Monday, 22 December 2008

SCT-Section 2

Paul C. , Steve E and I walked the Sunshine Coast Trail from Wilde Rd to Wildwood.
There was an average of 2 inches of snow on the ground. The snow made everything look spectacular.

Thethyeth Lake was frozen but not the Sliammon Lakes.

Paul said the bird in the picture is a sapsucker.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Trail clearing activities since September

Sep 1 West Tin Hat - John Cogswell and Eagle Walz(JC&EW)
Sep 2 West Tin Hat - Bruce MacDonald, Ron Sellers and EW(BM&RS&EW)
Sep 7 West Tin Hat - JC&EW
Sep 16 March Lake to Elk Lake - BM&EW
During Sep: all Duck Lake Trails by BOMB Squad
Sep 23 Rainy Day Lake, Fairview, Saltery Bay - BM&RS&EW
Sept 30 Walt Hill - BM&RS&EW
Oct 2 Toquenatch - BOMB Squad
Oct 2 Coyote Lake - JS&EW
Oct 7 Knuckleheads road clearing to Beta lake - BM&RS
Oct 7 Gwendoline Hills - SG&EW
Oct 14 Saltery Bay and at Lois Lake BM&RS
Oct 16 BOMB: Marathon Ridge and Toquenatch
Oct 21 Gallagher Hill, weed eating and cutting out trees - BMRS
Oct 23 Toquenatch boardwalk - BOMB Squad
Oct 23 Installing Millennium Park signs-EW
Oct 27 Elk Lake Loop - ResultsBasedForestManagement(RBFM)&EW
1o days in Oct/Nov: RBFM/PR CommunityForest leared Elk Lake Loop, and Coyote Lake to Walt Hill - fixed swimming docks, campsites
Oct 28 Fred's Trail around Blue Trail south to Hammil Hill - BOMB Squad
Nov 2 Coyote Lake - RBFM&EW
Nov 4 Grouse Ridge and Jacqie's Lookout also on Dec 11, 18, 25 - BM&RS&RT
Nov 11 Haywire Bay to and around Lost Lake - Bob Innes, BM&RS
Nov 11 Elk Lake - JS&EW
All of Nov - BOMB Squad: at Girl Guides camp, building a trail and an obstacle course
Dec 9 SCT Wednesday Lake to Manzanita Bluffs to Spire access trail - BM&RS
Dec 9 Lois Lakeshore beaverdam bypass - SG&EW
Dec 11 BOMB Squad: Cable Trail
Dec 14 Lois Lakeshore beaverdam bypass - SG&EW
Dec 16 Lois Lakeshore beaverdam bypass BM&RS&SG&EW
Dec 18 BOMB Squad: Started fixing Suicide boardwalk where flooded at Goya

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Tin Hat

Saturday we got an early start and planned on driving to Goat2 to go up Triple Peaks. But the road looked snowy so we went to Tin Hat instead. Snow shoes were useful but not necessary. We parked at the turnoff from the road that goes back to Haslam. The snow was light and fluffy and about a foot deep at the Fiddlehead junction. Breaking trail was slow so we took over 3 hours to get up to the top which was cold and windy. A couple soon followed in our tracks.
It was a nice day to be in the snow. But it snowed on the way home and has since frozen so it is hard to tell what conditions will be next weekend. They used to plow that main road but I heard it may not get plowed this winter.

Peter Behr

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Access to the E Branch Cabin has been fixed. The deactivation project removed two of the upper bridges and saw many large water bars installed. John M and his ATV crew came to the rescue and pulled a second log across upper Alpha Creek and got it decked for us, a big thanks to them. Then they ran some small culverts up to the water bars where we are installing them.

We hiked some lumber up to Water Can Junction where we have made a bridge to get access up to E-400 and the cabin. This will be replaced next summer with a long term structure. Western Forest Products will supply some materials and we are working with them to get e 100 brushed to the Beta Lake Trail head.

Only trace amount of snow at cabins with this mild weather. Went up to the Lunchspot two weeks ago and there was @ 8 inches of snow there.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Knucklehead (Alpha, Beta, Gamma)

The road to Alpha Beta Gamma and the start of the Knuckleheads trail was in passable shape. It could use some care. The alders will scratch at the sides of a 4x4 but quads would be ok. The road (E 100 I think) only had wet snow on it the last couple of km. We drove to about 1 km from the trailhead. The snow was very wet and was melting. If it stays warm a couple of more days the road will be passable to the trailhead. If it freezes up there and snows more only really skookum vehicles will get through.

The trail was in good shape. At the beginning there are a couple of steep slippery places but the rest was fine. I did wear snow shoes and recommend them after the first km of trail under present conditions. The snow stayed wet all the way to the top of the smaller Knuckle. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to walk from the parked 4x4 to the top. It was foggy and misty with the occasional "window view".

I tagged the trail with green ribbons here and there where the trail was not obvious.
IF you go there bring snowshoes. If it freezes hard bring crampons. Funny to see a melt this time of year.

Peter Behr

PS I found a BC license plate: 799GTR. Whose is it?

Monday, 24 November 2008

Emma Lake trail as of Nov. 23, 2008

The road to Emma Lake trail was in good shape and had no snow on it. There is still that stream to cross but water is low.

