Tag Archives: Sunshine Coast

Tetrahedron Park, 20 Nov 2015

Tu Loan in Tetrahedron Park:
“What I learned from this weekend’s callout to Tetrahedron Provincial Park:

1. It’s OK to do a callout to somewhere you’ve never been. Good chance your group has a wealth of experience and can help you figure out how to get where you’re supposed to go!

2. It’s OK to be super early at the ferry… not really, but your group members will not be annoyed with you because you’re doing the callout and they’re grateful for it.

3. It’s OK to park your awesomely reliable car at the first parking lot because you don’t want to damage the shocks on it like you did last time when you had to drive up a rough road. Plus, your gang appreciated the extra 1KM walk after being in transit for a few hours.

4. All is good when you bring food to share! Happy Hour in the backcountry is a sure winning tactic and people will gladly forgive you for the unnecessary early wake-up and extra 1KM hike.

5. Lugging eggs in their original carton will surely impress your group.

6. I should download maps onto my GPS. And learn how to read it properly. But following snowshoe tracks is a sure bet.

7. Cabins are great places to meet other interesting people. It’s kind of like a hostel, but better because you’re in the middle of nowhere and someone worked just as hard to get there as you did!

8. My pot set is perfect for making chocolate fondue!

9. Happy Hour in the backcountry rocks. See #4.

10. Wanderungers are an interesting bunch!! Thank you Erin, Dev, and Lisa Dawn for the great fireside chats about quantum physics, politics, traveling, and food – my favourite topics to talk about (minus the quantum physics).”

Sunshine Coast Trail, 30 Aug 2015

Stephen H. on the Sunshine Coast Trail:
“Nine days into our 10-day, 178-kilometre journey on the Sunshine Coast Trail, I ran out of toilet paper. But there was no way I could hold it until the next outhouse at Rainy Day Lake, so a corner of the Powell River recreation map was sacrificed for the cause.

While the SCT isn’t as difficult as the North Coast Trail, which took me six days to backpack in August, it offers its own special set of challenges. Traversing the Upper Sunshine Coast from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay, the SCT offers no beach hiking, climbs up and over a few mountains, and covers three times as much distance as the NCT.

It’s largely a forest trail — one that visits old-growth groves, clear-cuts, and everything in between. Eleven huts provide shelter along the way, so hikers can plan to spend all but two nights under their roofs. Hotels in Powell River, which is a good place to resupply, often profit from one of the remaining nights, while the other typically involves tent camping near Lois Lake.

Lund Water Taxi provided transportation to the trailhead at Sarah Point. Travelling north to south, we camped at Plummer Creek; slept in a motel in Powell River (and enjoyed an excellent dinner at Costa del Sol restaurant); stayed in the huts at Anthony Island, Fiddlehead Landing, Tin Hat Mountain, Elk Lake, and Walt Hill; tented at Stanley Creek; and spent our final night in the Rainy Day Lake hut. Most of the huts are open-air affairs, but a few are winterized and feature pellet stoves for heat.

Although our thru-hike lasted 10 days — the original plan was 11 days, but August’s big windstorm delayed our water taxi — I recommend 12 days of hiking plus one travel day on the front. If a more leisurely pace is preferable, you could take as long as 14 days.

We found the best views on Manzanita Bluffs, Scout Mountain, Tin Hat Mountain, and Walt Hill. Mount Troubridge is the highest point on the SCT, but its treed summit was foggy during our visit.

All in all, hiking the SCT from end to end was an experience I will never forget. Thanks so much to Jason and Svetlana for joining me on this trek.

See photos from the trip here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/shui/sets/72157658135544789

Tin Hat Mountain hut from summit at sunrise

Mt Steele, 4 Jun 2015

Stephen H. on Mt Steele:
“This was a trip to remember. Celia, Helen, Jason, Svetlana, Tec, and Ying joined me for three incredible days in Tetrahedron Provincial Park. On Day 1, we tired ourselves out hiking to McNair cabin, and slept in Edwards Lake cabin. As night fell, in walked two of the park’s founders and cabin builders, who regaled us with tales from the park’s history. Day 2 saw us move up to Mount Steele cabin and ascend the summit, with its stunning views. On Day 3, we visited Batchelor Lake cabin on the way out to complete our grand tour. Then things got interesting back at the trailhead. One of our drivers popped a drivetrain on his jeep, stranding the vehicle on the logging road. Luckily, a towing company came to the rescue (let’s just say the bill wasn’t cheap), and we all managed to make the last ferry and get home.”

Tantalus Range from Mount Steele at sunrise

K2, 20 Feb 2015

Andy G. on K2:
“This was definitely not the lofty summit of a Himalayan giant with a panoramic vista, but a tree-covered knoll with a few small jigsaw-puzzle pieces of a view over Gambier, Keats and Bowen Islands towards Vancouver. How small? Maybe half-a-dozen pieces from a 1000-piece puzzle? Yeah – that’s not much of a view. And the route was not an awe-inspiring valley with glaciers tumbling in all directions, but a path through scrubby second-growth forest.

While K2 was never signposted until after Langdale Falls, the trail was mostly very well marked. Follow purple markers and signs to begin with but navigation becomes a little trickier upon reaching the Sprockids mountain bike park. After the purple came the yellow, followed by blue and red markers when we turned off towards our destination. This brought us to Langdale Falls, a lovely little ponytail of water tumbling about 30 feet. Beyond the falls (where there is no bridge to cross the creek), the trail deteriorated and on more than one occasion we had to stop and make sure we were still on the trail. Hint: if you run out of markers on your side of the tree, stop and look back the way you came to check for markers (they’re now orange or red heading to K2). On our return, we opted to take the YMCA trail (blue markers) and were glad we did as it was much shorter (3 hours up, 1.5 down).

