Activity Group News Posts are like blog or FaceBook posts and cover the last two years of the Glacier Probus Club, you can scroll down and back to January 2018.
This was a variation of the NE Woods walk. Starting from the Lazo Road Marsh parking area, we ventured the trail to Curtis Rd. and the path to Balmoral Beach. With the tide low enough, we were able to walk on a sandy section for a ways before backtracking and heading up Brent Road. Wish I had beach photos to share as the views were lovely. Next, it was off to the Lazo Marsh loop before heading into the NE Woods. No flying deer to be seen on our exit via Colby Road. Five of us brought chairs and enjoyed a debrief at the Comox Marina park, which was a perfect end to a lovely walk (mini hike) that took 1 hour and 45 min..
Time to check out the Nile Creek trail system once more and for this one, we got a fairly good response from our members, necessitating a 3-group outing. Group 1 and 2 headed out along Nile Creek as far as the first waterfall, with the faster group 1 (Gil leading) leaving the trailhead first. Group 2's members were the photographers of the Club, so took their time over the pathways. Their leader, Bill J., states: "Group 2 challenged the Nile Creek trail with enthusiasm and fun in mind. The conditions were ideal; lots of sunshine, comfortable warm temperature and tons of mud. We were rewarded with the opportunity to have lunch at a wonderful spot near a beautiful waterfall. We even managed to find a previously unexplored side trail. It turned out to be an effective detour around a section dominated by mud. It was an excellent day that offered up some entertaining photo opportunities and fun times." Gil says he certainly concurs with these observations!
Photos below were provided by Patti Spearman and Bill Jorgensen (Thank you!). Do check out the link to Bill's photo gallery to get a full appreciation of the mud-challenging route!
Group 3, led by Dawn, used a nearby trailhead to explore another trail system in the area, one that the hiking group refers to as "South of the Nile". We were roughing it a bit, as none of us had led on this route before, but, with the exceptions of a few short accidental side excursions, we made it to the end without any real mishap and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the woods in the dappled sunshine. Unlike the last hike over this route in January, the trails were dry and in good condition.
Thanks, Steve Hill and Dawn Moore for your photo contributions, shown below.
Two groups headed up Mt Washington way on Wednesday, since the pertinent forecast indicated warm rather than hot weather for the day. Yeah, right. Well, it did start off nicely warm, but we were all feeling the heat build by the time noon approached. Still, a welcome breeze played with us and we returned in fine shape (though perhaps a teensy tired). Both groups enjoyed the beauty of the day-in-the-alpine-hills and look forward to more such hikes as summer progresses.
Group 1, led by Gil, roamed the furthest - the route included a climb up the rougher west side of Lake Helen-McKenzie to Kwai Lake and then looped back to the trailhead via Croteau Lake.
Dawn led Group 2 along the usual routing to Croteau Lake and back.
Thank you, Bill Jorgensen, for your link to photos taken of your group's Kwai Lake hike: a few of these photos are featured below:
And, thank you Steve Hill and Dawn Moore for providing Group 2's photos:
Refreshing temperature for our walk through several parks today. Thanks to Deb who led us through Puntledge Park, the Rotary Riverside Park that connects to Ruth Masters Park, Morrison Nature Park and First Street Park. Only a few city streets were accessed to reach a few of the parks. The parks are great exercise with its hills, inclines and steps. A wee bit of cardio! At Morrison Park, we met an excited boy with his Grandpa and they showed us a dragonfly nymph and freshwater mussel. Thanks to all for a sociable, lovely walk!
What's with the Oyster River MBT (Mountain-biking trails) and bears?? When Gil and I were up that way with friends in May, we encountered two; this morning, our groups took two paces towards our trails...and a big bear paced along the road we were heading for. Good start! It reacted appropriately and headed for the bushes as soon as it detected our presence, thank goodness. That was it for excitement - no more to be seen.
There were two groups on the day's hike. Separating upon reaching the road, they tackled the same trail system (with a few modifications) but in the opposite directions. As Gil's group went a bit further via an additional trail, we never did meet along the way, but arrived back at the trailhead within 15-20 minutes of each other. All enjoyed the outing, but Dawn's group decided that the other direction is the preferred one, since it is easier to go UP steep trails rather than DOWN, especially when the substrate is slippery.
The photos below were contributed by Steve Hill (Gil's group) and Patti Spearman/Dawn Moore (Dawn's group)...thanks everyone!
