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In 2005, we had almost succeeded in summitting Arrowsmith via the nose route with Jenn's dad. The lack of a sufficient bit of climbing gear was all that prevented us from reaching the top. We all wanted another crack at that, and this year we decided to give it a shot.

Note: This cl;imb was part of a larger trip to Vancouver Island that Jenn and I took in August of 2008. If you'd like to read about the trip as a whole, complete with many pictures and a full narrative, please click here.

It was nearing the end of our 2008 Vancouver Island trip, and the weather had turned unsettled. Fortunately, the day before we flew back out east, It [the weather] looked potentially decent, so we made tentative plans to go for it, if the weather forecast held.

Ewart and Ruth were both here also enjoying a vacation on the island, and they were interested in joining us. With two cars, the possibilities of a traverse became available to us, and so that's what we settled upon: a traverse up the nose route to Arrowsmith's summit, then down the Judges route.

After a civilized coffee stop in Nanaimo, we headed north and west on highway, heading to Cathedral Grove where we would meet up with Ewart and Ruth.
A Civilized Start
Morning prep
Unsettled skies
From Cathedral Grove, we continued along highway 4 to the turnoff onto logging roads, driving for another 20 minutes or so to the Judges Route trailhead on Mount Arrowsmith. You see, we had two cars, and so we took advantage of this by leaving one vehicle at the Judges route trailhead and we all piled into the remaining car, which we then drove further up the road to the start of the path to the nose route. In this way, we'd do a cool traverse of Mount Arrowsmith - something that probably isn't done all that often!
The intrepid group - 1
Heading off
Towards the col
With both cars positioned at either end of the traverse, and everyone packed up, we headed off up the old logging road that was the start of the route up to the Mt Cokely-Arrowsmith Col. The skies were mixed, with low, puffy clouds swirling about, occasionally letting in some rays of sunshine. Not bad, all things considered.
Morning light
Ethereal domes
Start of path
We soon reached the steep path that leads up to the col, and spent the next hour or so slowly but surely winding our way up through very steep forest. The clouds thickened as we did so, though, and soon we were hiking upward inside a layer of cloud. Very similar conditions to the last time we attempted this route.
Ewart climbs the roots
Pretty darn steep
even a bit of rope
Wildflower heaven
Final steep bit to col
By 11 am (we had started at 9:30am) we reached the Cokely-Arrowsmith col. We were still clouded in, and I was unsure if we'd get any views at all. Too bad if so! It was cool up here, too, with my backpack's thermometer reading a chilly +5C.
Path to the pass
Arrowsmith-Cokely col
Beneath the bumps
We started off on the next leg of the nose routem which was to follow the ridgecrest south towards 'the bumps'. These are the large rounded hump-like sub-summits that form Arrowsmith's northeastern ridge. And, as we scrambled up the steep terrain for the first bump, we got a nice break. The clouds parted, blue sky appeared, and a fresh, warm sun shone down on us. A good time for a snack break.
Towards the bumps
Near the first bump
Ragged Clouds below
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[ Introduction | Heading Up-Island | Strathcona Backpack | Gabriola Pleasantries | Gabriola Pleasantries II | Traverse of Mount Arrowsmith | In-depth: Strathcona Backpack | In-depth: Traverse of Mount Arrowsmith | GPS Data | Return to Main Page ]

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