Monday dawned overcast with some rain but was forecasted to clear in the afternoon with Tuesday and Wednesday being cloudy with sunny periods.
Arrived at King’s Peak parking area at 12:30 pm Monday and enjoyed cool weather to hike the 1000 meters to the Meadow. Very peaceful as 3 groups came down, seemingly leaving me alone on the mountain. Interesting route finding in spots and washed out banks by the creek made for some interesting water sport. Getting across the mudslide just before the Meadow is a challenge. Helicopters provided background music in the late afternoon.
The 5040 hike of July 11 took place on Aug. 15 as snow levels and visibility were still an issue on July11. This hike was appended to Matt Lettington’s hike up 5040 and 7 people came along. It was a beautiful warm day so we started early, meeting at 6:30 am with 2 people coming up from Maple Bay (a VERY early start).
The coordinator, Sherry, was sweep and the reluctant hiker, Peter, was lead. This worked well until Holly realized that Peter was waiting too long for Sherry to catch up on the way down and took the lead. One and ¼ hours got the group to Cobalt Lake and about ½ hour further got us to the cabin. It was occupied but closed for visitors. We had snacks and the 4 am starters from Maple Bay decided to enjoy views from the cabin porch while the rest of us trudged to the top. By noon, we met the other Island Mountain Rambler group led by Matt Lettington and had nice chats about flying ants, bugs in general, and how to fine tune trip participant levels.
On the way down, Holly took the lead with a good pace and we congregated at Cobalt Lake for swims, dips, and water refills. The rest was a slow but steady descent through trees, roots, and rock to the cars. All were down by 3:30, thankful that we’d gotten an early start on a very warm day.
We caught the first ferry of the day at 10 am to Newcastle Island, entertained by tales of Captain Hans. We knew, thanks to Peter’s meteorological research that rain was about to beset us but it had held off so far. Very casual, we had lots of stops to admire views and breathe in the salt air. Small wildflowers abounded and low tide conditions revealed many sandstone formations. After a brief snack break circumnavigation of the island continued…then circumnavigation of Maillard Lake, then lunch break overlooking the float plane base. Ah, the postponed rainfall started and left us scrambling for our waterproof gear. After lunch, we visited the sandstone quarry and enjoyed reading the great historical signage in the quarry. Then, back to the ferry for a 2:30 sailing back to Nanaimo. Wet but not cold, we trotted back to our cars, happy to have had a leisurely stroll on Newcastle!
On a soggy Sunday morning, 8 of us (including Chica) set out to do the Heart Lake loop at 9:30. Although it didn’t stop drizzling, it was a pleasant morning and we arrived back at Durnfords for a Christmas potluck about 1 with Blake joining us for the potluck. It was a great opportunity to get a bit of exercise, enjoy some great food, and have a wonderful opportunity to catch up with everyone’s adventures of the year and plan some more.
Recently, the Island Mountain Ramblers purchased a piece of trail-clearing equipment with the help of a grant from the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia. The club members had a busy summer, and September 25th was the first chance for us to get out as a club and use it.
Total Horizontal Distance: 20.8 km
Starting Elevation: 208 m
Maximum Elevation: 1210 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1051 m
Total Time: 7h 5m
There are a lot of trails in need of maintenance. For our first effort, we chose to clear the Lomas Lake trail. In the summer of 2014, Sherry Durford led a club trip to the lake, and we noted that the trail was slightly overgrown. At the time, we discussed the need for trail maintenance; this was the impetus for us to submit the application for the grant. Our plan was to clear the trail to a point right before the final creek, and then search for a route to the col between Mount Service and El Capitan.
Seven hikers braved Sunday’s persistent drizzle to hike the Stocking Lake and Heart Lake circuits. Despite the weather, there were some great views and great company. Everyone met at Bean Time for a late lunch and warm coffee.