Time for a real workout: on Monday, some intrepid hikers decided to tackle Mt Elma once more. Whew! For us, this is serious hiking, since the actual ascent involves nearly one km of steep steady climbing. The descent wasn't much better - I was on my rear end at least once to manage a particularly steep section! But, wow...the views at the summit make this route worth while (every once in a while!). Mt Elma is situated between Lake Helen McKenzie and Croteau Lake so at one viewpoint, we looked right down on Croteau Lake's new group campground while at another, Helen McKenzie is featured. Other lakes in the region are all visible and views of the Glacier and Mt Albert Edward (and all peaks in between) were also a highlight. All in all, a memorable outing.
Thank you, Bill Boham, Steve Hill and Patti Spearman, for your photo contributions below.
Bill also provided a link to the day's plotaroute.
Finally, thanks, Bill Jorgensen, for the link to your photos, a few of which are included below.
Walking at Nymph Falls is a perennial favourite. It is very peaceful and quiet in the morning with the sounds of the rushing Puntledge River. Our walk started with a walk to view the falls before heading out on the river trail. Weather was perfect and the walk was an hour and 45 minutes. The midline trail was chosen for the return. Thanks to Lorne for photos!
Another outing on a beautiful day. This time, a group of hikers headed up to Campbell River to try out a new trail combination in the Snowden Demonstration Forest, resulting in a pass-by of four lakes. We were on the 15km of trails for almost 5 hours (including the lunch break on a bluff overlooking Seymour Narrow). Most of the route was fairly level, but we had sections of uphill and downhill to add variety and exercise. As always, we were impressed with the picturesque scenery in this Forest and all agreed that this is a worthy trail combination to add to our list of Hikes.
Bill Boham has provided a plotaroute of the hike.
Photos of the day were contributed by Steve Hill, Bill Boham and Dawn Moore.
It was a gorgeous day for a hike on Tuesday: we were glad that we started earlier than usual, to get our outings in before the day really heated up. Our forest trails were quite pleasant due to the shade-factor.
Dawn's group was half-size, but we made up for it with our enthusiasm, as we tried a new trail combination for hiking around Allen Lake. Lots of uphill in spots, but nothing really prolonged; as a result, we got our exercise with a great deal of enjoyment. We found the outing quite interesting, coming across various growths that piqued our curiousity. The teapot featured on Teapot trail tickled our fancy as well.
click on photo to enlarge
Bill's group also tried out a new route which included the recently completed Sobo no Michi trail. SnM was built to provide mountain bikers a way to ride up to the top of Cumberland Forest without having to use logging roads. We hiked up almost 500 meters on older trails then down SnM. That made for a very comfortable descent from such a high elevation, with all of the switchbacks. The new trail was very busy with bikes but every rider was appreciative and friendly as we cleared the trail to let them pass. It was a fine day on the mountain bike trails.
Thank you Steve Hill and Bill Jorgensen for the photos. To see all of Bill's pictures from this hike click here.
Most of this route was new to our group. We started out on the familiar Moe's Misery trail above the Trent River. Continuing upstream past the power lines we followed old logging roads to a single track hiking trail that took us to the top of an embankment high above Bloedel Creek. We stopped for lunch above one of the water falls. As we continued up stream the creek and trail came closer in elevation until we reached an old bridge. Along our route red huckleberries were in great abundance, along with thimbleberries, salmon berries and one small patch of wild strawberries. Great snacking!
Photos by the Steves (Ray and Hill) and Bill Jorgensen. Rest assured that daring (fool hardy?) stunts were the product of Bill's imagination and photo editing software. To see all of Bill's photos click here.
Since the weather reports were mixed on Wednesday, we decided to err on the side of caution and opted for a hike at the nearby Seal Bay Park rather than somewhere a distance away. As it turns out, the weather was just fine for hiking - mixed skies and warm temperatures - so all participants were in fine fettle for the excursion. To get more of our hikers out, we split up the leaders (Gil and Dawn, in this case) and asked Bill Jorgensen to lead a third group (thank you for this, Bill).
Five of us challenged the rigours of the sea side of Seal Bay Park. We also mixed in a chunk of the inland side, to round out the hike time to 3 hours. We successfully achieved our initial goal of descending and then climbing all 3 of the routes down to the water. After that, we headed across the highway and explored a series of pleasant forest trails which brought us back to the cars right on time. The weather was excellent and there were even a few photo ops.
Gil and Dawn's groups struck out in opposite directions; while Gil also included shoreline visits, Dawn's group gave that a miss, opting instead to emphasize the trails on the other side of Bates Rd. The groups passed each other at some point or other on their routes...and Dawn's group came across Gary's biking group, who wheeled by while on an extended bike outing. All hikers arrived back at their trailheads in 3 hours, happy with the exercise under such picturesque conditions.
Thank you, Bill, for the link to your hike photos...and to Steve Ray and Dawn for the ones shown below.
