We left Raven Lodge in a faint haze of smoke. Good conversation made the hike up past Lady Lake fly by. We exchanged pleasantries with groups of weekend campers making their way out as we headed in. We found the route towards Ball Lake fairly easily, and set off on our adventure.
Only 2 people arrived at the old Wood Mountain parking lot for an 8:30 start. The colour of the sunlight betrayed the presence of a smoke haze in the air, and the otherwise clear skies promised a hot day.
A group of 5 people gathered at the Paradise Meadows trailhead. Paper maps were pulled out (guess our median age!) and possible routes were discussed. We sketched out a plan, and headed up past Battleship Lake. The air was cool, but we shed layers of clothing fairly soon, as the hike warmed us. The fall colours glowed in the sun.
The weather was perfect for a day’s hiking. We made swift work if the 5 kms on roads to the base of Buffalo Hump mountain. A slightly novel approach at the start led to heavier-than-expected bushwhacking, some extemporized scrambling, and a bit of profanity. After a steep climb and a bit more scrambling, the sub-alpine was reached, and the going was much easier. Views were viewed, and lunch was eaten. The descent was done quickly. From that point, the second objective was the falls on Whiskey Jack creek. Falls were easily found. We assessed the possibility of descent into the ravine and plunge pool, but decided that, despite the temptation of the creek below, there was no safe means of reaching it at that point. We had our creek time at a more accessible point upstream from the falls, and then, refreshed, headed back to the cars.
February 6, we opted for a circuitous route to Christie Falls, via the old railway, and Arroyo Road. Conversation made the kilometres pass quickly, and we were at the old cabin in three quarters of an hour. From there we continued to the falls. Several of the hikers had never seen them, and were suitably impressed.
We then continued to the abandoned Thistle mine. Those that wished to, entered and explored the mine. We had a snack, while idly searching the tailing pile for stray pieces of copper ore.
Next, we headed to the North end of Camas Ridge. The green of the moss was brilliant beyond words. As we continued along the ridge,the sun finally joined us, giving us bright warm sunbeams through the Arbutus trees.
On the way back to the cars, we diverted slightly, to the site of the old Regan resort, to explore what ruins remain.
Then we were back at the cars. We said our goodbyes and carried on with our Sunday.
We left our departure point under partly clear skies. From the sound coming from Bush Creek, we were quick to realize that the recent rain had increased its flow. Our first stop was the old cabin, still kept in great shape by the Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club.
On July 1, three set out from the TCT trailhead at Ninatti road, for a wander around Mount Hayes. The route included Camas Ridge trail, some old roads, and a few short stretches of bushwhack. The weather was cooperative, and the views were lovely.