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, Island

hiking-little-mountain,-vancouver-island

When out at my parent's place in Parksville, British Columbia, I do a lot of day on the cliffs of nearby Little Mountain, an aptly named mound of rock towering over high trees wilderness.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

You can drive to the top for a terrific view.

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It's also popular for rock climbing and mountain biking.

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Island at

vancouver-island-@-low-tide

Island at

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I was born in the Rocky foothills, 1km above sea level.

Lived 10 years on the high prairies of Saskatchewan.

So when I get to my parents place on VANCOUVER ISLAND, I walk the coast at dawn. With coffee. The scenery is different every day.

BEST is Rathtrevor Beach at dawn.

BEST is when dawn coincides with low tide.

You can wander the ocean bottom nearly a kilometre out into the Straight of Georgia.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse on YouTube.

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Island

cycling-vancouver-island

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

My favourite month in Canada is September.

Weather is still good. Yet the tourists have mostly headed home.

I'd always wondered if it was possible to cycle logging roads — then bushwhack to the trailhead of Della Falls on Great Central Lake.

As expected, it's nearly impossible. I never made it. ?

But I'd wanted to do a gear check on my old Ghost touring bike in any case. Della Falls was an excuse to get out into the wilderness.

The only official campsite in the area is Lowry Lake. Very nice. But I passed by too early in the day. So ended up wild camping 2 nights.

Logging is horrible on Island. Very few people see the vast swaths of clearcut hidden away from pavement.

BUT they certainly make the island wilderness accessible for anyone on a good bike.

I ended up camping 2 nights. The first on a sand bar in the Ash river. There are more bears than people in this part of the island. I thought I'd keep myself well clear of any animal trails.

The second night I pitched on a quiet lake where I'd stayed twice in the past.

My meandering route ended up looking something like this.

Vancouver Island is fantastic.

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, Island

golden-hinde-traverse,-strathcona-vancouver-island

By BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I'm hoping to climb the highest mountain on Vancouver Island 2,195 m (7,201 ft) late August, early September.  Fewer bugs.  Dryer trails. … Hopefully.

Many try and fail to get to this summit.  It's a scramble up snow or rock at the top.

The took its name from Sir Francis Drake‘s ship, the Golden Hind, named by an early fur-trading captain who was reminded of Drake's ship as sunset hit the mountain

Jes Scott made it August 2019.  Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Jes had tried and failed in 2017.

My plan is to hike the 47km on the Elk River trail through to Myra Falls. I'll only attempt the summit as a detour if conditions, health, time and weather permit. No pressure.  ?

Cost for a guided climb is about CAD $1500 for 5 days.

 

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Mt Arrowsmith, Island

climbing-mt-arrowsmith,-vancouver-island

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles. 

Mount Arrowsmith 1,819 m (5,968 ft) is the most prominent peak seen from my parents home in Island.

It's close to Port Alberni, B.C.

Alanna@VanIsle – Arrowsmith from Parksville in winter

The most popular hike to the top is called Judges Route.  Details.

  • 6-7 km (4 miles) roundtrip
  • elevation gain 1,000m (3,280ft)

Finding the trailhead can be confusing. Google Maps has it wrong, for example.

I used the free Maps.me app — that worked.

Maps.me

It's 4-6 hours return.  Challenging.  Some exposure. A bit of scrambling.  Some route finding.  I was briefly lost 3 times.

There are some views on the way up.

On June 25th, 2020 I didn't have much snow.

The summit is interesting.

From the top you can see from Port Alberni to Mt. Baker in Washington State.

I was inspired to try one of my rare panoramas.

Click for larger version.

Great day.

Starting up at 4pm I was last hiker on the .

What time is blast off? ?

 

 

 

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, Island

pileated-woodpecker,-vancouver-island

The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is native to North America.

The term “” refers to the bird's prominent red crest, with the term from the Latin pileatus meaning “capped”.

These birds mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae.

A pileated pair stays together on its territory all year round and is not migratory.

The are often brazenly tolerant of people.

Click PLAY or watch one brazenly ignoring me on YouTube.