March 20, 2012

Not the recommended route

So after weeks of working and fixing the boat, Sarah and I had to get out into the woods. So after contemplating our choice of trails (higher means snow and avalanches, lower means boring) we decided to go with boring. Well sorta. We spend a fair amount of time out at Pt. Bridget and so we decided to try out this other trail we had seen along the highway that leads into the south side of the park. Well the trail itself was a complete joke, ten minutes later and we are at the beach. Nice for an evening run out after work, but we were looking for adventure. So we decided to hike up the coast towards Camping Cove Cabin and see what the scene there was. This cabin had been on our radar for some time, but we never actually made it there, till today. The hike up the coast was beautiful, partly sunny, cool breeze from the north and a hint of spring all around us. We went through several little picnic areas and eventually found the cabin. Most this part of the trip was uneventful, it was after the cabin that things got weird. Now we have been all over this point, but not to this side. After leaving the cabin we immediately ended up loosing the trail and heading into deep snow. We brought our micro spikes, but not our snow shoes so we decided to head back down to the beach and walk up it. It didn't seem like the point was that far. Ha ha ha. Just like a mountain, you never see all the ridges in the middle. The point we were looking at wasn't the one we thought it was and neither was the next or the next, well you get the idea. At a point we decided that going back wasn't an option due to the terrain we had already crossed and the amount of time spent. The amount of daylight left was getting short and we knew if we could just make it to Blue Mussel Cabin we would be able to walk out the two miles left in the dark if we had too. This is our usual stomping ground. So off we went. Along the way we did some pretty sketchy crossings clinging to rock faces and hoping we didn't slip into the ocean. Some of these were damn near vertical. This area drops 500 ft. in less than an 1/8 of a mile. Wow! We did some crawling on hands and knees over snow that we really weren't sure of its depth or attachment. We decided on several occasions that there just wasn't any option and scrambled our way up into the trees, continue along until we couldn't get through the under brush or the land simply fell back into the sea. Then we scrambled down again and continued on the coast. Now for the family, we played it safe and we helped each other when needed and spotted some of the really sketchy spots to make sure the other knew where to put foot/hand etc. One of the other deciding factors was the tide was going out so our options would increase, although as we learned, some places just never have a beach, or a trail in the woods. It was the first hike of the season, really pushing that, lol. We got out there with a roar and both got home safe. Tired, sore and starving and a bit dehydrated, but really glad we challenged ourselves and held together as the strong team we have become over the years. Below are pictures of what I could get, at a point the camera got put away and only cell phone pics available, at some points there just wasn't picture taking time or place. Also I have included a map of the direct line circumnavigation, but this doesn't account for the up and down or the bouldering/scrambling that we did. Straight line is about 9-10 miles, but we figure it came closer to 12, at least it feels that way. Little stiff today! lol
This was the first little cove we came to, it has 3 private cabins and I wish I could live there, but the land is in a state park now.

A little further up the coast we found this camp area that is obviously well used by the same group. It even has a basketball hoop on the tree and large area to hang around the fire

They named it Camp Freedom. I like, would be a perfect place for a cabin right back in the trees

After wandering down the beach we finally made it to Camping Cabin, it sits in the most beautiful well protected little cove with a really deep bay that is so clear you can see all the way to the bottom. Going to have to stay there some time soon.

This is looking out from the cabin, as you can see there is a snow storm coming, the white out conditions it brought helped us to loose our way

The last of Mab island and off into the snow flurry we went.

Sarah looking up the coast as we discuss our options.

This is what we were looking at. This terrain continued for about 4 miles. If you look in the back ground you can see an almost vertical face we had to cross. There were deep ravines we had to go around, and headlands that we had to go over. Somewhere along this route a whale surfaced right next to us on the shore and a sea lion followed us for a couple miles keeping us company and I am sure laughing at us.

We cheer ourselves for a job well done and look to the next leg. From here it is about 3.5 miles to the truck
By time we cleared the mile of beach and looked to the trail the light was almost gone, about 7 pm, we still had 45 minutes of hiking through the snow and forest before we reached the road. There we had another mile and half to hike back to the truck. I pushed us so hard, our knees where shaking and we were tuckered out, but we were so close and all I could think about was going out for dinner and stuffing myself on some fatty foods. I sang cadence and plowed through in just under 40 minutes, a record for us in any condition!
We started our hike at the arrow (bottom of map) we then headed north. At about pt. 2 we lost the trail and started following markers that we thought would take us home, but no they ended at a cliff about 100 ft tall. From there we got back to the beach and headed north. The area marked 3 is the most ridiculous coast to walk on, there is no safe passage by foot and I recommend using a pack raft if you want to go this way. Not the recommended route!! At the north tip there is an cabin, that is Blue Mussel, but the actual trail picks up at the next cabin, near the red 11. From there its smooth sailing over ice and snow. We have since spoke to others that have tried the same trip, no one has found that damn trail from this side,  most turn around but those that do what we did, understand and feel for us. All in all a great trip, next Echo to Berners!!! Not without a boat!! Lol