After much participant-list shuffling, in the few days before the trip we went from 8 participants and 12 on the waitlist to a new trip leader and only 4 other participants arriving for the hike.
The group met at the old Forbidden Plateau ski hill parking area, switched into one vehicle, and made the drive together to the Raven Lodge parking lot where we started off at a good pace for our long hike across the park.
This is probably my favourite fall hike and this year didn’t disappoint! With light rain misting the foliage, the colours popped. So vibrant! And it sure made the kilometers (all 27.3 of them) melt away, and even after 9 hours the colours of Paradise Meadows slowed my mind when I looked at them.
I was glad, too, that we had two groups, with Bil’s group starting from Raven Lodge and our group starting at the old Forbidden ski area, thus eliminating the dreadful shuttle.
After about an hour, we were through the old ski resort and entered Strathcona Park
The logistics of this trip demand vehicle shuttles or two groups, each starting at opposite ends. With John Young leading (and planning) it is a simple task to co-lead from the opposite end.
With our trip planned to start at the Wood Mountain trail head and John’s trip to start at the Mt Washington trail head all participants met at Piercy Road at 08.00 for a vehicle swap – a great plan by John as it put each of our respective vehicles at the place where we would end the day.
A quick drive to the TH and we were off by 08.40. The direct route up from the parking lot through the old ski hill area is a fine, and hearth thumping, way to “warm up”. There was some good natured commentary about how much longer it would take John’s group to warm up on the flatter Paradise Meadows trails but we looked forward to end with a good leg stretch on kind trails.
An Island Mountain Ramblers hike from Mt. Washington to Wood MountainSept. 26, 2020In order to avoid the dreaded car shuttle that involves an extra 2 hours of driving, we swapped vehicles at the meet-up point on Piercy Road. My group of four then drove up to Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge, and the other three drove to the old Forbidden Plateau Ski Area. When we finished the hike, our vehicles were waiting for us.
Our Route – 26.5 km
Although the previous days had been rainy, the sun beckoned us forward through Paradise Meadows
Call it our wedding anniversary, the final weekend before school, an early celebration of Octavia’s birthday, or just Labour Day; on September long weekend, I led a group of families on a traverse of Strathcona Park.
It starts with trying to hold them back
I’ve hiked the route between Raven Lodge and the Old Forbidden Plateau ski lodge on two previous occasions. Each time, I vowed to return to do it as an overnighter. Though a bit of a longer route, it meanders Forbidden Plateau with very few steep climbs; a fit group can complete it in about nine hours. In terms of a hiking route, there are very few like it on Vancouver Island. So when the question, “what to do as a family trip for our various celebrations in the face of COVID 19?” arose, I proposed doing the traverse as a family trip.
The Forbidden Plateau Traverse hike was an all women’s hike, with the Alpine Club of Vancouver Island and the Island Mountain Ramblers. We had a lot of interest and a number of cancellations at the last minute so there were only 8 people on the hike.