Friday
Aug062010

West Coast Trail - Day 4

Day 4: Walbran Creek to Cribs Creek

This was the first day that we didn't see any sun at all, it would be like that until we got to Michigan Creek (the last camp site). However, we found out that this is actually the good weather out here. It's either cloudy/foggy or raining, so we were still lucky.

After getting up so early two days in a row we decided to sleep in a bit. That meant we were one of the last to leave camp. Day 4 was mainly spent on the beach, which might seem easy, but the sand just saps your energy. Jen and I only brought a single set of hiking poles to share between the two of us, up to this point it had worked quite well. We hadn't thought about the sand though. We each found wood sticks to help out, which made a big difference. Next time a set of poles each.

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The Walbran campsite is just to the right of this photo. Those who choose the overland route for this portion of the trail have to use the cable car you can see in the background.

 

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Shark! This dead shark that had washed up on shore. If I remember correctly there are something like 7 species of sharks that can be found in these waters.

 

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I think we're heading towards Vancouver point.

 

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Good place for a snack break (there's really no bad place for a snack break).

 

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Sometimes it was nice to hop from rock to rock for a bit, get off of the sand and on to some solid ground.

 

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Bonilla Point.

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You can see the Carmanah lighthouse in the background.

 

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Lot's of people travelling on the sand that day.

 

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Chez Moniques. All of her supplies are brought in by boat. You can stop here for burgers, beer, pop, chips and a bunch of other stuff. We each had a burger and Jen and I split a beer.

 

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View from our spot at Chez Monique's.

 

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This is right after Chez Monique's and where you regret the Burger and Beer (I'd still to it again in a heartbeat).

 

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A short time after Chez Monique's is a side trail that takes you to the Carmanah Lighthouse.

 

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Back into the forest.

 

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See lions. This one kept a close eye on us.

 

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Sitting around the fire at Cribs Creek.

 

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The Cribs Creek site is quite spread out, which is good because there were a fair number of people there.

Up Next: Cribs Creek to Tsusiat Falls

Thursday
Aug052010

West Coast Trail - Day 3

Day 3 : Camper Creek to Walbran Creek

Day 3 was lots of fun.

Again we weren't super keen on heading back up ladders out of the camp site. We wondered if it was possible to continue along the sandstone shelf. It wasn't marked as a route on our map, but Allie ran into a family who had photocopies of the book Blisters and Bliss which mentioned that this route was possible if the tide was bellow 1.2 meters. We knew there were two surge channels to deal with and also a rope out at 59km which would allow us to get out if the tide was too high (until 1.7m). The guy we talked to had actually done it before so we decided to go for it. That meant another early morning to give us enough time for the tides.

I really don't have any shots of the surge channels because I put my camera away to concentrate on getting through them. There was one spot in the first surge channel which was particularly difficult. Since the tide had just gone out it was still very slick. Both Allie and James both slipped but were able to stop themselves before getting wet. We learned out first big lesson here. Packs off when possible, it's a lot easier to get traction when you don't have an extra 40 lbs of off center weight. We got past it and until the last surge channel the hiking was pretty flat and easy.

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Heading out early.

 

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Allie and James on the shelf.

 

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The tide comes overtop of this shelf often so it was covered in a green slime.

 

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It was pretty spectacular.

 

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I have no idea how this was formed but it was very cool. Felt like we were walking on the moon.

 

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The gang (Jen, me, Allie and James).

 

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Passing a small surge channel.

 

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The route on the shelf exits through a creek, on the other side are impassible headlands. It's about a 12 foot down from the shelf to the rocks. We took our packs off. Jen and Allie made their way down and then we passed the packs down to them. The tide was just about right where we dropped down onto the rocks so you had to time the jump down to keep your feet dry. This was my favourite section of the entire trip.

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To get back to the trail you have to hike up the creek. There are a couple of steep sections that have ropes setup to make them easier.

 

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Last rope to the trail. On the other side of this log is a bridge where the trail crosses the creek.

