Mt Arrowsmith

Two weeks ago, Roxy, myself, and a few others went up Mt Arrowsmith (located around Port Alberni area). I’ve seen this mountain a lot of time while driving around the area. Today was the day to conquer it! It’s been on my list of mountains I’ve wanted to hike for a while. It is the highest mountain in the Southern Vancouver Island area. We went up Un-judges route and came down on Judges route.

Elevation: 1819m
Elevation gain: ~1000m
Total distance traveled: ~6km

We started hiking for a little bit and then lost the trail because an area of it got clear cut. So we had to hike through this but eventually found the trail markers again.

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Loving the exposure.

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We’re almost above the treeline!

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That’s where we’re going (to the right). Can see the summit.

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Walking the ridge.

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There’s the summit in sight! Getting there.

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We made it to the summit!

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Panoramic shot.

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All in all, it was a great experience. Everyone survived, and my knees were killing by the time we got to the summit. I guess I’ll have to work them a little more so they get used to it. Stoked for the next adventure!

Mt Horne

My buddy, Mason recently bought a bunch of camping gear, so we had to test it out! A group of us went camping for the weekend at Little Qualicum Falls. It was a great time to get away from the city. It was definitely something I needed. A few of us hiked up Mt Horne.

Elevation: 910m
Elevation gain: 750m
Total distance traveled: 9.78km

The trail was really steep… But we all made it (eventually). I slowed down the whole group because my cardio is garbage. But in the end, it was really rewarding. In my mind, summer has begun already!

This is the beginning. Just finding the trailhead.

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After the first steep part, we reached a railroad track which was level (thank goodness!).

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After a little bit, we had to head back up the steepness.

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We’re on the right track!

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The first glimpse of Mt Horne.

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Views along the way. Man is it beautiful!

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We made it to the top! Signed the registry and hung out for a bit. Victory!

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Mt HorneI was pretty exhausted afterwards, but it was so rewarding! I’m pretty stoked for the many trips in the near future!

Mt Wells

Well… I’ve finally decided to hike Mt Wells. I’ve been wanting to do this hike for a while, but never got around to it because I usually end up rock climbing here. This was my first hike of the summer so I’m a little bit out of shape. Luckily this was a fairly easy hike. So I think we’re off to a good start! And of course, had to grab a couple of geocaches on the way up.

This used to be a working 44km concrete aqueduct that went from Sooke Lake to the Humpback Reservoir. Then from the reservoir it would transport the water down to Victoria. But now it’s not needed.

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You can see Mt Finalyson in the distance (the really round mountain).

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At the summit.

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In the next picture, on the right, that’s Mt MacDonald – another place to rock climb!

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Jocelyn Hill

Lauren and I decided to hike Jocelyn Hill on a Saturday. I’ve never been here before, and Lauren hasn’t been able to find the summit after a few tries. So we decided to give it a shot. At this point I just got my new camera (Canon 5D MKII. Got it used, but it’s new to me). It’s a full frame camera, so only my 50mm 1.4 lens would fit on it. It was interesting trying to shoot with this lens but it got me to experiment with shooting/stitching panoramic pictures. There’s two in this batch that I had to stitch. It was lots of fun.

I woke up in the morning and saw there was fog. I was pretty stoked about it (Lauren wasn’t too happy about it). We met up and started heading out there. As we got out of town, the fog cleared up and it was blue skies! I was not impressed (Lauren was super happy about it). Seemed like we’re quite the opposite. But once we got to the peak, it was such an awesome view – clear blue skies with the morning fog lingering above the waters. It was such a great day!

If you like these pictures, you can follow my new photography business page on Facebook! (click here)

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Old Copper Mine At East Sooke Park

Chad, Kevin, and I went to East Sooke Park for a day of geocaching at the end of August. We found a loop we could do – about 12.5km round trip, and around 30 caches. It was a good day. I kept hearing about this abandoned mine there, so we decided to check it out today. Here’s the few pictures I took.

Unfortunately the cave wasn’t as deep as we thought it would be. It was about 35ft… It was still cool though.

Chad and I decided to drop off a couple of Travel Bugs at the cache site.

Kinsol Trestle

The Kinsol Trestle has been on my radar for quite some time. It was built in 1920. Located near Shawnigan Lake, BC. And apparently the website says it’s the highest and largest surviving timber trestle in Canada and reportedly one of the four largest wooden structures in the world.

Not too long ago (maybe a few years?) the trestle got fixed up so it’s now 100% safe and people can walk over this incredible structure. Sooo Rhiannon and I decided to check out the place (we’ve both never been here before) and picked up a couple of geocaches on the way too. It was a great day!

The next picture is taken with a technique called HDR (High Dynamic Range)

In the next picture, you can see a gas pipeline going across the river. So crazy!

