Beaufort Range Traverse — submitted by Matthew Lettington

Earlier this year I made late spring trip into the Beaufort Range to visit Mt. Joan. On that trip we ended up making a winter ascent to the summit of Mt. Joan, where we were promptly socked in. Saturday, August 30th the Island Mountain Ramblers made an attempt to traverse the three peaks in this small range of mountains: Mt. Curran, Mt Squarehead and Mt. Joan.  The forecast called for 2 mm of rain and light winds. Although the conditions looked a little miserable on our approach, it made for excellent hiking conditions.

Taken from Squarehead, looking back on Mt. Curran and the ridge we ascended (right in photo)
GPS Route with Photographic Annotaion

Starting Elevation:  594 m
Max Elevatyion: 1562 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1347 m
Horizontal Distance: 13.8 km
Total Time: 8.5 hours

Curran-Squarehead-Joan Traverse – August 30, 2014 – by John Young

After making our way up the rough logging road,
the 10 of us started hiking at 9:48, under not bad looking skies. Mt. Joan’s
summit looked to be covered in cloud, but other than that it looked like a good
day. We headed up the Curran trail, which Ken Rodonets has done such a fine job
of maintaining, and by noon we were heading over the Curran-Squarehead col.
The group enjoyed the nice rock on Curran, and
views of Georgia Strait. We omitted the “true” summit of Curran, as
we figured it was going to be a long enough day, and the summit isn’t much
The col to Squarehead was a bit bushy in places,
and going up to Squarehead was a bit of a rock scramble that raised the heart
rate of a few people. We finally lunched on Squarehead, about 1:30, and it
started to rain as we headed over to Joan. The rain was brief, though, and at
the Squarehead-Joan col I gave people the option of skipping out the Joan
summit, shortening the trip by an hour total, but the group voted to bag it.
And we were glad we did! Yes, the view was somewhat obscured by cloud, but that
made it even more spectacular, as we could see Port Alberni poking out from
beneath the clouds.
We then began our descent, and it showered some
on the way down, but didn’t really begin raining until we reached the vehicles
just after 6 p.m. Another fine day in the mountains with an enthusiastic bunch.
Especially nice to have 3 guests along and 3 fairly new members.
Participants: Matt Lettington, Dean Williams,
Christine Rivers, John Proc, Fran Proc, Tyler Proc, Mary O’Shea, Mo Goreyan,
Alana Stott, John Young