The trail was in good shape at the beginning, one tree down, but as the trees thinned out the snow got deeper to 1/2 meter towards Maria Lake. I did not bring snow shoes so the walking got tiring. I turned back but really enjoyed the beauty of a snowy, winter walk with lots of great views of Mt Alfred and Mt Slide.

I tagged the bottom 1/3 of the trail with yellow ribbons on the way down. IF you go there bring snowshoes and a few people so you can take turns breaking trail.

Peter Behr

Sunday, 12 October 2008

State of the Trails as of Thanksgiving

We have now finished clearing all 180 km of the Sunshine Coast Trail as of January 2008. Some sections had not been brushed for a few years, and this year, everything is now up to date. We are installing more and more markers and signs, most recently working in the Smith Range.
Some friends are heading south, but some have misplaced their family. Snowgoose amongst Canada geese.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Elk Lake Loop

September 20, 2008 - We tried to hike the Elk Lake Loop. We drove up the road to Granite Lake and stopped at the giant ditches.
Then we hiked up the road to Granite Lake and past it taking the left fork which is a quad road and has a skookum bridge over the stream that feeds Granite Lake.
We followed the quad road , missing the right turnoff for the old SCT, and continued to Elk Lake which is beautiful. There is only 1 muddy spot near the lake.
Had lunch at a picnic table near the Lake and wanted to hike back on the eastern spur of the loop BUT....the trail is heavily overgrown and one would get soaked by the dew on the berry bushes and alders. Then I remembered that even a couple of years ago this was a really hard trail pushing throug the brush growing on an old logging road. So we turned back and took the quad road. It's too bad because I like loops better that going in and out on the same trail. As well when the conditions are right it used to be a wonderful loop to cross country ski in winter as it only has a couple of steep places (after the climb to Granite Lake).
(I know of only a few good cross country ski places around here; the Green Road, the Bunsters, E branch to cabin, and A branch cabin)
Of course I have no right to complain as I am not one of the hardworking people that makes and clears these trails.
But I do suggest that on the next map and SCT book it no longer be called the Elk Lake Loop and the eastern trail be dropped off the maps as bush wacking would be easier in places than the eastern Elk Lake Loop trail.

Peter Behr

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Knuckleheads: A and E Branch

The bridges at E Branch are going to be replaced, the lower bridge by the gate will be with a rail car. The upper one that is falling into the creek will be a ford. We will need to build a foot bridge this fall.
We plan to start brushing of trails in September so stay tuned and come out and help.
The project started on August 28th. The old bridge has been removed and they are working on cribbing next. The railcar is at the gate parking lot and they have the lock blocks at the bottom of E Branch.
E-100 has been brushed up to the old gravel pit, needs a lot of brushing to get to the Beta Lake Trail. Will talk to Western FP about including this into next years FIA budget, as to do this by hand would be horrific!!!

Ron Diprose

Monday, 8 September 2008

Freda Mountain

Jervis Inlet

Today 4 of us went up to the top of Freda Mountain. The road is ok. A couple actually drove a 2 wheel drive car to the trailhead!
For the first time I tried the trail which starts at the right fork at the stream. This trail cut about 1 hour off my usual time but it is not marked all the way and one must look fro footprints in moss to find it. It is very steep and not for beginners. We did not get lost however.
There is no snow to walk on at all on either trail.
There is no water after the stream which is maybe 10 minutes from the trailhead. Bring water, I did not have enough to hike in this heat. The view is grand.On the way down we took the usual path as the other is so steep it would be slippery. The old trail is in good shape and very obvious, being well trodden.
Watch for Kiewett trucks and equipment on the roads, they work weekends.

Triple Peaks

2 weeks ago I went up to Triple Peaks. Goat Lake 2 road is in great shape as Kiewett is working there and they have fixed up the road. They were working there on the weekend but let us pass. The first couple of kms of the trail is a bit overgrown with alder but walkable. After that the trail is pretty obvious and good. I did some flagging at intersections and then when the trail breaks out to open rock. Not much snow left up here either. Lots of ripe blueberries.

The knuckeheads

Back in July I drove up E 100 to the Knucklehead mountains above Alpha, Gamma Lakes. The road was thick with alders and scraped the vehicle. I have heard they brushed it up to the gravel pit but the rest is rough. This is too bad as I consider this the easiest mountain hike in the district and one of the prettiest. Still I drove to the trail head and had a great day. There is a circle route one can walk taking a right fork to hike uphill to the right of Beta Lake and go to the saddle. We went to the smaller Knuckle Peak as there was snow and ice there which makes the higher peak difficult. Then we came down on the diagonal cut above Beta Lake, on crapons. By now this should be all cleared of snow. The lake colour is beautiful.

Centre Lakes is another beautiful hike. The road has a couple of slides on it that are not drivable so that adds another 45 minutes or so. When there is no snow a nice circle walk is possible. Nice alpine country here too.

The road to Emma and trail are in good shape last time I went which was July.

Peter Behr

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Tinhat West

Keep your eyes open for elk. They've got the right of way.

During August and early September we have been working on cleaning out the West Tinhat Trail up from Fiddlehead. This trail with a serious vertical attitude snakes its way up the side of the mountain by way of sidehill runs and series of switchbacks that allow you to gain altitude on a gentle incline. This of course lengthens the trail but makes it relatively easy to make the necessary elevation gains.

