–submitted by Matthew Lettington; additional photography by Dorothy Benneke, and Sherry Durnford
It was a chilly mid-morning start for the club trip up Green Mountain. With the popularity of the trip, we hiked as three groups, departing several minutes apart. The well-worn boot track was easy to follow even though it was covered in a skiff of snow.
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.
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.
Congratulations to Matthew Lettington (HEY! That’s me!). On Saturday, August 29, he (me, no I) successfully summited his (my) fifteenth of the twenty objectives from the Lifetime Climbing Objectives list.
Sutton Peak is one of Vancouver Island’s illustrious 6000 footers. It’s a destination that I frequently poke Phil about doing; since he first summited – without me—back in 2016. Aside from its height, this route’s sparkling feature is the long west ridge that leads mountaineers to seek this summit.
No GPS Track Available
Total Distance: 15 km Starting Elevation: 1094 m Maximum Elevation: 1870 m Total Elevation Gain: 1511 m Total Duration: 8 h 30 min
Four of us braved a spotty forecast to hike Douglas Peak. Instead of patches of sunlight, the four of us hiked up the logging road to its terminus and then headed into the bush for a few hours of light bushwhacking to the old-growth summit.
On Saturday, June 13, 2020, six adults and my two kids summited Green Mountain. If you’re familiar with the hike to Green Mountain, we used the older -less frequently used- Sno Bird Trail. It’s much different.
On Saturday, March 14, I led a small group on a snowshoe trip to Lake Helen Mackenzie. It was two families, me with my two children, and Jes with his son Trace. It was Hemingway’s first-time wearing snowshoes to walk, even though the conditions didn’t require it. We had very sunny conditions but cold air that kept the snow very dry and the sky clear.
The plan was to summit Mount Allan Brooks, but the weather had other ideas. On our start up the road to Raven Lodge, the snow on the road was so slippery that a long line of cars had formed not far from the lower chain up area—forget that noise! We detoured to Mount Becher, perhaps a bit far from our original destination, but the road was plowed and the snow just as fresh.