King’s Peak

October 5th, 2020

~ submitted by Sherry Durnford

Monday dawned overcast with some rain but was forecasted to clear in the afternoon with Tuesday and Wednesday being cloudy with sunny periods. 

Arrived at King’s Peak parking area at 12:30 pm Monday and enjoyed cool weather to hike the 1000 meters to the Meadow.  Very peaceful as 3 groups came down, seemingly leaving me alone on the mountain.   Interesting route finding in spots and washed out banks by the creek made for some interesting water sport.  Getting across the mudslide just before the Meadow is a challenge.  Helicopters provided background music in the late afternoon.  

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King’s Peak

August 22, 2020

~ submitted by Bil Derby

Planned as a do-over of an unsuccessful trip in 2018 this trip filled up quickly when posted on the schedule. By the time the week of the trip arrived the group reduced to just Gord and I.  Leaving Nanaimo at 06.30 on Saturday we arrived at the trailhead at 09.00 and were set up in the lower meadows 3-1/2 hours later. 

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Excerpts from Timberline Tales Number 2 January 1966 — King’s Peak 6774′ May 22-24 [1965]

— Originally published January 2, 1966   
A note about the transcription: Careful attention has been given to the original text. Though difficult to read at times, I have preserved the original text, including any evident typos. 

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King’s Peak 6774′
May 22-24 [1965]

After days of wet and unsettled weather, the weekend opened clear and cloudless. This prevailed during our whole trip. We gathered at Courtenay and stepped on the GOld RIver road to eat lunch at Tlools Creek. We turned left just beyond the Elk River bridge at the base of the upper Elk RIver Valley trail, just beyond Mile 39. Here we parked and set up camp. In the afternoon we walked a mile to the narrows of Drum Lakes, croarod a long to the north side and took the trail to the left which leads up to Crest mountain. While some of us sunned on the lower slopes, others swam in the icy Elk River. Two of the boys were quite successful trout fishing.
At 6:20 a.m. we were on our way to King’s Peak, entering the bush at Mile 39, continuing east a hundred yards or so before turning south to start the ascent through the bush. This was really the frustrating part of the trip, for it took us 2 1/2 hours of bushwacking before we eventually started to climb on rock which eventually led up above the tree line, then over two steep snowfields up to a 60[degree] angle before we eventually sat down on a sunny south ridge for dinner, six hours after leaving camp.
When things were tough this scribe was encouraged by pithy remarks, “is this your last diary entry?”, and to a novice climber on a steep pitch, ‘Think of all your happy childhood!”
After diner 20 persons headed for the peak, two left behind at the lunch stop and two were dropped behind at the north peak. Eighteen made the summit, a very creditable showing, reflecting great credit to our leader, Syd. Watts.
To the south-east lay Rambler Peak (6900′). ON the far side of the Elk Valley, there is a long ridge called Puzzle Mountain (5997′). In the far distance southward was Mt. Donner 5947′ and Mt. Machlee 6033′ to the west just outside the park.
Leaving the lunch spot at 5:00 p.m., we made a quick descent through soft snow until we hit the bush line, veering eastward to avoid precipitous rock faces which we had met on the ascent. We were not entirely successful in circumventing them and had a retrace our steps at one point, but finally reached the Elk River at dusk, then bushwhacked through heavy timer for a quarter of a mile along the south bank before we finally came to the road and on to the camp— 15 1/2 hours in all. This was considered to be one of the more arduous hikes of the Ramblers, the chief difficulty being to find a good, direct route through the bush to the timberline. The rope was used five times during the climb.
Those on the hike included Syd Watts, John and Doreen Cowlin, Herb Warren, Elizabeth and Pat Guilbride, John Ramsay, Carl Stevenson, Lorne Lanyon, Chris Calverley, Eve Howden of the Island MOuntain Ramblers, together with Hans Rufiger, Elsa Potentier, Lois Huber, Mark and Marion Brown, Bob Ball, Jee and Irene Truswell with sons, Gordon and Roy, and one guest Peter Busch, all of the Outdoor Club of Victoria.