Sunday, 30 June 2013

Confederation Lake to Vomit Vista Blowdown All Cleared

Looking northeast from Vomit Vista near Confederation Lake. Powell Lake lies down below in the middle distance, with the Rainbow Range rising behind it, and in the far distance to the right the South Powell Divide still displays a healthy cover of snow in the first week of summer.

Another view from VV in a more eastward direction: Tin Hat Mountain on the other side of Giavanno Valley.

Pat and Ron at a late lunch on VV. Now all the blowdown in this km-long section of trail is bucked, and the SCT is cleared all the way from Sarah Point to the a short stretch on lower Walt Hill where reportedly some intermittent blowdown will slow you down but not stop you from getting through and on to Walt Hill Hut on top. That blowdown is on the maintenance schedule and should be taken care of next week.

During our descent back down from Confederation Lake Bruce is enjoying a water break.

A couple of minutes later, just as we were getting ready to resume heading for the comfort of the Crummy we met a solo hiker going up to Confederation. Pedro is hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail solo and was at this point four days into his trek from Sarah Point, aiming to do the whole of the SCT in one go. Now that's rare.

Monday, 24 June 2013

East Tin Hat, Elephant Lake, March Lake and Elk Lake Updates

In the last 2 weeks we have opened up blowdown areas on East Tin Hat, and Elephant Lake as well as cleaned up the inside route of Elk Lake Loop. We also cleared blowdown on Rainy Day Lake to Fairview Bay Main and sections of the trail in the Smith Range.


Driving on our way to clear trail on Sunday we encountered a doe with its fawn sauntering along the highway to Saltery Bay. They were not shy at all.


The bear on the other hand turned away from 
 the side of the road where he had been foraging, and headed for the bush.

This is Elk Lake hut and it's now easy to get to from March Lake or from Granite Lake where the loop has been cleaned up and the blueberry bushes trimmed back.

Ron and Craig are on a mission: Day Two of clearing the rest of the March Lake SCT section. They have a sense they can finish it on this second outing. Two other members of the team were working on the northern section of the trail.

On another Sunday outing, Doug and Kate helped take care of the tangled mess of the East Tin Hat section, and went halfway down to Lewis Main at KM 5, putting up markers that had been far and few between. All better now. You won't get lost there now heading down through Pipes Canyon.

Yesterday, Ken and I cleared the Rainy Day Trail section and came across a trail closure warning that had been forgotten by the loggers after they were finished building road down below. It's all open now, and there is no more confusion. The way is free and clear down to Fairview Bay shelter.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

East Tin Hat Ridge Trail - progress to date

Yesterday Don, Craig and I drove up Lewis Main to KM 10 where we turned left toward the end of branch L-2840A in Elk Cow Pass. There is a short and easy access here to the SCT at about the 640 m elevation. We bucked our way uphill along the east ridge trail to this viewpoint near KM 90 at about the 840 m level. We still have about one km left to clear out on the way up to the hut, plus about another km down from Elk Pass to Cranberry Pond. We hope to be back here in the next few days, and will provide a further progress report.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

West Tin Hat Trail now open

Craig and Doug are standing at Haslam Vista. Below you see Haslam Lake and beyond there Texada Island and Vancouver Island in the haze on the distant horizon.

We cleaned out the upper half of the West Tin Hat trail section from KM 85 to KM 88 on Sunday, May 2, and with that the whole of the West Tin Hat trail is now open with all of winter's deadfalls bucked out with the chainsaw and removed. 

There is now only one short stretch of blowdown between Sarah Point at KM 0 to Tin Hat Mountain Hut at about KM 90. It is located just south of Confederation Hut where another tangle of blown down trees impedes easy hiking. We will take care of this remote spot in the coming days.

Many sections southward from Tin Hat Hut are already cleared. However, some that had been in the snow zone - and a couple still are covered by snow in the Smith Range and on the back of Mount Troubridge - need to receive the annual deadfall clearance treatment. So far this has meant many hundreds of trees across the trail, and likely means that a similar number needs to be bucked on points south. 

Please report any blowdown you encounter so we, the volunteers that keep the trail open, can get to that as quickly as our schedule allows. Thank you. And just in case you didn't know, no one is getting paid a penny. It's all volunteer work. We do get some donations that are for gas money, and a fund for building materials for another hut we are planning to build later this year or next. Today we are driving up to begin clearing East Tin Hat Ridge. I will report conditions on that side of the mountain soon. 

Further, the road/trail shortcut down from Tin Hat toward Powell River is closed for the summer and perhaps even fall due to harvesting activities. Hikers will have alternate access to the hut on Tin Hat via the East Tin Hat Ridge Trail, which we are hoping to open fully by the end of this week.