Beautiful, but little known West Tinhat Trail is well worth making your way out to Fiddlehead via Goat Main, Spring Lake Main and Giovanni Main. The roads are good at the time of this posting, and there is signage. See earlier posting re getting through Fiddlehead onto the trail up to Tinhat.

At various times during the latter part of summer we've had Ron, John, Scott, Bruce and myself clearing this remote and amazing trail. We weedwhacked the salal, ferns, and various berry bushes that had encroached onto the track, and cut out and removed blowdowns that had fallen across the trail. For long stretches the track travels through oomphy mature fir forest growing on the steep mountainside. There are breathtaking views of the islands at the north end of Haslam Lake and the Giovanno Valley. There are lots of flags all along and the trail is now easy to follow.

We have reached the apex of West Tinhat Trail where it comes out onto the old Tinhat road which goes up the front of the mountain from the vicinity of Spring Lake. From where West Tinhat Trail emerges onto the old road it turns left for the last kilometer to the end of that rocky road. There it resumes on the well-trod foot path up to the summit. This short stretch has also been clipped again with a few years' annual growth cut well back with loppers. The immature trees are beginning to close in overhead to provide that welcome closed-in canopy that cuts down on the pesky undergrowth. It's well marked too. The hike takes about three hours from Fiddlehead to summit.

Bruce and Ron are checking out the area for the future shelter location. Lewis Lake lies immediately below while the rest of Horseshoe Valley with the Canoe Route stretches on beyond in the distance.

Near the summit you will find three orange flags at a trail junction. The spur continuing uphill takes you to the summit inside of five minutes, while the branch heading off to the east makes its way over a large flat and fairly open alpine shelf, then descends toward Lac Godeau, Sofia Pond and Cranberry Pond, and on down and around Lewis Lake. East Tinhat Trail takes about 3 hours also and is a scheduled September destination for the Weekend Hiking Club.

Whether you ascend Tinhat Mountain by way of East, West, or Old Tinhat trails going to the summit provides you with panoramic 360 degree views, provided of course that you pick a sunny day. There are no ropes required to do this hike from either direction. This pre-eminent of Powell River mountain trails is usually hiked best in the fall, as the flies have disappeared by then. Drink in the views.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Confederation Cabin

View of Confederation Lake from Confederation Cabin back towards Pearson Pass where the Sunshine Coast Trail comes up from Inland Lake and Powell River.

About Confederation Cabin: the cabin itself is structurally sound and attractive from the outside.

But once you enter be prepared to wade through garbage.

An entrepreneurial recycler could make a fortune returning the wine and whiskey bottles that have arrived there and stayed there with the advent of an ATV trail that has been pushed down into the proximity of Confederation Lake down from Mahony Main. This lake and its cabin are part of Inland Lake Provincial Park.

It's not likely that the folks who created this mess will clean it up, as they appear to be in the business of making it grow. So to make this wonderful cabin and potentially valuable recreation/tourism resource useable again will take some effort. We have contacted BC Parks and now that they have become aware of the conditions they have committed to clean it up in the next couple of weeks. A missing stove pipe needs replacing as well.

This coming Sunday, a group of hikers have made this cabin their destination, but they will not be impressed favourably. We look forward to tidy conditions once again.

Monday, 4 August 2008

March Lake and Fiddlehead Trails

View of East Tinhat Ridge seen from Lewis Lake campsite

After two seriously rainy days the fabulous summer weather we've been experiencing during July has returned in full force for the BC Day long weekend, with more of it being forecast into the foreseeable future. We celebrated our third annual BC Day Camp Out at Lewis Lake by cleaning out the first two km of the March Lake (SCT). Scott, John, Ron, Carol and I re-established this level trail that allows you to walk side by side, a conducive configeration to conversation.

Last year after the trail buffer protections we had negotiated in the Stillwater Pilot had been nullified by government, we were once again negotiating. The March Lake Trail buffer beyond the two km of variable retention we had just cleared was on the operating table. Western Forest Products consulted with us as to how much of the buffer they would leave if they would leave one at all. We had a handful of meetings and a field trip to try to limit the damage. Finally we agreed that the historic railroad grade would continue to be the location of the March Lake Trail, but that some small sections of it were going to get logged, while other sections would get a 30 m buffer on either side, and that about 500 m of it would get covered over by the new "narrow" logging road, which afterwards would be re-established as the trail. After a visit in the field on the weekend it appears that far more logging along and on top of the trail is being contemplated than what we had agreed to.

A Tale of Two Treatments: The loggers for Western were to heed the tourism/recreation values inherent in the trail. However, once again we witness the recurring inability of industry to implement agreements in the field. The men on the machines obliterated two entrances of the trail where it intersects with the new logging road. A root the size of a small house was dumped on one of the entrances, and felled trees were decked all along the road five to ten feet high. Someone new to the trail would be turned back in frustration. And the volunteers once again are forced to spend hours to relocate the trail around this man made obstacle. Or else just forget about it and let the trail die. We object to these destructive acts. This is not right.

Scott's feet are on the trail, and behind him are roots, logs and debris piled ten feet high.

At two other crossings consideration was given to tourism where the trail is easily accessed and the disturbed ground was leveled out and even hydroseeded making it a breeze to get back onto the trail on the other side of the road. Included in this post you will see the difference between the two treatments.

A gentle transition from road surface to trail surface - hydroseeded green patch on the right. Now that's more like it.

