Four of us started out from the N. end of Westwood L. following the standard ridges route with a first stop at Ridge 1 overlooking the lake. After a brief snack it was on to Ridge 2 for lunch, complete with views to Mt. Benson, Robert’s Roost and Ladysmith inlet. We concluded our hike with a brief tour of a couple of trails in Morrell: the Rocky Knoll trail (not to be missed), and the Beaver Pond.
Good weather, good group, and a nice woodsy ramble fit for anyone with average physical fitness.
We all congregated in the parking lot of Pipers Lagoon at 6pm. The sky was dark, threatening rain. But we were lucky and avoided any moisture. The cool air made us eager to get active and get our gear on.
We covered the basics needed for rappelling safely. We started tied to the bench and worked our way up to the small ledge, rappeling safely off the tree. To top everything off we set a line down the face into the cove, at Pippers Lagoon. I think a few folks were very nervous when we started the evening but by the end of the night, everyone was very confident in their own abilities. Three cheers for teamwork. We hope to host another event soon, likely focusing on belay technique to do some top roping at the local crags.
April is a month of unpredictable weather. Before we head out on a hike, we are seldom concerned about the forecast; let’s face it, it’s usually wrong. On Sunday, April 24th, we planned to hike Steamboat Mountain, in the Maitland Range. We were going to use a route notorious for its bushwhack. With rain in the forecast, we made an exception to the rule and changed our plan–wet conditions and bushwhacking are a recipe for disaster. Pushing through trees branches, getting soaked and freezing, isn’t exactly my idea of great fun! Instead, we headed north, looking for respite from the forecasted rain.
|Kokummi Mountain Map and GPS Route
|Warden and Victoria
|clouds in the low valley
|up through the old growth
|Across the valley
|Kokummi Peaks through the clouds
Phil and I walked close to the edge of the snow-covered ridge and nearly jumped back! We accessed the ridge via a steep slope, but on the other side it is a sheer drop-off. As we stood at the edge, we had a view to the valley, 400 metres below us. It was clear of snow, and the sun bathed the creek and surrounding area in light, creating a stark contrast from the winter wonderland we walked.
|Up into the clouds, Mount Kokummi east aspect
|descending back to the car
If you are looking for an out there mountain that offers exciting ridge walking and excellent views, but are not comfortable with exposure, this mountain may be for you. Although we needed to use our hands on occasion to fight the light bush up the short distance to the saddle (even this was easy), the route is fantastic.
–submitted by Rod Szasz
images submitted by Julianna Wells and John Robertson
After 45 minutes the summit ridge was gained and from here it was a little over a kilometre in very good relatively flat ground with snow-covered tarns, small rocky hillocks and some Krumholtz. The going was very good and fast and a joy on the eyes after the clear cut.
Just before the summit block we hit the original access road to supply the forestry lookout and then made our way to the end of the old road past the original dilapidated stairs, old cans and remnants of the telegraph. The summit block had a little scramble and we were on the summit where an old helicopter pad and remains of the lookout is located.
PS: If anyone knows of anyone who has a picture of the original forestry lookout of the peak please let me know. firstname.lastname@example.org
A burning question on everyone’s mind is sure to be, “When is the best time for my child to visit a lighthouse?” It’s a trick question: take them as often as you can! Kim and I have taken Hemingway on numerous backpacking and camping trips, but it recently dawned on me that he had yet to see a lighthouse, so we planned a weekend getaway with the Ramblers to visit Tapaltos Bay and Cape Beale.
|she didn’t even use the rope
For all my complaining, though, I had it easy compared to Kim. Even with her light pack, the twisting, turning, crawling on hands and knees, and occasional jump over mud pit from root to root, was a lot. She is no stranger to backpacking but with work, Hemingway, and her body changing, she struggled. Thank goodness the trail is short – but darned if it isn’t deceiving! At one point, I examined my GPS and discovered we were only 500 metres from the ocean. “Well, that’s going to be quick,” I thought to myself. Nope. The trail took a right-hand turn, and for quite some time we travelled parallel to the shore, and then away from it, before finally turning back. What I expected to take 15 minutes took around 45!
|Beth rocking the land bridge!
|photo by Michael Paskevicius
The lighthouse is high above the water looking north, overlooking the Broken Group Islands. After a good long visit, we said our farewells; many of the Ramblers took the chance for one last look out before heading back to camp. Even with the relaxed visit and time spent gazing, we were back at camp just in time for dinner. Hemingway was ravenous!
|along for the ride
–submitted by Matthew Lettington
Read the full report on his blog
In search of what is sure to be our final snowshoe trip of the season, I set out on a mission with three other Island Mountain Ramblers. We braved a long logging road approach up Buttle Bluffs Mainline to reach camp for our summit of Alexandra Peak the next day. Alexandra sits outside the official Strathcona Park boundary; it’s in the range of peaks to the northeast of the commonly-hiked Mount Albert-Edward, across the Oyster River. Phil and I had attempted this peak earlier in the season, but the trip was ill-fated: the weather turned on us, the snow condition was terrible, and we turned back before even reaching the end of the Buttle Bluffs Mainline. We approached this second attempt with stern resolve – we would not be turned back.
|The cirque below the Alexandra Ridge