Geocaching at East Sooke Park

Wow it’s almost 2 months since my last post. I guess things got a bit hectic with work (finishing up my contract), looking for work, and dealing with other things in life. That’s just the way it is sometimes.

Well, the weather has been amazing this week, and I’m hoping it’ll stay like this forever! Matty and I took advantage of this by going out to East Sooke Park to do some geocaching. Recently there has been a geocaching event which resulted in A LOT of new caches at this park. Soooo we decided to tackle some. We found a total of 19 caches and we explored an area of the park which I’ve never been before so that’s always exciting!! Found some cool things along the way too!

Oh, and have I mentioned how beautiful the west coast is?

Goldstream Park, Coombs, and Parksville

Matt’s friend, Shane is leaving Victoria soon, so Matt and I decided to take him places he’s never been to! It was a long day, but it was tons of fun. Here’s what happened:

We started off at Goldstream Park where we showed him the waterfall – Niagara Falls. This is a cool area because from the parking lot, you have to cross underneath the highway via a tunnel. You follow the riverbed for a little bit, and then you’re greeted by a waterfall.


The riverbed and waterfall looked lonely, so we built an Inukshuk friend. Hopefully there will be more next time we go there.

Next we hiked up to the trestle. There’s Mt Finalyson! We didn’t have time to show him the top of it, but oh well…

We kept following the tracks, and we came across a second trestle.

And a tunnel.

We walked back to the car and started driving towards our second destination – Coombs. The next two pics are from random lookout points along the highway.

Coombs!! A big tourist trap, but they also have a lot of cool stuff here! Shops, markets… And random stuff.

Coombs is known for the goats on the roof. Yup… They just hang out on the roof of a building. Sometimes there’s a lot of them, and sometimes they’re all hiding. Can you find the goat??

One of my favourite things about Coombs is the market. They sell a lot of cool things from smoked salmon, cheese, and other foods from all over the world. It is also pretty expensive, but there’s a lot of unique foods and stuff you can get here.

Last stop was in Parksville. We went mini golfing! … Do I need to say more?

Recon Mission at Sugarloaf

Nashira had a day off last Saturday, so we decided to do an exploring trip. Throughout the week I kept checking the weather forecast because the weather has been pretty bad lately. It kept going from being sunny to raining less than a millimeter to showers. So we had to play it by ear.

Saturday arrives and it was sunny, so we decided to go for it. We decided to go hike Sugarloaf which is a rock climbing area that we’ve never been before. There has been talk about a large loose rock on the face, so we were going to investigate this. We got to the pullout where we’re supposed to park, and we started hiking. About 15 – 20 minutes into the hike we had to cross a creek. This was the bridge to cross it… Could you tell it was made by rock climbers?

Just over an hour later, we made it to the top! Loved the views!

It turned out to be such a beautiful day except it was windy once we got out of the protected areas. We had lunch up on the top, and then scoped out the rock climbing situation. It looked like there’s a lot of potential there. Throughout the hike, we kept going back and forth saying how we should’ve lugged all our climbing gear up the hill… But we didn’t… And besides, the rock was sort of wet anyways, so it wouldn’t have been fun. Sigh…. This trip was such a tease. Can we have summer now, please?

I Think We’re Off to a Good Start to the Year

On Tuesday, John, Matt, and I decided to go snowshoeing just outside of Port Alberni. We decided to snowshoe the Saddle Trail which is a trail that leads to the saddle between Mt Cokely and Mt Arrowsmith. It’s about a 4km round trip, and this was going to be my first snowshoeing experience!! We weren’t sure if we were going to summit a mountain or not. Just had to play it by ear. So off we go! Here we are at the start of the trail. We were lucky there wasn’t that much snow on the roads so we were able to make it to the desired spot.


You can see in the next picture that is where we’re roughly going… Straight ahead into the mountains (and the trail starts on the right).

This was about halfway (or just over halfway). No one around. Beautiful views. It was perfect besides the fact that I’m totally out of shape, so I was really tired at this point, and it was also raining/snowing so I was pretty wet by then. This was also the spot where the snow was deep enough for us to actually start snowshoeing! Yay!

We’re almost at the top of the saddle! It was beautiful! This part got really windy I guess because we were out of the trees. But at least my feet were still dry!

We made it to the top of the saddle! The wind got a bit crazy here, and it hurt when ice hits you in the face… So we had to wait it out until we were able to get a group shot. We’re soaked, but we’re still smiling. Time to run down the hill on the nice soft snow! What a great trip. Hopefully there will be more to come! … Must… Snowshoe… More! … And maybe get a Gortex jacket.

If you missed my previous post (HDR pictures of the Saddle Trail), check it out here – Week 44 of HDR Project: Saddle Trail

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