After a flurry of early morning communications and a change in leader, five of us headed for Mt Elma on snowshoes from Raven Lodge. Although the parking lot was full, the trails were quiet. Fortunately someone had the same destination in mind and kindly broke trail for us. Conditions were ok with the temperature around minus 4, light snow, and light wind. The snow is quite deep and loose so it took some effort to get up to the summit ridge. Visibility was almost nil, but the windrifted snow and the mantled trees made the trip worthwhile.
We don’t often get a whole day together for just the two of us. Typically, the entire family goes on our adventures, or at the very least it’s you, Hemingway, and me. In fact, that was the original arrangement, for you both to come with me –and 12 of my closest Ramblers buddies– on our February 3rd summit of Mount Elma. But Hemingway decided to stay home for a swim lesson and his first overnight camping trip away from home, leaving the whole day for just us–our first time!
You’re four-and-a-half years old now–time sure flies. I made only two resolutions for 2018, and the first and most important one was to get my whole family out on a mountain adventure (Paradise Meadows doesn’t count). You’ve been my adventure companion on many trips, but it wasn’t until our January 6th trip that we summited our first mountain together: Mount Elma. It was a lot of work, but well worth the effort to see your smile when we crested the hill and walked out onto Mount Elma’s summit plateau.
Total Distance: 12 km
Starting Elevation: 166m
Maximum Elevation: 1418 m
Total Elevation Gain: 446 m
Total Time: 5h 30m
On February 19th, we met at Ski Tak Hut in Courtenay to gather the final pieces of backcountry ski gear needed for our day on the mountain. Lisa and I watched the sky, hoping that the hard rain would let up – or at least, that it was snowing on the mountain. Our original plan was to ski Mount Becher, but the rain forced us to reconsider our options; we decided to take our chances with Mount Elma instead.