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Heading Up-Island
Saturday, August 16
After three days of hanging about in Victoria, we hopped into our rental Camry Hybrid (a free upgrade from a subcompact Budget was unable to give me) and drove up-island to Nanaimo, catching the ferry over to Gabriola Island, where Jenn's parents live. Jenn's mom was away in Ottawa for a month, so it was only Jenn's dad -- notable mystery author Roy Innes, who greeted us. The first order of business? Utilizing the climbing gear I'd brought to safely top a fir tree that was poking it's crown up into the beautiful seaside view from the Innes residence's living room.
First task on Gabriola
Preparing to top
Learning some knots
After a bit of careful ropework, climbing, and cutting (kudos to Roy for a skillful climb and cut), the view across the Strait of Georgia was restored, and it was time for a satisfying dinner of homemade 'Moose Balls', corn on the cob, salad, apple pie, and, of course, good red wine. In this case, it was something new and interesting that I'd not tasted before: a Malbec from South America.
Heading down the bank
View from below
The master at work
Expansive view
The Coastal Inspiration
We did want to get some mountains in on our relatively short nine-day trip. The weather had been solidly good for four days now, and I felt we were probably pushing our luck. A look at the forecast confirmed my worries: unsettled and rainy weather was approaching. There did seem to be some good weather left in this fairweather spell, though, and Jenn and I made plans to leave the next day for a two-day backpack in Strathcona park. Hopefully we'd be able to fit it in before the weather turned.
I did a lot of research with Philip Stone's Island Alpine guidebook. I was torn between a number of possibilities. I did prefer something with a bit of true mountaineering, but generally I'd rather do that with at least three people, and there was just Jenn and I. The other constraining factor was that we had a two-wheel drive passenger car, and therefore preferred to stay away from remote and or rough trailheads. I finally settled on a long but logistically simple loop trek that started from the Paradise Meadows trailhead at the Mt Washington ski area.
The trek itself was an off-trail circular route that summitted three peaks in Strathcona: Castlecrag Mountain, Mount Frink, and Mount Albert Edward. All were above treeline on the eastern side of the high alpine terrain in Strathcona. The trek was recommended in the guidebook as an 'excellent day route'. So be it.
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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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