Excerpts from Timberline Tales Number 2 January 1966 — King’s Peak 6774′ May 22-24 [1965]

— Originally published January 2, 1966   
A note about the transcription: Careful attention has been given to the original text. Though difficult to read at times, I have preserved the original text, including any evident typos. 

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King’s Peak 6774′
May 22-24 [1965]

After days of wet and unsettled weather, the weekend opened clear and cloudless. This prevailed during our whole trip. We gathered at Courtenay and stepped on the GOld RIver road to eat lunch at Tlools Creek. We turned left just beyond the Elk River bridge at the base of the upper Elk RIver Valley trail, just beyond Mile 39. Here we parked and set up camp. In the afternoon we walked a mile to the narrows of Drum Lakes, croarod a long to the north side and took the trail to the left which leads up to Crest mountain. While some of us sunned on the lower slopes, others swam in the icy Elk River. Two of the boys were quite successful trout fishing.
At 6:20 a.m. we were on our way to King’s Peak, entering the bush at Mile 39, continuing east a hundred yards or so before turning south to start the ascent through the bush. This was really the frustrating part of the trip, for it took us 2 1/2 hours of bushwacking before we eventually started to climb on rock which eventually led up above the tree line, then over two steep snowfields up to a 60[degree] angle before we eventually sat down on a sunny south ridge for dinner, six hours after leaving camp.
When things were tough this scribe was encouraged by pithy remarks, “is this your last diary entry?”, and to a novice climber on a steep pitch, ‘Think of all your happy childhood!”
After diner 20 persons headed for the peak, two left behind at the lunch stop and two were dropped behind at the north peak. Eighteen made the summit, a very creditable showing, reflecting great credit to our leader, Syd. Watts.
To the south-east lay Rambler Peak (6900′). ON the far side of the Elk Valley, there is a long ridge called Puzzle Mountain (5997′). In the far distance southward was Mt. Donner 5947′ and Mt. Machlee 6033′ to the west just outside the park.
Leaving the lunch spot at 5:00 p.m., we made a quick descent through soft snow until we hit the bush line, veering eastward to avoid precipitous rock faces which we had met on the ascent. We were not entirely successful in circumventing them and had a retrace our steps at one point, but finally reached the Elk River at dusk, then bushwhacked through heavy timer for a quarter of a mile along the south bank before we finally came to the road and on to the camp— 15 1/2 hours in all. This was considered to be one of the more arduous hikes of the Ramblers, the chief difficulty being to find a good, direct route through the bush to the timberline. The rope was used five times during the climb.
Those on the hike included Syd Watts, John and Doreen Cowlin, Herb Warren, Elizabeth and Pat Guilbride, John Ramsay, Carl Stevenson, Lorne Lanyon, Chris Calverley, Eve Howden of the Island MOuntain Ramblers, together with Hans Rufiger, Elsa Potentier, Lois Huber, Mark and Marion Brown, Bob Ball, Jee and Irene Truswell with sons, Gordon and Roy, and one guest Peter Busch, all of the Outdoor Club of Victoria.

Excerpts from Timberline Tales Number 2 January 1966 — Elk River Valley April 16-18 1965

— Originally published January 2, 1966   
A note about the transcription: Careful attention has been given to the original text. Though difficult to read at times, I have preserved the original text, including any evident typos. 

Read Original Document

This was the weekend we were to join the Outdoor Club of Victoria on their trip to the West Coast. While we waited at the Duncan Parking lot in the cold rain for the group to arrive, the up-island members reported there waas no rain North of Naniamo. Since we were a self-contained group, and a change of plans would not hinder the Outdoor Club, we headed north to Strathcona Park for the weekend. By the time we reached Parksville, the sun was trying to shine. From Courtenay on , it was a bright, sunny day.

On arriving at our campsite on the East bank of Tlools Creek, west of Buttle Lake, we had lunch. Since the afternoon was free, we drove on up the Elk River valley, through the pass, descended the Heber Valley to Gold River, and continued down its canyon with the many waterfalls and pools. Rock on the side of the road were covered with pink Easter lillics at many points. On arriving at the bay, we photographed the old town of Gold River at the side of the mountain. We were seeing it for the last time, as it would be demolished. While driving back over the new bridge at the Gold River townsite, where the Gold River joins the Heber River, I looked downstream and saw the remains of the old cable bridge. My mind went back ten years or so to when I walked along trails in the area with the big trees trying to meet overhead. What was then a most beautiful river valley was now a slashed hillside, with the Cats workin on the new townsite. I wonder if we have to destroy so much in the name of progress. As we neared our campsite, we stopped to view Elk Breeding on the side of Big Den mountain. We were wondering how they would make out now that a new highway and power lines are to be constructed through the valley.

The nest day dawned quite clear, but clouded up after breakfast, with a mixture of cloud and sunshine during the rest of the day. After getting away to a good start, we hiked back along the logging road a few hundred yards to the point where the south ridge of Mt. Flannigan comes down to the Road. More we climbed up this ridge as it is perfect going along open rock slopes covered with flowers. Due to the late spring they were just coming out. Near the 30000 foot level we came to soft snow. As the peak could wait for another day, we came back down a short way and spent an hour or so by a warm fire, enjoying the view before retracing our steps to camp and supper, followed by a quiet evening by the campfire.

Sunday commenced cloudy with the peaks hidden. Since the weatherman was forecasting rain from the south, we cut the trip short and returned home after a most enjoyable weekend.

[participant names omitted for privacy reasons]

Syd. Watts.