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.)