In a year of lost trips, aborted trips, modified and last minute trips, this last effort followed plans to through hike from Buttle Lake to Bedwell Sound, although a great idea, it seemed unrealistic as the seasons first heavy rains raised concerns of river crossings and more. Keeping to the same general area with known access Plan B would take us to Mt. Thelwood and back in 4 nights. No problem. A mid afternoon start found us at Tennant Lake and easing rain. Our first (and I guess our only) major mistake was to follow Phil Stones suggested shortcut beginning to the north of the lake. If there is anything the reader should take from this account it would be that this is not the case, ie. a shortcut! Two hours and about 500 meters found us in dim light, sloped rocky heather for a bed and the prospects of more ‘fun’ in the morning.
To be honest it was fun but it was also wet and scrambly and a good route finding challenge. The area is beautiful, the granite outcrops a splendid backdrop for fall colours and dense mists. The SC proved lots of up and down, heather and other belays, Martin trying to slide tackle me into a chilly tarn, ‘slide being the key word. With westward and upward progress we met the ridge crest after several hours but only enough light to find camp at a lake halfway to Crystal Pass. Here the rain continued. And in the morning the priority seemed to be drying out and luckily the weather cooperated. But the slow progress to this point and the disintegration of Martin’s boot heels (hydrolized soles) proved good reason to look back east rather than push on. And to our good fortune the weather improved to really lovely fall freshness. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike back to Sandbag Lake with views all round, 360 degrees of Van. Islands’ best sights. A relaxed evening and good prospects of getting up Myra in the morning.
Rain and mists, as in no visibility, returned at night and forced another couple of hours sleep in the morning. So sad. And then it cleared allowing that splendid short hike up Myra and a relaxed day to enjoy a truly fantastic part of Strathcona Park. Also sadly Martin, grumbling, set off home not wanting to risk having no boots to make it home on. And we certainly weren’t going to carry him! We cut the trip short by a day as our objective was out of sight and hoping to bank another day toward ski season. But we will be back, what an inviting area. Participants: Josh Slatkoff, Martin Hofmann, Catrin Brown, Erich Schellhammer and Keith Battersby (author). Sept. 12-15, 2021.
“Short cut” around Tennant Lake - hmmm
The navigation was a tad challenging
Martin claims the garbage bag skirt is the latest greatest thing
But not the errant souls
After the deluge
Keith and Tennant Lake
Weather gods forgiven for the climb of Myra