Island Mountain Ramblers

Hiking/ Climbing / Mountaineering / Exploring Vancouver Island since 1958

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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Maitland Range Exploration: a day in the bush

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

I often wonder how my blog posts are perceived by those who read them. While the website is a vanity site, it’s never been my intent to brag; rather, I’ve always been interested in sharing first-hand experiences gained in Vancouver Island’s diverse backcountry. However, over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that some folks must think I’m bragging. Not that every post celebrates some new summit, but more often than not this is the theme of my content. On September 10th, however, during a hike in the Maitland Range, I found everything but success.

Route with images

 

Total Distance: 8 km
Starting Elevation: 290 m
Maximum Elevation: 860 m
Total Elevation Gain: 651 m
Time: 6 h 15 m

 

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5040 Spy Mission

–Submitted by Clarke Gourlay

Wet day (first of the summer for some of us!) and windy at the summit, but it cleared up enough in the afternoon for a quick swim in the lake on the return trip.

Great big team working hard in the rain at the new nut location, and very fun to see the project enroute.  There is a long way to go, potential volunteers, but the resulting hut is going to be huge and very solid, in a beautiful place.  Many more trips to 5040 in the future!

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Circlet Lake Backpacking Trip

–Submitted by Jamai Schile

Arriving at the parking lot for the Nordic Centre around 10 am, we were surprised to see how busy it was. We speculated that the combination of fires in the interior and the number of closed Island trails created an above average number of visitors to the park this year.

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Late Summer Rappel Workshop

–submitted by Matthew Lettington
–photographs by Shayna Bussey

The group of five met in Pipers Lagoon at 6 PM. We had warm breezes and the surrounding cloud provided an excellent backdrop for the evening’s workshop, and ideal conditions for the workshop.

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Waring Peak: Striking Back

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, read the full report on his blog

Have you ever struggled to achieve an objective, and been turned back? I have–a lot! Waring Peak in the Sutton Range is among several peaks that we failed to summit last winter. My first attempt came to a premature end, with the group looking longingly at the base of the summit block, merely 200 metres away from the summit of the mountain. This August, we struck back at mountains that had turned us back last winter. This time, after only 2.5 hours of hiking, we were standing on the summit admiring the view, and enjoying the narrow upper ridge of this Vancouver Island peak. It’s satisfying to gain these summits, but it’s remarkable how different the approaches are in the different seasons. Of note, the biggest surprise is the bush!

 

Toal Distance:  9.1 km
Startin Elevation: 541 m
Maximum Elevation: 1599 m
Elevation Gain: 1071 m
Time:  5 h 15 m

 

 

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Ash Pond Trail, Mt. Becher via Slingshot meadows

–submitted by Adrian Houle

We started at Wood Mountain parking lot. We traveled past the ruins of the old ski hill to the border of Strathcona park. From there we followed the trail and took the route signed as Drabble and lamountainie, skirting under the cliffs of Mount Becher.

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Jagged Peak: Grovelling in the Gully

–submitted by Matthew Lettington, Read the full report and see more images on his blog.

[insert snappy introduction]

I love mountaineering in the Sutton Range because the peaks offer a sense of exploration I don’t always find in more popular regions. I attribute this feeling to the relative isolation of the peaks: they are a long way from the major population centres of Vancouver Island, and there are no paved roads to the trailheads. Because of this, we rarely see booted routes to guide us on our way. It’s in the Sutton Range that we found our Sunday adventure, on Jagged Peak.

Many of the peaks in the Sutton Range are dramatic, jagged forms that inspire feelings of dread (or excitement) as you look at them. Jagged Peak, aptly named for its long, crumbling gullies, is no exception. Jagged Peak is a less popular destination than other mountains in the Sutton Range, such as Victoria and Warden Peaks. Individually, they might be difficult to identify, but these dramatic, and iconic peaks rise together from the valley and create an easily identifiable Vancouver Island landmark.

 

Total Distance:  11.5 km
Starting Elevation: 605 m
Maximum Elevation: 1700 m
Elevation Gain: 1150 m
Total Time: 6 h 30 m

 

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5040 Peak on a hot summer day!

–submitted by Bill Derby

Seven intrepid Ramblers met at Starbucks in North Nanaimo under a bright blue early morning sky to make introductions, grab a coffee, and sort out vehicles before departing for the 5040 Peak trail head via Port Alberni and Highway 4. 

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