Westwood Ridges 1&2

–submitted by Mike Hordleski

Well, the weather cooperated, rain and snow didn’t materialize. After a short scenic walk past the lake and crossing the hydro corridor, we made our way to the 1st Ridge, but not without a brief stop at the Memorial Picnic Shelter and Remembrance Garden.

First Ridge is easily reached under an hour affording a brief snack break and photo op’s. The trail to 2nd Ridge is more variable with its ups and downs and a nice steepish scrambly bit before we top the ridge which, honestly, has a sweeping view to include Mt. Benson, Roberts Roost, and to the South Ladysmith Inlet.
After lunch, downhill all the way, exit under the power lines with a stopover in Morrell Nature Sanctuary, and a not to be missed summit of the Rocky Knoll–good elevation gain here. And back to the cars.

Took longer than expected–4 hours, which I put down to the easy unhurried pace we adopted. Anyways, smiles all around at its conclusion.

Mount Benson the outer route

— submitted by Mike Hordelski

Grey skies to start to our day, but no rain in sight. The five of us started out 8:45.  We weren’t  disappointed when we arrived at the creek crossing-lower water level than I expected, and were able to cross without event. Very windy at the viewpoints, saw out first snow just below the Old Road, and a trail runner out with his dog–in training for a marathon, by the looks of it, we followed his tracks along the same route we were taking.

We had an astonishing good hike to the summit, some kick-stepping required on firm snowpack;  needed to take shelter for the summit lunch as it was blowing hard. Found a nice spot allowing us to enjoy the falling snow, and feed those thieving whiskey jacks.

Mount Benson, winter rears it’s head

–submitted by Mike Hordelski

We headed up, seven of us, shortly before 9:00, taking Trail #1 and prepared to cross the creek to begin our hike proper. However, not unexpected, the run-off from the rains made the crossing too chancy. Plan B, to double back on the Old Road and take the fork to the ridge trail wasn’t looking too good either, so we opted for the less eventful Direct Route up.

 I was placing a lot of hope on a snowy summit and we were not disappointed as the photos will attest! It was windy, so we took shelter just below to enjoy our lunch. Not as cold as expected, a bit of drizzle on the way up, I think most of us were overdressed for the day. Made our way down around around 1:00. Half way down, we passed people on their way up…always good to start early if you want to keep the light on the way down.

Got back to the cars just passed 2:00 with smiles all around.

Seven total in our group-all members

Full picture album..

Heart Lake

Here are some pictures from Mike’s trip up to Heart Lake and the Holland Creek loops which ran on July 9th.  Look carefully at the lake and you will see three very refreshed hikers.  It was a great day.  Thanks to Mike and looking forward to the next one.  Present:  Mike H. leader, Nicki, Hazel and Janice.