–Submitted by Ken Warren
January 8, 2022
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.
Mt. Elma–October 10, 2021
Jane and I set out about 8:30 from Raven Lodge, with just a few other cars in the parking lot, and made our way through Paradise Meadows, treading cautiously on the slippery boardwalk.
Beautiful ponds and colours in the meadows
This is probably my favourite fall hike and this year didn’t disappoint! With light rain misting the foliage, the colours popped. So vibrant! And it sure made the kilometers (all 27.3 of them) melt away, and even after 9 hours the colours of Paradise Meadows slowed my mind when I looked at them.
I was glad, too, that we had two groups, with Bil’s group starting from Raven Lodge and our group starting at the old Forbidden ski area, thus eliminating the dreadful shuttle.
After about an hour, we were through the old ski resort and entered Strathcona Park
And so it was that on July 4, three adventuresome souls faced stifling heat and humidity, flies and bush, all in the name of tending to unfinished business: A successful summit of Volcano Peak.
Back before the year that never was, before anyone had heard the word COVID-19, Matthew, Phil and Karl completed a traverse of Wolf and Puzzle Mountains. On that trip, they wisely left Volcano for another day due to impending inclement weather. (Read More Here ). Since that day in June 2019, the three mused about what it would take to return and tackle the the one we left unsummited.
Distance: 23.5 km
Starting Elevation: 262 m
Maximum Elevation: 1672 m
Total Elevation Gain: 1700 m
Total Time: 12 h
An Island Mountain Ramblers hike from Mt. Washington to Wood MountainSept. 26, 2020In order to avoid the dreaded car shuttle that involves an extra 2 hours of driving, we swapped vehicles at the meet-up point on Piercy Road. My group of four then drove up to Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge, and the other three drove to the old Forbidden Plateau Ski Area. When we finished the hike, our vehicles were waiting for us.
Our Route – 26.5 km
Call it our wedding anniversary, the final weekend before school, an early celebration of Octavia’s birthday, or just Labour Day; on September long weekend, I led a group of families on a traverse of Strathcona Park.
I’ve hiked the route between Raven Lodge and the Old Forbidden Plateau ski lodge on two previous occasions. Each time, I vowed to return to do it as an overnighter. Though a bit of a longer route, it meanders Forbidden Plateau with very few steep climbs; a fit group can complete it in about nine hours. In terms of a hiking route, there are very few like it on Vancouver Island. So when the question, “what to do as a family trip for our various celebrations in the face of COVID 19?” arose, I proposed doing the traverse as a family trip.
What a difference a year makes! Last year when we hiked this trail, we saw nary a soul past Mount Albert Edward, but this year we met more than 20 others. One big group of about 20, a group of 3, a solo man and his dog, and two runners completing it in a day. The trail is also much better defined than it was just last year – a well-worn tread with many cairns leads the way. Although it is popular and pleasant, it’s far from a “walk in the park,” as over it’s 30 km it gains 2150 m and loses 3000 m. Lots of ups and downs! Since we started from Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge with an elevation of 1100 m., we had an overall elevation loss of 850 m.