We walked the water side of Seal Bay park starting from Bates Road. The weather cooperated. Are the meteorologists on vacation? Anyway, it was calm and comfortable for the trek. At the beach, we took a brief break to enjoy the scenery and listen to the one lone loon. Our ascent was the middle trail with its switchbacks. We ventured towards Seabank Road where a lovely sign reminded us all what we must maintain during these pandemic times. Thanks to Lorne for the pictures!
Well, isn't this fun! It is so great to be out and about with other members of the Glacier Probus Hiking Group that once more, a grouping of hikes was set up, this time scheduled for June 30th. Having good weather certainly helps...
On this day Bill's group started at 09:00a.m., checking out the trail system to Croteau Lake.
Our planned destination was Croteau Lake, so long as hiking conditions were favorable. We encountered no snow, not much mud and had a cool breeze to keep us refreshed. We arrived at the lake by 11:00. After a rest and some food we were all game to carry on. So we crossed Murray Meadows and reached Kwai Lake by noon for more rest and sustenance. Beautiful scenery all along the way was an excellent reward for our 18 km workout.
Photos by Steve Ray, plus one each from Lindsay Sparkes and Bill Boham
The second and third sets of hikers set off around 09:30. Gil's group set off first and again, Croteau Lake was the destination. Their route included the Helen McKenzie-Battleship Lake loop with the extension to Croteau Lake and if the smiles on faces were any indication, their foray onto the Mt Washington trails was a success.
Photos below were contributed by Steve Hill and Michele Hind.
click on a photo to enlarge:
Dawn's group contented themselves with the Helen McKenzie-Battleship Lake route and just plain enjoyed the sights of nature seen along the way. Shooting Star, Heather and Bunchberry flowers were among the offering of flowering plants now in evidence, while it was great to once more catch sight of Whiskey Jacks (Gray Jays).
click on a photo to enlarge:
This time 2 hikes were offered.
Crown Isle – Air Base Excursion was led by Dawn Moore, who reports:
In contrast to Bill’s climb-to-see-the-views hike, Dawn led a few group members on a neighbourhood meander through town streets and woody areas between the Crown Isle Subdivision and CFB Comox. The 7.5+/-km route was meant to take 2 hours, but our enthusiasm got the better of us and we were back within around 75 minutes. Oh well...the fast pace gave us the workout we were looking for. It was great to be chatting with friends once more and we found lots to comment on, including the different art projects scattered by forest trails along the way.
High Above Ramparts was led by Bill Boham:
This was a new route for the Hiking Group. We started from the Mt Washington Road near the Ramparts chain up area. We used logging roads to climb up to an elevation approximately even with mid way up the alpine chair lifts, a climb of almost 500 meters. The hike and the views were breathtaking in every sense of the word. As we started out most of the landscape below us was shrouded by low clouds. Gradually the clouds retreated. At various points along our route we could see up Discovery Passage well north of Campbell River, across to Desolation Sound, down the Straight of Georgia and back to the Glacier and Mt Albert Edward. We were well rewarded for your efforts.
Photos by the Steves (Ray and Hill)
We are back and glad to be! Seal Bay from Hardy Road and down to Bates Road and back was it. It is different with only six of us and having to pre-plan with registering for the walk previous to the day and signing the waiver form each time. However, it is great that we can still socialize while walking. The weather is often forecast as not so good but it was. No rain or wind! Everything was so green and lush. We came upon a meadow full of foxglove and the water lilies are starting to bloom. We took just under two hours with a couple photo and social breaks. Thanks to James and Lorne for a few pics.
What a great feeling to finally get the go-ahead for outdoor Activities (albeit on a limited basis)! Score one against the Covid-19 situation.
The Hiking Group celebrated by organizing 3 hikes on June 22nd, with each restricted to a maximum of 6 participants. The venue was the Cumberland Mountain-biking trails.
Hike #1 was led by Bill Boham, who reports:
The Eastern Block and Space Nugget areas of Cumberland Forest provided a variety of terrain for our 10 km hike. Our route included the extensive boardwalks on Munday's Child trail and several sections of the meandering Rapture trail. After our hike we all gathered in No 6 Mine Park for lunch.
Click on Plotaroute to check out the trail system taken.
Hike #2 was led by Gil Moore:
During the hiatus from Group hiking, Dawn and I explored the trail system and laid out a new route that takes in both the Nikkei Mt climb and a visit to Allen Lake. Today, my group 'did' this hike in a counter-clockwise direction, heading to Allen Lake first. Due to a glitch in my phone's map app, we went astray after the lake and ended up on a new trail that, in the end, got us to Nikkei Mt. Along the way, we had the pleasure of sighting two grouse, one of which tried to divert us from its nest by doing the "I'm wounded" act, while the other took off into the bushes. It's this sort of experience that makes a hike special.
Click on route to see the trail system taken.
