Mount Ashwood & Bonanza Peak

–submitted by Matthew Lettington from his blog:

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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Peak 5769: Day Three in The Bonanza Range

–submitted by Matthew Lettington; originally published on

This report is one chapter in a longer series that chronicles a multiday car-camping and mountaineering expedition, done in the summer of 2016. This report is for Day Three, July 17th. We hiked Peak 5769 and several other numbered bumps (read Day 1, Day 2). I came to call this day The day that couldn’t make up its mind — we had blazing sun, heavy rain, wind, more sun, low cloud, sun again, hard rain, lightning, and finally sun as we descended back to the car.

hiking in the Bonanza Range to Peak 5769
some weather rolling in again.

Every summer, I plan multiday adventures on Vancouver Island. I often find myself trekking along the coasts, mountaineering through the backcountry, or paddling the rugged west coast. These trips become the focus of my summer, around which everything else is planned. Arranging for our group members to have the same days off is usually one of the biggest planning issues. So, when we finally get our schedules coordinated, these days become sacrosanct.

This summer, we planned a trip through Strathcona Park along the Wolfe/Cervus Divide — but Mother Nature had other plans. As our planned trip approached, the forecast turned to three days of lightning and rain. We reconnoitred and decided to travel beyond the weather, finding adventure in the Bonanza Range.

Total Distance: 13 km
Starting Elevation:906 m
Maximum Elevation: 1682 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1549 m
Total Time: 9 hours 30 minutes

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