Mirren-Milla Col attemp

Yesterday Casey Matsuda and I attempted a day trip to the Mirren-Milla Col to set a food cache for our upcoming attempt of the Campbell River Divide.

We made good time to the lower meadows of the Kweishun Valley, but when we arrived, the meadows were more of a lake than anything! Flooded b at least 1.5m of water, we werent overly interested in swimming so we started to decide plan B.

We thought about bushwhacking the South side of the meadows (the cliffs of the North start straight out of the water), but having done this route before I was not confident of the creek crossing above. The waterfalls above the lower meadow were noticeably swollen and thunderous in the valley. The highwalls of the Comox Glacier were still wearing dozens of seasonal waterfalls like tinsel on a christmas tree. Not typical conditions of late July. This seasonal “lake” with likely persist for a several weeks if not a month! There is a lot of snow in the alpine!

With our daylight burning out, we decided to turn around and head the Comox Glacier, Frog Ponds trail. On our way back, we encountered a group of 3 older hikers who had got lost on the logging roads and thought the Kweishun Valley was the route to Century Sam! After giving them the information about their wrong turn, we hurried back to the car.

Arriving at the Frog Ponds trail head was uneventful. But it sure was strange to see nearly 50 cars dotted along the last km or two. Having hiked this area for over 10 years, it sure is incredible to see how popular Century Sam has become. Perhaps its time for some outhouses before this area becomes a toilet paper highway!

Anyway, Casey and I hiked as fast as we could and made it to the Frog Pongs camp and set our food caches. We left a small sign in a zip lock bag explaining the cache and our objective. Hopefully no one takes any of them!

Anticipating we would not make the gate closure time of 6pm, we had secured a gate key. In the end, we didnt end up using it. Contrary to the posted schedule, the gate had been left open overnight (we arrived at 7am, and the gate was still open at 9pm as we exited. I should stress, do not assume the gate times will ever be less than exact. I have been locked behind this gate in the past being just 5 minutes late!

Thanks for the report Kyle - it seems Century Sam is still the Instagram sensation. Good point about outhouse…
Wishing you well for the big trip to the CR divide. Look forward to reports on that as and when.