Mount Cokely from the Arrowsmith Saddle

August 24, 2019

~ trip report by Mick Bailey

Mt Cokely sounded like an interesting destination. I had read about the trip on the Island Mountain Ramblers page several weeks before, and though at first it was fully booked, I managed to latch on when a few people cancelled. The plan, for our group of ten, was to ascend the Saddle Trail, scramble up to the ridge of Cokely, and then further on to the summit. On the return trip, we’d return to the ridge, find the Rosseau Trail, and return to the vehicles via that route. This would be my first visit to the Mt Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, and I was looking forward to the views!

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Arrowsmith massif from the Nanoose Bay area

The lightest of rains and low clouds followed us as we made our way from Nanaimo on the Island Highway toward Highway 4. By the time we passed through MacMillan Provincial Park (Cathedral Grove) and turned onto Summit Main, the rain had begun to fade. Next came more logging roads, as we followed Cameron Main and Pass Main to the trailhead high above, at roughly 1000m in elevation.

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Rappel Workshop

September 11, 2019

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

That moment when you stand on the end of a cliff, a rope both ahead of you and dangling over the cliff, when you make the conscious decision to step over the edge is the hardest.  If it’s your first time or the 100th time rappelling down a rock face, it’s a thrilling feeling. 

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A Traverse in Strathcona Park: Wolf & Puzzle Mountains with a Circumnavigation of Volcano Lake

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

I’m a prisoner to my work schedule, and my summer vacation kicks off in the final weekend of June. However, since meeting Phil, I’ve come to participate in an annual pre-summer trip known as the Birthday Hike. This annual prelude-to-summer trip has brought us to some of the best places on Vancouver Island.

Wolf Mountain

For two days, starting June 22, 2019, we set our sights on the three peaks which rise high along the ridge, on the west side of the Elk River Trail. The ridge is among the best Island Alpine I’ve had the pleasure of hiking; its near-pristine nature is protected by the awful bushwhack of Butterwort Creek on one end and a gnarly few steps on the other. It’s the type of terrain that is only visited by the crazy few who would seek out these diminutive objectives over the many giants of the Elk River Valley.

Total Distance 28.6 km
Starting Elevation: 312 m
Maximum Elevation: 1826 m
Total Elevation Gain: 2421 m

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Flower Ridge Trail

June 29-30, 2019

~ submitted by Jamai Schile

The party of six Ramblers set off from the well marked parking area on Western Mine Road. From there the group started the trail that climbs and weaves its way into the alpine. The relatively gentle gradient that gains 1,100 meters to the ridge crests at kilometre 8. The trail is dispersed with a few rolling treed areas that offer some relief from the grade as well as an impressive view point over looking the Myra Falls mine site.

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Mount H’kusam Summit

July 7th, 2019

~ submitted by Ken Warren

After a comfortable night camping at the Sayward municipal campground, seven of us gathered at Bill’s Trail head at the base of mount H’kusam.

The weather was overcast with the cloud rising up to give us occasional views then dropping into the tree tops. The ascent was unremarkable except for the unrelenting climb. Trail conditions were very good.

We made it to the col in just under four hours and four of us dropped down to look for the route to the summit. Despite the best effort of eight eyes we could neither find the upper route nor the lower route. We returned to the col and clambered around the rocks for some nice views.

We returned the way we came, which made for a difficult descent. When I do this hike again I will do a car shuttle so we can descend the same way as the racers do. It was a very good day with excellent company. Thanks.

North Coast Trail

July 9 – 15, 2019

~ submitted by Carmen Zitek

A lifetime objective for a group of five hopeful hikers.

We set off from Port Hardy hostel on the morning of July 10th.  Babe the NCT shuttle operator had us leaving for Shushartie Bay at 0700hrs via water taxi.

The weather was not very promising but we decided to forge ahead anyways, us and three German men; Marco, Robert and Uwe.

We arrived after a really lovely boat ride at 0800 hrs….our hearts light and our packs heavy!

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Mount Becher

June 22, 2019

~ submitted by David Shadbolt

Three of the five people on this hike had never participated in a club trip before. Kerry drove from Nanaimo, Dave (Mitch) and I from Qualicum Beach, Sarah drove from Tahsis via Campbell River to pick up Elliott.

Wood Mtn View

We started trudging up the unpleasant remnants of the ski resort around 10:30 and after a few brief pauses arrived at the top at 12:30 where we had lunch.

It grew more overcast during the ascent and  clouds obscured the views at the top. We were surprised by the number of folks on the trip, particularly those families with small children. Many dogs also.

Descending the resort caused a few butts to unexpectedly kiss the earth. Would I do the hike again? No, except possibly in winter on snowshoes– should we have a good snow year.