Mt Benson: The Outer Route

–submitted by Bil Derby

Eight of us met at Morrell Sanctuary to make introductions, do the paperwork, and shuttle cars to the Witchcraft Lake trail-head. We were on the trail at 09:00 heading up the northernmost trail towards the creek crossing, the ascent to the climbing wall and first or many viewpoints. Unfortunately, two had to turn back, one for who the trail was more strenuous than expected and one who graciously cut her day short to escort the first back to  Witchcraft Lake.

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Katzenjammer Light

–submitted by Ken Warren

New Years morning was cold, breezy and clearing when four Ramblers set out in the snow from Witchcraft Lake to Mt Benson. There was one truck in the parking lot before us and a single hiker ahead of us.  Trail conditions were fair with around 6cm of fresh snow softening up the ice slick of the well used track. We made good time to the halfway point with a short off trail ramble to mix things up.

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Morrell Sanctuary along Benson Ridge to [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ]

–submitted by Mary Hof

Hike from Morrell Sanctuary to [redacted by request of Department of National Defence ] and along the South Ridge to the summit of Mt Benson and down the North Ridge to Witchcraft Lake. October 2, 2016.

This was my first hike I led as a Rambler, for over 20 years I have been leading hikes for the Outdoor Club of Victoria, and the Cowichan hikers. I joined the Ramblers earlier this year as I wanted more variety and some tougher hikes.
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Westwood Ridges

A slight departure from the scheduled route, an extra leg was added to the hike to extend the day trip.

Four of us started out from the N. end of Westwood L. following the standard ridges route with a first stop at Ridge 1 overlooking the lake. After a brief snack it was on to Ridge 2 for lunch, complete with views to Mt. Benson, Robert’s Roost and Ladysmith inlet. We concluded our hike with a brief tour of a couple of trails in Morrell: the Rocky Knoll trail (not to be missed), and the Beaver Pond.

Good weather, good group, and a nice woodsy ramble fit for anyone with average physical fitness.

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.