Clayoquot Plateau Bush Bash

–submitted by Matthew Lettington
Read the full report on his blog: Boring Art, Boring Life

Have you ever pushed through so much bush that it physically pains you, and causes emotional trauma to the degree that it haunts you for days? I have, and I recommend that every hiker/mountaineer does it at least a few times in their life. It gives you perspective: in some ways, it makes you enjoy an unimpeded trail that much more!

Lake at Clayoquot Plateau
Phil about to descend to the lake

Philip Stone dedicates a portion of his book Island Alpine (2003) to a series of Top Ten lists, including a section for the top ten bushwhacks. Since publication, the face of alpinism on Vancouver Island has changed. The rock hasn’t changed, but gear has improved, new logging roads have been punched through, many roads have grown over, some routes have been placed and others cleared. The Top Ten lists are still important, but at least a few of them need updating, and the list of Island bushwhacks is one of them.  Keep in mind that this is just one blogger’s opinion, but I think this route should be considered for the list.

On Sunday January 24th, Phil Jackson and I made a solid Rambler attempt to summit Steamboat Peak using a route named The Cavers Trail, a route set by Quagger sometime before 2003. I was warned about the route, which lies along Highway 4 and is filled with classic Highway 4 bush. True to the claim, I’ll testify that this route is filled with many sections of solid class 3/4 bush. This is the type that claws at you as you work your way through all manner of vegetation. It hooks gear and rips at your flesh. I made it through with only a dozen scratches on my hands and a few marks on my face.

Clayoquot Plateau lake Map and GPS Route
Clayoquot Plateau Lake Map and GPS Route with Photos

Total Distance: 9.3 km
Starting Elevation: 66 metres
Maximum Elevation: 883 m
Elevation Gain: 919 m
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Read the full report on his blog: Boring Art, Boring Life