But it wasn’t a trip without its highlights. A sunny ferry ride with gorgeous afternoon light on the mountains of Howe Sound (complete with a sundog reflecting in the sea) and a good group go a long way to making a trip enjoyable. Thanks to Steve for suggesting it (I think…) and to Louise and Susan for good company. The day was topped off with the sight of Mars nestled between Venus and a slim crescent moon on the drive home.”

K2, 20 Feb 2015

Sunshine Coast Trail, 17 May 2014

Darcy B. on the Sunshine Coast Trail:
“Six of us hiked the north section of the Sunshine Coast Trail for three days, around 15 kilometres per day. Our group included John, Dennis, Teresa, Edith, Susanna and Darcy. We had warm weather, blue skies and big white cumulous clouds. We parked our cars at the end of the trail at Powell River. Taxis brought us to the boat docks of Lund. After tasty snacks from Nancy’s Bakery, we launched off in a water taxi. Passing the Ragged Islands, we lingered at one spot as a pod of orcas swam by. At Sarah Point, the taxi pilot held the boat with a rope by a rock ledge while we unloaded gear. The start of the trail was elusive. It heads up left and inland, not right and along the shore. Once on the trail, it was well marked the whole way.

The trail was dry and springy, comfortable to hike on. A plethora of spring wildflowers were in bloom. The trail led up and down high hills with viewpoints on bluffs overlooking Desolation Sound. Later the trail overlooked the Pacific and Savary Island. Wednesday Lake was surprisingly warm and many of us stayed in the water up to fifteen minutes. There are low cliffs to dive from. The last two kilometres to Manzanita Hut were the most difficult ascent of the three days. Manzanita Hut sits on a bluff with an expansive ocean view. The location only has one tent pad. Both huts we stayed at had firepits and plenty of cut firewood. John donated his hatchet for future use at Manzanita. The two huts we stayed at have an open ventilation design. Mosquito netting is required to sleep in the huts unpestered.

The trail from Manzanita to Rieveley’s Pond Hut had a couple of long climbs and descents then levels off to pass through open woods with ferns, moss and occasional giant firs. A young bear and big mama were glimpsed running through the forest. Also seen were snakes, frogs, Steller’s jay, red-headed woodpecker, shrew, hummingbirds and several mosquitos. Reiveley’s Pond has an old rickety dock to swim from. The pond is shallow but don’t stand up. The pond bottom is silty mud that you will sink in up to your thighs. A couple of us found out the hard way. There is more space for tents at Rieveley’s Pond Hut.

The third day was the easiest hike. The trail followed several creeks and waterfalls. Sliammon Lake was pristine and warm to swim in. The trail wove through chest high ferns, around several small ponds. At Little Sliammon Lake there is a dock with a canoe and paddles. This lake is pretty and also warm and swimmable. The final stretch of trail ascends to cross a sunny exposed ridge overlooking Powell River. The trail conveniently emerges at Shinglemill Pub. Refreshments were welcome thirst quenchers. The trip was much enjoyed and we all felt luck shone us throughout this 2014 May long weekend.”

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.”

Tetrahedron 13/09/09

Ahmad on Tetrahedron:
“A big portion of the trail is on an abundant logging road. It is overgrown and it has not been maintained for a long time. I had even doubt that we were following the right way and we took a detour up hoping that we would hit a proper trail. There are many spider webs on the trail. They literally became our trail markers. The trail conditions slightly improves when the steep section starts but this is when we decided to turn back as we were short in time. I estimated we still needed 3 more hours to get to the peak.

Rainy Creek logging road is absolutely rough. I did it before by 2wd car last year but I don’t know how I managed that. Fortunately today, we had a car with high clearance. On the way back, we checked out McNair Creek logging road and it seemed that it was doable by 4×4. I believe this provides a better access point. Another idea is from Mount Steele trailhead.

Our whole trip took 7 hours. I wouldn’t recommend the trail that we did to anyone.”

Mt Hallowell 17/05/09

Erez in search of Mt Hallowell:
“Do and me attempted to hike to the summit. We came close. Seeing the summit from a distance, but unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find the last part of the trail to get us there. The description in 103 Hikes is pretty accurate. We parked a few hundred meters along the very rough road. We hiked past the first large washout gaining elevation pretty quickly. The first junction mentioned in 103 Hikes was actually at 894 m according to my GPS right after a pretty high waterfall. The T-junction afterwards was at 926 m. After that junction the road was covered in deep snow. We found the trail. No cairn or red spool but quite a lot of orange flag tape made it hard to miss. Initially the trail is marked very well, but just before the clear cut the flagging tape dwindles and dies away (or maybe it was hidden under the snow). We spent almost an hour looking for the trail, and eventually had to give up. We had a good surprise on the way back – the ferries ticket are round-trip, so the cost was half of what we expected.

Here are UTM coordinates of some waypoints:
1. Start of “deteriorating road” either park here or go as far as you can: 10U
0430941 5501287
2. “930 m elevation junction according to 103 Hikes” (elevation was actually 894 m): 10U 0432223 5503187
3. T junction: 10U 0432418 5503055
4. Start of trail to peak: 10U 0433055 5504018

I’d very much like to try it again – maybe when there is less snow.”