On Sunday we ascended Fiddlehead Trail from the valley up the ridge toward Confederation Lake. We cleared three kilometers of this trail climbing, sawing and snipping up to the 400 m level to the Goat Island viewpoint. Though many trees were down, most were smallish and no real problem stepping over them, or in some cases around. On Tuesday Bruce, Ron and I returned to clear and remark the remainder of the Fiddlehead Trail up to Confederation Lake. Although we got an early start, the heat followed us up the mountain as we removed debris, cut through logs and hung more ribbons. We finished after a late lunch at the cabin and now the SCT is cleared through from Sarah Point to Fiddlehead Farm. Now the entire section through Inland Lake Provincial Park is cleared all the way to Fiddlehead, a lovely hike through a vibrant forest with occasional views, a high elevation lake, and significant old growth.

Many other sections through the mid-section (Fiddlehead to Eagle River) are cleared as well but we haven't revisited all of them yet. The March Lake Trail of course is not navigable. Hikers must use the alternate route which is accessed 200 m farther south on Spring Lake Main down from the March Lake trailhead. This shorter temporary reroute uses the old Alaska Pine Road where it heads south off Spring Lake Main just short of KM 6. It is intersected by a logging road, and requires walking on a few hundred meter long section of another new logging road which eventually veers off up the mountainside while the old packed dirt Alaska Pine Road continues at elevation for another two km and then splits. Just at that point you will notice signage on both sides of the old road indicating March Lake Trail and SCT signage. Turn left to get off the reroute and onto the trail. It will take you through an impressive old growth Douglas fir stand near March Creek, and then on to March Lake and up the hill to Elk Lake and points south.

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Confederation, Mowat, Tony & Gallagher trails

On Tuesday Bruce, Ron and I cleared the trail up to Confederation Lake. Bruce and Ron also eliminated a few of the muddy sections along the lake by cutting rounds, and placing them in the soft spots, in effect creating stepping stones. Other mud holes received the punching treatment where lengths of branches were laid side by side and presto a carpet of sticks now lets you amble across a onetime morass. I ran out of gas about 200 meters short of the cabin and so it's clear sailing to there. Likely we'll start coming up the other side from Fiddlehead in the coming weeks.

The ferns grow taller than some folks in the clearing around the Confederation Lake Cabin. Beat your way through the ferns and enjoy a lunch at the picnic table and a swim at the swimming hole some 60m from the cabin as you continue along the shore line to the point in the picture above just beyond the cabin.

For the first time ever I have figured out (with help) how to put a map on the blog. For those of you through-hikers coming to Mowat Bay from the Shinglemill and wanting to carry on trekking on the SCT (Tony's Trail) you will have to use some of the town's paved streets to get around the private property on the southeast side of Mowat Bay which used to encompass the start of Tony's Trail. The new owner doesn't want hikers crossing his property any more and so we have a deluxe reroute laid out for you. Follow the map up Mowat Ave, left on Cranberry St, left on Tatlow Ave, left on Warner St and right on Grenville Ave up the Telus Road (at your own risk) and onto the access trail down to truncated Tony's Trail. Tony Point and Haywire Bay are just a little farther along that route.

Take good care in locating the entrance of this connector trail off the Telus Road because conscientious vandals keep ripping off our signs and obliterating the entrance with branches from time to time. Three new signs have been installed again and more new orange markers give you the sense that you are on the right path. The entrance lies directly opposite the level pull out at the edge of the cutblock where the road begins to rise again steeply toward the transmitter at the top of Gallagher Hill. Once you are on the trail it's clear sailing with all debris removed as of August 1. Enjoy a wonderful lakeside trail with camping and swimming opportunities along the way...

Monday, 28 July 2008

Peter Behr's high country report

I did the Centre Lakes in June which was in good shape both road and trail. Crampons were useful.

View from the Knuckleheads in mid July

E Branch to Alpha, Beta, Gamma road bed ok for 4x4s but the Alders are really thick on roadside and scatched my Tracker and knocked off the passenger mirror. We did drive to the trailhead.
The hike was a bit slippery due to snow and crampons were useful. In a couple of weeks the snow will be gone This is one of the easiest and prettiest mountain hikes in this area. Hoping for a machine to clear the road.

Anyone know when Plutonic/Kiewit will allow us to drive Goat Lake 2? IT has been cut off due to falling.

Anyone going to Lockey's Table this Aug/Sept and want another hiker?

Women's Shuffle Trophy

Gail Swanson and Val Smith, recipients of the Women's Marathon Shuffle Trophy 2007 and 2008 respectively. Is this a case of good things coming to you if you wait long enough? We hope so. Better late than never. We hope so. Val and Gail seem to enjoy the surprise presentation of the new women's trophy during their hike up to Granite Lake. Way to go ladies. We will see you next year on Saturday, April 25th, for the 16th annual Marathon Shuffle. Stroll or run, it's all fun. Yeah, that's what we say now, ignoring the exertion.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Lost Lake cutblock weedwhackery

On Friday Scott and Margot got back into weedwhacking mode and reamed out a green tunnel amongst ferns, salmonberries and poplars through the cutblock on the SCT section between Haywire Bay and Lost Lake. It's all opened up again and easy to get through. Thanks.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Grand Opening Little Sliammon Lake

On Saturday, June 21, 2008 PRPAWS hosted the grand opening of the Little Sliammon Lake Recreation Site. The majority of the over 120 participants hiked in on the trail from the end of Sutherland Street in Wildwood while others drove in on the extended logging road.

