We set out for the Mt. Arrowsmith climb, looking forward to the snow-covered slopes and the sunny, warm temperatures that were forecast; however, we were not sure about the road conditions, and soon after turning off the highway we had our answer: the road was icy! We inched along, and even at snail-like speeds I found my truck, 4×4 with snow tires, sliding sideways down the road. We therefore opted to park at the Pass Main Junction, rather than driving up to the usual parking spot for the Judge’s Route, adding about 45 min. of walking to our approach.
The 12 of us set off about 9 a.m., and reached the spur road about 9:45. Last year there was no snow on the spur; not the case this year …..
ACC combined with Island Mountain Ramblers trip Apr 25, 2015. Traverse Mt Cokely to the Base of Mt Arrowsmith Gully and hike out climbers trail to the road. Organized and let by our fearless leader Clarke. Particpants included Clarke, Roger, Peggy, Monica, Wendy, Sandra and Wanda. We arrived to find loads of fresh snow. The trip took us 8 1/2 hours using various combinations of snow shoes and crampons. Thanks to Roger for breaking trail most of the way and Clarke for the excellent route finding. This route was moderately strenuous with beautiful scenery and some short steep and airy sections.
Arrowsmith is, arguably, the most hiked mountain on Vancouver Island. I’m sure there are other hills that are more commonly hiked, Mt. Bension, Mt. Finlayson and even Mt. Tzouhalem come to mind. However, they are each below 1000 m. Arrowsmith, at 1819 m (5967 ft), is just short of the magic 6k figure that would put it on the illustrious list of 6000 footers on Vancouver Island. Regardless, I consider Mt. Arrowsmith a great day hike. It offers multiple routes for those that are interested in varying degrees of challenge.
Total Distance: 7 km
Starting Elevation: 745 m
Maximum Elevation: 1819 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1100 m
Time: 6.5 hours
January 3rd, I joined the Island Mountain Ramblers, on the first hike of the year! In total 13 hikers, gathered to make the winter ascent of the commonly hiked Judges Route. Trail Peak has a good description of the route and detailed information about the hike.