Paradise Meadows to Wood Mountain: A Family Traversing

–submitted by Matthew Lettington; originally published on explorington.com

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.

It starts with trying to hold them back

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.

Distance: 26 km
Starting Elevation: 720 m
Maximum Elevation: 1226 m
Total Elevation Gain: 727 m
Total descent: 1100 m


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Forbidden Plateau to Mt. Washington – Sept. 30, 2017

— Read the original post on John Young’s blog

Wow! What colors! I’ve never been so dazzled by fall colors as I was yesterday on our Island Mountain Ramblers’ hike from Forbidden Plateau to Mt. Washington.

We started our 27 k. hike at 8:20 under cloudy skies, with showers in the forecast We headed up the old ski area, and although going from this end meant we had more elevation gain than starting from Mt. Washington, I was glad we got this part over first, as it wasn’t ‘t scenic at all. Thanks to our leader, John Robertson, for arranging our car shuttles and deciding to start from the old Wood Mountain (Forbidden Plateau) Ski Area.
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Wood Mountain to Paradise Meadows

–Submitted by John Robertson

Five hikers set out in 2 vehicles from north Nanaimo at 6am. By 8:20, we had dropped a vehicle off at the Mount Washington trailhead, and backtracked in the other, to the old Wood mountain ski area. Drizzle and cold wind greeted us as we shouldered packs, but with the initial climb up the old ski hill, we worked off any potential chill quickly.We stopped for lunch at McKenzie Lake. By that time, the wind had died to nothing, and the sun was doing battle with the clouds (although the clouds ultimately won the day). After lunch, we continued on our way, in a light rain. From this point, the trail became a bit more grown in, and we took turns in the lead position, filling our boots as we knocked accumulated water off the blueberry bushes that hung over the trail.The GPS recorded 27.7 kilometers, and we were all quite satisfied with our day. It’s a good hike, when, as soon as the pack comes off, the talk is about the next opportunity to do it again.

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Snowshoe to Boston Falls Lookout: A Sunny Day below Mount Becher’s Summit

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the report on his blog

When I’m stuck inside, it sometimes feels like I won’t ever break free and get outside! If you’re passionate like I am, you probably feel the same. Now that I’ve added two kids to the equation, it’s even more difficult to balance the time between my family obligations and my passion. Not that the two are mutually exclusive; as often as I can, I try to merge the two together. But it’s not as simple as stuffing a child into a carrier. There are the known issues to deal with– diaper changes, toys, and extra snacks– but heading into the backcountry adds extra challenges. Changing a bare bottom in the wind is no cup of tea, and neither is a cup of tea, for that matter! Fortunately, at three and a half years old, my son has emerged from the long cold winter that has been his era of wearing diapers.

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