As people arrived they walked the new reroute of the trail around the cutblock, admired the 72 foot long bridge, tested the 50 foot swimming dock, and marveled at the new Shangri-La with its picnic table, shelter, outhouse and tent site.

By 2:00 the James Thomson Elementary first nations drumming group under the direction of Betty Wilson called everyone together at Shangri-La. A PRPAWS director welcomed everyone. Next Chief Walter Paul spoke and blessed the new recreation site. Then Regional District Chair Colin Palmer, Mayor Stewart Alsgard, and Tla'Amin Timber Products representative addressed the crowd. Roger Taylor, intrepid godfather of the BOMB Squad, drove in the last spike affixing the plaque commemorating the grand opening of the new recreation site.

MLA Nicholas Simons elected not to speak, but to play his cello instead. The melodies drifted out over the lake and added to the festive atmosphere, which was further enhanced by the Riffraff Kathaumixw Choir with their spiritual rendition of Total Praise. Then it was time to eat, drink and look around some more.

Here is the ad we placed in the Peak newspaper to thank the supporters:

Thank you!

PRPAWS wishes to thank the following organizations and businesses for their support in establishing the new Little Sliammon Lake Recreation Site:

Tla’Amin Timber Products, Sliammon Band, Goat Lake Forest Products and above all the BOMB Squad.

We also wish to thank the following individuals, organizations and businesses for their participation and generosity in making the Grand Opening on June 21 a success:

Safeway, Macdonald’s, Mitchell Brothers, Sliammon Administration, Laughing Oyster, Randy Timothy, Betty Wilson with the James Thomson drummers, Kathaumixw Riffraff Choir, Nicholas Simons, Chief Walter Paul, Clint Williams, Regional District Chair Colin Palmer, Mayor Stewart Alsgard and Roger Taylor.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Thunder Ridge cutblock section - AGAIN

On Sunday Scott, Margot, Susan and I went to clean out the cutblock section of Thunder Ridge Trail (SCT) which is producing exhuberant growth and needed yet another sweaty sweep by Mr. Weedwhacker and crew, the third one this year. It will be perhaps another three or four years before the unstocked block will produce large enough alders to close the crowns and finally diminish the need for excessive clearance.

Someone had gone in ahead of us a few weeks ago and taken a swath of salmonberries and fireweed out. That made our task much easier and we widened the opening. We want to thank whoever it was that cleaned out this section. Much appreciated. It should be good now for the remainder of this year. We also put up signs and eliminated a couple of questionable turns so now no one should get off the trail.
(The picture of Freke Anchorage at the mouth of Toquenatch Creek - Okeover Inlet was taken from the viewpoint just 200 m uphill from the top of the cutblock.)

(Does anyone know the name of this insect? It was about an inch and a half long. Please advise.)

Saturday, 14 June 2008


The BOMB Squad and PAWS have cleared numerous stretches of the Sunshine Coast Trail since the passing of the winter storms, with some sections even having been brushed out more than once. From Sarah Point south the SCT is clear all the way to Confederation Lake. Many thanks to all the volunteers that make it possible for all of us to enjoy our front and back country.

On Thursday, June 12 we tackled the very confusing section in and around Fiddlehead Farm, which has been impacted by recent cutblocks and logging roads. Now, as you come down from Confederation it is once again easy to get through to Fiddlehead and through on up toward Tin Hat Mountain. The Fiddlehead Trail down from Confederation itself has some blowdown, but a recent party of through trekkers made it through with 60 pound packs on their backs. They reported some under and over type of activities. Once out of the replanted property of the former farm/hostel up through the lower flanks of Tinhat takes a fair bit of locating the markers in the rapidly growing underbrush, but once that lower area is traversed it becomes easier going on the switchback sections up toward the summit.

The descent from the summit of Tinhat down the east ridge was easy enough for the party because there was still snow and the hiking club who knew where to go had just been through a week earlier leaving tracks in the snow that the trekkers could follow. We emphasize that the east ridge is not yet opened and strongly recommend following the old way down on the rubbly old road until we have the grand opening which will be some time later this summer or early fall.

Western Forest Products has not completed logging of areas that impact the first two kilometers of the March Lake section of the SCT and thus hikers are advised to take the reroute shortcut on Alaska Pine road, which begins 200 meters south of the March Lake trailhead near KM 6 of Spring Lake Main basicly kitty corner to Spring Lake/Lewis Lake trailhead on Spring Lake Main. The Alaska Pine road is marked and has now been cleared of blowdown by the logging company and you can get through to March Lake by following the SCT temporary signage. Where the SCT intersects Alaska Pine road turn left and you are then back on the SCT proper. We don't know the condition of the rest of March Lake trail up from that lake yet, but will know shortly and will report back to you in a follow-up posting.

This year spring has been some three to four weeks late. The snow is finally beginning to disappear off the higher elevations such as on the Tin Hat, the Smith Range and the Mount Troubridge sections of the SCT and the conditions on these sections are unpredictable. For example, Walt Hill was still in deep snow this past Sunday when the Hiking Club found their way along the top past Radio Hillton. Still, the melting snow will soon allow us to turn our attention to getting the higher elevation section in good shape as well in the coming weeks. However, for now keep to the lower sections to avoid getting turned around.

