Timberline Tales No. 6 January 1971

This file was originally mailed to the members of the Island Mountain Ramblers, in 1969-70.

[Note: the IMR is looking for someone to transcribe this document contact president@islandmountainramblers.com if you can do it]

Timberline Tales 1969-70

Image Gallery for Cape Scott Trip:

Forbidden Plateau / Carey Lakes, 1966

–submitted by Bill Jackson

This will surely be the most inaccurate trip report in club history, given 54 years of opportunities for memory to change things. It was my second trip with the Ramblers, I think. The first would have been Arrowsmith, which at that time was an overnighter from Cameron Lake.

Dates and number of participants are made up. I know that John and Doreen Cowlin were along, and Syd Watts. It was August of 1966, and I remember it as being 2 weeks but given the enhancing effect of memory, it may have been one week. It certainly was memorable, especially considering how close I came to dying from hypothermia.

Gear: Trapper Nelson pack frame with the big canvas bag.  The sleeping bag was a wool-filled bag that my family used for summer car camping.  Couldn’t afford a tent, so used a sheet of plastic and some rope. Rain gear was a poncho. Probably an old pair of wool dress pants ( serviceable outdoor gear by the way, and very quiet, if a bit lacking in current style). Boots had some sort of flat cord soles.  Couldn’t afford Vibram. Food included a lot of Minute Rice and Kraft Dinner.  Total weight about 50 lbs.

We went up via Cruikshank Canyon and spent a few days exploring a Forbidden Plateau almost empty of people.  It wasn’t part of the park at that time, and of course that was before the ski lodge was built.  We met up briefly with a couple of other Rambler members; I think one was Ron Facer.  (Another tidbit of memory, Ron used to sometimes carry a couple of rocks for exercise, as if the gear of that era was too light.) And I met one person on the trail to Moat Lake when I went there for a look on my own. That was it for crowds.
We went up Albert Edward and King George V (man, it’s painful that all my photos are long gone) and then on towards Lakes Beautiful. Those lakes are well named. In one spot, the geography gave the impression that the water was flowing uphill.

On the second to last night, it rained fairly hard. I mentioned earlier that my “tent” was a sheet of plastic.  There was another person whose pup tent leaked.  Doug, from the military base in Comox.  Early in the trip, Doug and I had combined our resources, with my plastic as a flyover his tent. He had an air mattress, I just stuffed my spare clothes under my bag. (imagine packing a beach-style air mattress on a trip like that? But the fancy-dancy stuff wasn’t out yet).  During the night, the water gradually came in.  Apparently we were set up in a hollow.  It was cold enough at night for ice to form, and I was completely unaware of the danger.  I just knew that it was less cold when i stayed still than when I moved.  A couple of “Hey, I’m cold”, answered by “Mmm” until Doug finally flopped his hand down into the water.

“@#%^” or words to that effect.
Doug got a fire going in the drenching rain, someone collected dry clothes for me and gave me something hot to drink.  Since my wool sleeping bag was obviously not usable, the last night was spent crouched under my poncho, waking up often enough to throw more wood on the fire and have a drink of hot jello.  A more dangerous situation than I realized at that age, but no damage done.  My pack was considerably heavier on the way down, though.

OK, this isn’t a proper trip report, but I hope people find it entertaining. If someone has the actual trip report, it would be interesting to know how far my memory has deviated from reality in all those years.  Also, if anybody knows who / where Doug from Comox Air Base is, I’d like to thank the guy who gave me more than an extra half-century of life.

Excerpts from Timberline Tales Number 2 January 1966 — Unnamed Peak South of Green Mountain, Elev. 4900′ February 28

— 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. 

Unnamed Peak South of Green Mountain, Elev. 4900′ February 28 [1965]

Due to the softness of the snow, the destination of the hike was changed to the ridge South of the Green Mountain Chalet. Cars were driven up the snow covered road to about 100 yards below the parking lot for Green Mountain skiers. From here the group walked up to the skit tow, where Ellen Ware left us to spend the day skiing. From this point, we headed southerly through the trees with different members taking turns breaking trail in up to three feet of powdery snow. Lunch was eaten on the south slope, which afforded us a view of the unnamed peak, which we had originally planned to climb. The snow fell occasionally as we wallowed on to the summit of the southern ridge of Green Mountain, from where we retraced our steps, returning to the cars around 4 o’clock.

[members names omitted for privacy reasons]

Excerpts from Timberline Tales Number 2 January 1966 — President’s Greeting

— Original Publication Date: January 1966

[I have omitted the list of members, addresses and contact information for privacy reasons]

Welcome to the nineth year of hiking with the Island Mountain Ramblers. The 1966 Schedule of hikes, which an be obtained from any of the district representatives, has been lengthened, in keeping with the growth of the club.

A number of changes have been made to this club publication, including the name, “Timberline Tales” which was suggested by Syd Watts, and the listing of paid-up members.

At the annual meeting, recommendations will be brought forward for the requirements of members of other clubs to join the Ramblers. After these plans are approved, a combined information sheet and application form, which will be available for prospective members, can be obtained from the district representatives.

:hope that you find the outings on the 1966 schedule to your liking and that I will see you on the hikes.

John Cowlin

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. 

Read Original Document

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.