Hike # 3 was led by Dawn Moore:
My route took in Nikkei Mt and Allen Lake in a clockwise direction, completing the Nikkei Mt ascent early on, while we were still fresh and gung-ho! It was a good workout and, boy, was it good to be out with our Hikers again. We also sighted a grouse, on the Nikkei Mt ridge - it was a male that flew up from the bushes into a nearby tree, giving us a good look at its splendid appearance.
Photos below were taken on #3 hike.
The Bridge Group decided there HAD to be a way to play Bridge and kick Covid 19 to the curb. Joe Z. found a site on the internet called Trickster which allows people to play virtually! Dorothy got us organized and, after many Bridge games, a few of us got organized and developed a plan and instructions. Four couples met last Thursday to try the system out. The program had already worked very well. We had great success managing 8 people and two "tables" so we played our first game on our regular Bridge night, Tuesday April 21 with 20 people.! What a success!!! Everyone got to chat and play with 15 different people, which is wonderful in these days. We played four games, using the telephone to communicate. (The app or program supports sound too but it's a bit tricky.) Then we hung up and signed into another game and played another 4 games etc. What a wonderful evening! So, Probus Bridge is up and running at full strength, albeit virtually. We're kind of proud of how tech savvy our group has become! Best wishes for the rest of you to get back to your activities when it's safe. Stay home, wash your hands and talk to people however you can!
It was a Happy St. Patrick's Day just to be out. We met at the Nymph Falls parking lot. As you can see, we did our best to be socially distant. It was uplifting to walk in such a beautiful park with good company and quite a few laughs. No debrief at a coffee shop for now. To view more photos thanks to Bill J., click here.
Another successful hike notched up for the Group, despite the backdrop of covid-19 virus restrictions. Seven of us arrived at the Lost Lake trailhead in Campbell River's Snowden Demonstration Forest and started off under freezing but sunny conditions. Nothing like a brisk pace to warm up the body; we were soon comfortable and enjoying the beauty of the forest - the green of the ferns, moss, salal and trees decked out in needles, the skim of ice over puddles and ponds and the glorious waterfall and nearby bluff decked out in icicles. Cameras were clicking overtime! Halfway through the hike we found a conveniently long log to perch on while enjoying a lunch break and following a slight detour to enjoy the Lost Lake view, we arrived back at our cars four hours after leaving.
Do check out Bill's photos by clicking on this link - they are well worth looking at!
Puntledge Park and Ruth Masters Park was the location for today's walk. Not muddy! The plan was to take a few city streets to First St. Park and Morrison Nature Park. However, a decision was made to walk towards the pipeline after Ruth Masters Park. Rather than walk parallel to the BC Hydro pipeline, we walked east on the dirt road that ended at the river. Then, it was a short distance on a trail by that river. Fun to explore a new area! Debrief was at Bigfoot Donuts where they are kind enough to reserve a large table for us. Thanks to Lorne for the picture and thanks to Bill J. for photos to view here.
Monday was a beautiful day, best enjoyed in the outdoors. To take advantage, some members of the Birding Group drove down to the Ship's Point area to check out the birdlife. A light breeze produced chilly conditions for fingers kept busy with binoculars and cameras, but the sighting of birds made all worthwhile. Sadly, the same sunshine that made the day one to be appreciated, put such a sparkle on the waters that it was rather difficult to make out the birds and to photograph them. The aggravations of birding... We persevered and added the following to our list of birds sighted: Great Blue Heron, Mallards, Canada Geese, Surf Scoters, Buffleheads, Common Goldeneyes, Harlequins American Wigeons, Black-bellied Plovers, Black Turnstones, Red-winged Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, American Robins, Golden-crowned Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, Spotted Towhees, Crows and European Starlings.
Thank you, Bill, for providing a link to your photos of our outing. Those below were provided by Dawn.
Snow yesterday, but today was crisp and sunny - a beautiful day for a hike. A bumper number of the Group turned up to check out the trail system between Bevan and Comox Lake, along the east side of the Puntledge River. Gorgeous scenery, mirror reflections on the river and trails that were quite usable despite the occasional mud and slippery section...we were happy with our day. Our lunch break was timed for the BC Hydro Dam picnic area; debrief was held at the Waverly in Cumberland. All in all, a very satisfactory outing.
Not sure how we managed this but another walk was accomplished before the rain set in. Seal Bay from the new parking lot at Hardy Road was our destination. Great to be out! A slight detour from the usual had us walking for a bit more time, ten minutes shy of an hour. Pleasant walk where we encountered other walkers and cyclists. Debrief at the Country Market had us squished in to two booths with added chairs. I guess the word is out that the Country Market has good food and coffee as well as fitting in groups. Thanks to Bill J. for photos to view here.