The sections south of the Smith Range from Suicide Pass down to Eagle River are cleared and from there along Lois Lakeshore to Creek Four is also open. We have no reports yet as to how the upper sections of Mount Troubridge are like, but we can see the snow from afar at the top. Perhaps it's clear to Elephant Lake. From Rainy Day Lake and on down to Fairview Bay and Saltery Bay are also traversable. The Wednesday Hikers are doing the Fairview Bay Trail tomorrow.

We are beginning to see through hikers do the length of the trail from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay. During last weekend's Sarah Point to Lund Cruise and Hike we were fortunate to meet up with two trekkers from Alberta who are intending on doing the whole of the 180 km long Sunshine Coast Trail and have allowed two weeks for their trek. We have been in touch with them and they are making good progress. Today Monty and Kevin are on Tin Hat Mountain with blue skies all around and awesome full circle panoramas. They say they're loving it, and are making better progress than they had anticipated. I'd say they're kicking butt. We appreciate their willingness to report back to us which sections need our attention. This will allow us to concentrate on the areas first which have blowdown obstructions .

Kevin and Monty last Sunday at the beginning of their trek at KM Zero of the Sunshine Coast Trail at Sarah Point.

Lita, Bruce and Ron have been busy taking a 28-member Victoria Hiking Club contingent who are staying out at Lund on numerous trails over the last few days. I met with the group last night and they emphasized that the trio's guiding has been very much appreciated. It just makes hiking on unknown trails so much easier, worry-free and pleasurable. Again, their thanks to the guiding trio, and our thanks as well. The Victoria club will also visit Fairview Bay, Savary Island and Texada Island in the coming days, enjoying our fabulous outdoors for a week.

I am now compiling a list of other trails (apart from the Sunshine Coast Trail) which are cleared. Here is a start:
Browne Creek, Hurtado Point, Atrevida Loop, Trinket Trail, Okeover Trail with Len's Loop, Wilde Creek Loop, Southview Ridge Trail, Switchback Trail, top half of Tees Kwat Trail, Millennium Park trails, all the Duck Lake Trails, Myrtle Creek Trail, Hammil Hill Trail, Hammil Lake Trail, Haywire Bluff Trail and the Canoe Route Portage trails.

Please let us know when you have information about other trails that have been cleared, or that are in need of clearing:

Monday, 12 May 2008

Little Sliammon Lake

The BOMB Squad and PAWS are spending their Thursdays at Little Sliammon Lake these days. Recent developments are virtual completion of the swimming dock and platform, the picnic table and shelter, and the outhouse.

Sarah Point

Over the last couple of Tuesdays and weekends PAWS and the BOMB Squad have been working on clearing the winter's blowdowns and whacking back salal and salmon berries between Sarah Point and Bliss Portage.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Myrtle Springs Trail - Edgehill

Five of us cleaned up the Mrytle Springs Trail, from the top of the Blue Trail on Duck Lake Road into the thinned block in from Edgehill School. Need to redeck the boardwalk through the wet area. Derek cut two huge fir windfalls and we turned it into a log ride for the adventerous mountain bikers (not me)!!

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

15th Annual Shuffle

On Saturday, April 26, the 15th annual Marathon Shuffle attracted 35 participants, including four Club Fatass runners from the Lower Mainland. The 29 km long Shuffle along the Sunshine Coast Trail from Malaspina Road to the Shinglemill saw both runners and leisurely hikers enjoy a cloudless day. Four stations along the way provided donated fruit, cookies and drinks, so hikers and runners could simply travel without a pack, and re-energize ever hour or two.

John McGrath and Angus McLellan took back the Tom Mills men’s trophy to Vancouver with them. Powell River’s own Val Smith turned in the fastest woman’s performance hard on the heels of the two ultra-marathoners, and will collect the trophy for that astonishing feat. Doug Hudson, not far behind, produced the fastest time for a male runner from Powell River.

Clusters of shufflers stopped at the vistas and took in the fabulous scenery, or the ladyslipper orchids (calypsos), growing at the edge of the well-marked trail. There was something for everybody. The boardwalk, bridge, picnic table and shelter being developed there by the BOMB Squad and PR PAWS astonished everyone passing through the new recreation site at Little Sliammon Lake. Another run is being considered for the Blackberry Festival week.

Times for the 15th annual Marathon Shuffle
John McGrath 4:16
Angus McLellan 4:16
Val Smith 4:35
Doug Hudson 5:00
Gail Swanson 5:05
Richie Tait 5:45
Marg Reckenberg 5:46
Ron Sellers 6:00
Lita Biron 6:11
Shay Wilson 6:50
Vanessa Fors 6:50
Phil Kemp 6:53
Jill Brewer 6:53
Craig Brownhill 7:01
Yvonne Langkjar 7:01
Mardi Lavirtue 7:09
Mary Miller 7:09
Susan Hill 7:30
Mia Jongkind 7:30
Joe Tait 7:30
Bruce MacDonald 7:35
Anita MacDonald 7:35
Rudi Vanzwaaij 7:49
Eagle Walz 7:49

Other registered participants were Bill Price, Eric McClinchey, Will Langlands, Janet May, Margot Glaspey, Susan Hainstock, Bill Chrysler, Shirley Zylstra, Carol Sellers, Ann Innes and Bob Innes.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

BOMB Squad Trail Report

Bruce and Ron's trail clearing report:

March 25 Gilpin to Manzanita cutoff & Manzanita to Wednesday Lake SCT
April 1 Conchi road to Dixon road SCT
April 8 Saltery Bay to Fairview Bay SCT
April 9 Recce Fairview Bay to Rainy Day Lake. More cleanup required, approximately 1 day with 4 to 6 men. SCT


Little Sliammon Lake

Over the last two months PAWS and the BOMB Squad have been busy rerouting the Sunshine Coast Trail around a new clearcut that impacted the location of a part of the SCT. Through cooperation with Sliammon we established where the new trail reroute would be located and then proceded to build it.

