Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sunshine Coast 29/01/10

Christian at Roberts Creek and Porpoise Bay Park on the sunshine coast:
“A group of 4 adventurers arrived in Roberts Creek after dark. The roads were very dark and the signs were hard to read. Yet we still found the co-housing commons building on Emery Road. We attended the tail end of a show with the Tetrahedron Outdoor Club. The club members in general were much older and more guarded than we expected. Recreation areas in Tetrahedron Park seem to be a secret, closely guarded from the ears and eyes of us “Townsies”. John, from Surrey, was the social adventurer who started a conversation with smiling Marge. An ever smiling and wise old lady with a fantastic humour. She was very helpful in giving us directions and introduced us to a few club members. After informing others of our intentions, the worry-some looks on club member faces encouraged us to come up with a plan “B”. The road up to Mt Richardson is about as daring as the access road to Tetrahedron Park. There are a few ditches to cross that really require the use of a 4WD. Though, most of the roads are clear of snow this January, the roads are in the transition zone of freezing and are icy. A talkative man named Steve, surprisingly younger than us, gave us tons of advice and even drew up directions. He said going to Tetrahedron requires the use of crampons to walk through the transition area, and then thereafter with snow shoes – glorious powdered snow awaits. A shame that our upcoming Cypress 2010 Olympic events were not held there. 😛
Late in the night, we ventured for a nearby camping spot. We guerrilla camped at Roberts Creek picnic grounds. It was lightly raining all night, and we made good use of three tarps. With the two tents, we stayed really dry and slept well past sunrise. The ocean, the birds, the rain drops and the waves were relaxing for all of us. In the morning, the occasional dog walker made for some interesting doggie entertainment. We were paired up, so we got up at different times. As pairs, we walked along the stone & gravel beach for quite a ways. The stone beaches were quite pleasant and relaxing. Every community member we encountered was friendly and talkative. What a place to live! We returned, we packed up, and we made tea. With everything back in the car, we went to a Roberts Creek cafe – the Gem Top.

At the Gem, we had hot choco, cappuccino, cinnamon buns and gluten free treats. By half past noon, we left the cafe in search of easy walking trails on the logging roads nearby. Following the directions provided by Steve’s hand drawn map was a challenge. We encountered active logging on our preferred road on Saturday, so we turned back and took some other turns. We took a side road and passed what some could call a hippie camp. There from the car, we saw a large green camperized school bus, a teepee and a large yurt built upon on a giant wood deck.

A short drive up further, we stopped at a trail heading up into the bush – between the clear cuts. We followed the trail for 15 minutes until it grew over with dead-fall and disappeared. Instead of turning back, we followed an idyllic stream marked with surveyors tape for another hour. The stream seemed to be marked with tape to help maintain a buffer zone for the loggers. It was an interesting hike along the stream, around trees, deadfall, giant stumps and around natural obstacles. When we came out, we discovered we were hiking up a stream that belonged to the fabled long tailed frog.

By late afternoon, a few were still eager for more hiking and exploration, so we headed over to Porpoise Bay campsite. It was quite a large campsite with many large group shelters. We stopped at the sandy beach and had an early dinner of roast beef and Tsatziki on a picnic table. Post dinner we walked along the trail to Anglers creek and heard a few animals drop or jump into into the fresh water creek as we approached. We envisioned returning to Porpoise Bay in the summer for glorious swimming at the sandy salt water beach and for other play in the calm & deep fresh waters of Anglers Creek. We were tempted to jump in right there into the crystal waters of the creek, yet we held off and returned to Vancouver happy and dry.”

Mt Harvey 10/01/10

Rob M. on Mt harvey:
“It was a belated once-in-a-blue-moon hike – an overcast day with light precipitation expected around 4:30 pm. The freezing level was stuttering around 1200 m. Nine of us muscled our way up the logging road, shedding clothing along the way as the pace picked up. We managed to find the refrigerator sized trailhead of Harvey. Consensus was, we were glad to escape the logging road but concerned about the sudden and unrelenting increase in the gradient. All was forgotten when we came to the first lookout with clear midlevel views of the Howe Sound. The next piece of terrain drama was in that freezing level transition.

Some of us found purchase in offtrail snow while the rest of us bungled our way to a level where snowshoes were appropriate. There was some comfort in meeting the snowshoe hike description although around the tree burned ridge, there was 150m of elevation where the wind was acute in kind of an ugly way – enough to twist us about and make listening upwind difficult. Further along the ridge we took refuge and a break in a grove at the edge of the treeline. Gaining the first prominence along the ridge we looked up at Harvey and took a long gulp. The narrow ridge before us held 4 or 5 snowloaded steeplechase ridges and a summit that didn’t seem possible in 30 minutes.

I heard a voice rise up “let’s do it”. Unfettered by the 25lb monkeys on our backs we scrambled pell mell up the summit on our 4x4s. It was a race to the top as the ceiling was beginning to drop. Jiri, the first to summit had missed the 360 by a scant 15 minutes. We were able to tackle Harvey at an animated pace fuelled by a never ending stream of chocolates. Although standing on the small summit in a freezing jetstream wasn’t a compelling social environment, we were happy as clams. We did manage a toothy white on white on grey summit pic. The return hike was pretty much this TR played backwards. A light rain began to fall. It was 4:30 and we were back in Lions Bay. After a bit of exit finding we were in Horseshoe Bay for a celebratory hoist. I was impressed by the cultural diversity in the group and by how we all came together to make this hike successful.”

Deep windloaded ridge and the summit ahead.