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: firstname.lastname@example.org