The BOMB Squad has constructed a 72-foot long wooden bridge, as well as a picnic table. Now they are busy building a shelter, boardwalk and swimming dock all with materials found on site. Sliammon has made a $2000.00 donation to PAWS, which we are sharing with the BOMB Squad. Our thanks go out to the Bomb and Sliammon, as well as of course our own intrepid volunteers. Come out and see the new facility, have a picnic, relax. It's an hour's hike from the end of Sutherland Street in Wildwood, or two hours coming the opposite way from 6 km up Wilde (Tomkinson) Road via Kayach Bluff and Big Sliammon Lake.

A Half Marathon Shuffle on Saturday April 26 would take you right through from Wilde Road to Sutherland Street, a marvelous 3 hour hike. Get dropped off and picked up. The Half Shuffle begins at 10:30 am, while full Marathon Shuffle starts at 8:30 am on Malaspina Road.

Friday, 7 March 2008

BOMB Squad at Little Sliammon Lake Mar.6, 2008

Bob Mickle says " Is there any Gold in dem dar hills ? "

No but there is a new Trail that leads from
Little Sliammon Lake and goes west for 1 Kilometer
then heads up to meet the old Trail that goes to
Wildwood and Scout Mountain.

Doug and Peter at Lunch near the new Bridge
by Little Sliammon Lake.
Trail goes west for a Kilometer then heads up
to meet the old Sliammon Lake Trail that leads

towards Wildwood and Scout Mountain.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Okeover Trail

Today Doug and Peter and I completed bucking the remaining blowdown and moving it off the Okeover Trail, as well as attaching more markers on the northern section. A handful of ephemeral streams cut across the trail, and one near the exit would benefit from a small crossing. Something to consider for the future.

Now you can hike end to end. If you don't wish to double back on the trail or on three klicks of Southview Road you can leave a car at both ends of the trail. Today it was a lovely sunny day above the fog down below in the Inlet.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Atrevida Loop

On Saturday Eagle and I taped out a new route to by-pass the private propery clear cut near the beginning of the loop. Today we along with Syd and Doug cleared this new route and a fine job we did. To get to this new by-pass just continue up the old left arm for about a 100 meters and you will see the new trail leading off to the right. Enjoy!

Peter, Eagle. Syd and Doug.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Granite Lake

Date: Feb 02, 2008 (sorry for the delay)

Drove up granite Lake Rd. 3/4 way to washout. Tough snowshoeing with wet deep snow and endless downed alders with big snow loads. This will need a long day of chain sawing (maybe by Quad club). We finally made it to Granite Lake in 3-4 hours which included a detour to try the trail up (never found it) Only 1 hour back down with trees pushed out of way and snowshoe track made by the 3 of us. Anyway we did reach Granite Lake and walked across it to have lunch on the little Island in the middle of the lake (don't try this at home kids).
Peter B

Friday, 1 February 2008

Okeover Trail (Rec Project)

Friday morning six of us drove up to the end of Okeover Trail and worked our way south, through a whole bunch of blowdown and salal. Many hands make light work. We need another day to finish the historic Rec Project, one of the first trails in the Powell River region that was created by the BC Forest Service. The middle part of it travels along at the interface of mature forest with immature forest. It snowed, then warmed up and got misty (camera fog). The crew surveys its work: Misty, Heidi, Doug, Peter and Hank.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Okeover Trail

The first section of the Okeover Trail from the trailhead at Km 7.4 up Southview Road to just past Skyline (Hernandez) Creek and Len's Loop turnoff has been cleared. This allows hikers to exit downhill through the cutblock plantation back to Southview Road, where they can turn south back to their cars.

Syd and Cheryl

BOMB Squad maintenance

Bruce MacDonald reports on trails cleared in the last few weeks:

"Mowat Bay to load out (Block Bay) and Valentine Mtn, cleared.
Hamill Lake trail (West Lake) to Hamill Hill from Paradise Valley Road, cleared.
Cable Trail and Taylor Way, cleared.
Bruce, Ron and BOMBSQUAD."