 

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Back on the trail, more ladders.

 

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Most ladders would have about 5 sections or more.

 

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Me in the bog. It's pretty neat to see the landscape change so suddenly.

 

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Back into the forrest.

 

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We were very fortunate to have excellent weather. I don't think it had rained in two weeks. I can only imagine what it would have been like if it had been rainy.

 

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Allie and Jen at Walbran creek. Walbran creek had a great place to swim, but the fog was heading in and it was cold so we didn't go for a swim.

 

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After day one we were always in bed and asleep before dark. Here, pretty much everybody are in their tends.

Up Next: Walbran Creek to Cribs Creek

Wednesday
Aug042010

West Coast Trail - Day 2 - Part 2

Day 2 : Thrasher Cove to Camper Creek - Part 2

Back to Part 1

 

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Another group heading in the opposite direction.

 

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There were some really cool tidal pools on the sandstone shelf.

 

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Another tidal pool.

 

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Getting through another surge channel.

 

 

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View from our lunch spot. Not too bad.

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After lunch we had a little siesta. James is demonstrating a more advanced sleeping position here. Lots of experience is required before attempting such a feat.

 

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After lunch and our nap we headed back into the trail. More ladders, Yay!

 

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Jen at the Camper Creek campsite.

 

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Yes, I know I look like a dork.

 

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Not a bad place to hang out for a while.

 

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This is the direction we ended up heading the next morning.

 

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Fog rolling into our campsite.

Next: Camper Creek to Walbran Creek

Tuesday
Aug032010

West Coast Trail - Day 2 - Part 1

Day 2 : Thrasher Cove to Camper Creek - Part 1

There was no way we wanted to head back up the ladders to do the overland route from Thrasher Cove so that meant getting up at around 5 AM so we would have enough time to get around Owen's Point before the tides were too high. This was one of my favourite days. There were too many photos I wanted to share so I decided to just break this post up into two sections.

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Sunrise at Thrasher Cove

 

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Heading out bright and early.

 

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Looking back towards Thrasher Cove.

Right around this section I must not have turned off my camera before putting it back into the bag because somehow the ISO got set at 6400 instead of auto like I had before. Unfortunately, it pretty much ruined a bunch of the photos in this section. I salvaged what I could, oh well, things happen.

 

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James.. "Paparazzi are everywhere".

 

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Jen and I at Owen's Point.

 

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The sandstone shelf was great.

 

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Jen and Allie heading into a surge channel.

 

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One of the largest surge channels. We had to hike up and around this one.

 

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Another surge channel, we just needed to hop over this one.

 

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Large sections of the rock shelf were covered in this green slime. Great for photos.

Continue on to Part 2

 

Monday
Aug022010

West Coast Trail - Day 1

Day 1 : Port Renfrew to Thrasher Cove In order to get permits for hiking the west coast trail all hikers must attend an orientation session. For us this meant the first day was about half sitting around waiting and getting ready to hike the trail. We caught the ferry to the trail head around noon.

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Here's the ferry after dropping us off. No turning around now.

 

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Jen and Allie on the first bridge.

 

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Jen heading down the first ladder.

 

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Jen getting ready to head down another ladder, ladder back up in the background.

 

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More ladders. The first day was really tough, with full packs and the most difficult terrain of the trip we were doing about 50 minutes per kilometer. We decided the Campers camp site was too far and heading down to Thrasher Cove.

 

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James and Allie on their way down the ladders to Thrasher Cove. It's basically straight down, all ladders.

 

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View looking south of the Thrasher Site.

 

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Jen and Allie heading back after filtering some water.

 

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View looking north of the Trasher Site.

 

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View looking straight out from our Site.

 

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Allie, Jen and James siting around the campfire.

 

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Of all of the sites we camped at Thrasher Cove was the most beautiful. It was also the only one where we got a sunset. On top of that the moon rose directly in front of us a short time before we went to bed. I got my tripod out and played with some long exposures.

Up next: Thrasher Cove to Campers...

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