Thanks guys, your work, as always, is much appreciated.
The view above is from the first picinic table on Valentine Mountain looking west over the Powell River dam, the mill and Harwood Island in the background.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Haywire Bluff Trail

We cleared the Haywire Bluff Trail. Heavy blowdown in the Haywire Park area was already cut out by BOMB Squad. This area has had four Bomb Squad work parties, and two from PAWS. The trees just seem to like falling down here. It's actually quite interesting to walk through the devastation caused by nature. The Haywire Bluff section above the logging spur lost three or four old growth snags, one falling right across the trail. There are still a few dozen left along the way. We relocated the trail around the veteran's root ball to the right, where a little grubbing is still in order. It's nothing nasty, just 10 m not yet grubbed.
The view from the top is as gorgeous as ever, looking down Powell Lake, the marina, the bridge, the smokestack of the mill, with Vancouver Island in the distance, and east, across to the snowcapped Smith Range. The hike takes under an hour with the climb having been made quite tolerable through switchbacks, almost grandma and grandpa approved.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Little Sliammon Lake (SCT)

John, Craig, Clint and I hiked the reroute laid out and marked a few years ago adjacent and through the Little Sliammon Lake cutblock. We reflagged the route, which will run along in the 30 m riparian zone left along the south shore of the lake (see pictures), then follow the ephemeral creek south, upstream and parallel to the logging spur. The route is fairly well flagged now below the road, but it is going to require work. Some machine work will be done on the trail in the section where it crosses a corner of the cutblock.
We anticipate the trail re-establishment will be complete before the end of April for the Annual Marathon Shuffle from Malaspina Road to the Shinglemill, for a total of 29 scenic km on the Sunshine Coast Trail. Perhaps a new picnic table and platform will be built at the edge of the lake at the old Shangri-la site.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Creek Four section of Elephant Lake Trail - CLOSED

Western Forest Products informed us that they have begun logging on the section of Elephant Lake Trail that starts up from Lois Main, at about mile 4, upstream along Creek Four to Jessie's Carved Chair junction on Branch 42.

The trail will have a buffer of 20 m and more, but of course there is danger during harvesting operations, which should be completed by spring. Please avoid this area which is also frequented by the mountain biking folks.

Elephant Lake Trail is still accessible via Branch 41 and then 42 for hiking, likely in the snow at that elevation.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Appleton Canyon Trail (SCT) & Marathon Trail (SCT)

On Sunday the Hiking Club hiked the Appleton Canyon and then the Marathon Trail out to Gibraltar Bluff. Reportedly 20 participants enjoyed cleared trails.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Thunder Ridge Trail (SCT)

Today we finished cleaning out the Thunder Ridge Trail (SCT) from Plummer Creek Road to Malaspina Road. Some of the blow downs were very nasty to cut out but our teamwork paid off. We also cleared Jay's Trail from Hwy 101 to the summit of the Thunder Ridge Trail.

As a treat after the work was done we made a small campfire at the Fern Creek camp site and roasted frankfurters.

Peter, Eagle, Doug and Darko

Monday, 14 January 2008

Haslam Lakeshore Trail

Ron and I cleared from Squirrel Crossing to Larson's Landing along the new Haslam Lakeshore Trail and up to Stewart Lake on January 8. Trail in good shape. Some Elk sign near the Larson end of the trail.
The Sunday hikers really appreciated the work done on the Appleton Canyon trail on Sunday.


Sunday, 13 January 2008

Tin Hat Mountain

Tried to go to Tin Hat today. Could only drive 1/2 way up Spring Lake Main from the 12 mile turnoff on the Goat Lake Main.
The snow was deep and wet. There are a couple of trees across the road so bring a chain saw if you want to drive it.
I trudged to the SCT and snowshoed along it past Spring Lake toward Lewis Lake. Snow shoeing in the woods was much easier than on the road. Past Spring Lake the trail was hard to follow in a couple of places due to lack of trail markers, most of it was great though.
Peter Behr

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Suicide Creek Trail

Bruce MacDonald reports that the BOMB Squad cleared all of Suicide Creek Trail on Thursday. It's in really great shape now. There were a couple of inches of snow on the ground and the trail is a bit wet, but a dry day or two will make it excellent to hike on again.

The building division of the BS has been busy spending their last few Thursdays renovating the Girls Guides Camp at Lang Creek and getting it ready for use again by the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

Ron Sellers in picture above is enjoying a few minutes of a break before resuming his light housekeeping duties. Thanks, Bruce, Ron and Richie, for the smooth sailing.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Southview Ridge Trail

Overcast skies today, but dry. Peter, Darko and I turned up Atrevida Loop (clockwise) to hook into the Southview Ridge Trail heading southeast from Tin Can Junction at Km 1. There was a considerable amount of blowdown, but much to our delight it had been cut out by someone unknown within the last month as the shavings were still fresh. All we had to do was buzz the odd rare blowdown and mop up twigs and branches along the way. The level trail is well marked and takes you out onto Southview Road, on the height of land about 1 km up from the highway. We had dropped off a vehicle there so we didn't have to hike back.

Trinket/Bunster Loop

Yesterday, Syd and Cheryl showed their new route which - combined with the bottom of the Marathon Section (SCT) and the Trinket and Bunster Bluff trails - forms a loop through a lovely maturing Douglas fir forest. We cleared lots of blowdown and by the time we reached the viewpoint on the bluff a blizzard was upon us in full force. It was hard discerning Harwood and Savary islands in the strait, with the flakes streaking by nearly horizontally in the valley below.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Sliammon Lake Trail (SCT)

Heavy snowfall this morning as we set out, though no problem for Peter's 4x4. We cleared from Tomkinson (Wilde) Road up at the Km 6 gravel pit parking lot eastward on the Sliammon Lake Trail (SCT). We cleared past Thethyeth Lake out to Kayach Bluff. The top picture shows a view from there looking south over Sliammon Lake. The new cutblock at Little Sliammon Lake is just visible above the far shore. The new logging road exits through the saddle out to the gate on the highway at Sliammon. The snowfall stopped after a while, and Peter and Darko caught some rays at lunch.