Vancouver Island Trails Information Society
Vancouver Island Trails Information Society

Book 3 (Northern Vancouver Island), 10th Edition (2008)

Book 3 (Northern Vancouver Island), 10th Edition (2008)

Page 14, Hints and Cautions

Jim Spowart, Area Supervisor, BC Parks has advised us that there are some parks where hunting is allowed, including some areas of Strathcona Park.  Hiker should be aware that this might be a hazard in certain areas and at certain times.  (Posted May 2009)

Page 15, Creatures Great and Small

A few grizzly bears have been spotted recently near Strathcona Park and other parts of Northern Vancouver Island, including around Woss Lake, Tahsis and Port McNeill, according to a report in the Times Colonist newspaper on August 12, 2010.  They appear to be young males who had swum across from the mainland.  There have been sporadic grizzly bear sightings on the Island for at least the past 10 years or so. 

Page 36 ff., The Red Pillar

An updated GPSed route to The Red Pillar can be found at http://islandhikes.com/Hikes/Redpillar/redpillarmap.html, writes Ron Lepine.  He notes further that the dialogue is a bit outdated, but that it is a well worn and fully brushed out route now.  (From  Ron Lepine, August 2010)

Page 41, map M6 and pages 46 & 47, map M7, Rees Ridge

New Mirren Lake access information provided by Lindsay Elms (in Hiking Trails 3, we did not have an access up Kweishun Creek - note that this is more of a mountaineers' route):  

In June (2009), a logging road was pushed to the Strathcona Park boundary up Kweishun Creek just north of the Comox Glacier. From Comox Lake, take the logging road up the Cruikshank River to the T-junction. Turn right and follow the Cruikshank Main up to the West Fork Main just over Rees Creek. Turn left and follow the logging road up Rees Creek for 3-4 km then swing left over Rees Creek and up Kweishun Creek. About 2 km in the road crosses Kweishun Creek below a dried lake then continues up the valley another 600 metres to where it crosses back to the north side of the creek. It is then 2.3km to the end of the road. A 4x4 vehicle is required from the dried lake to the end of the road. It is not known exactly when they will be logging at the head of the valley but it will most likely be this summer and then access will be denied until they have finished.

From the end of the road, pick up a flagged route through the steep old growth timber for about 40 minutes to another dried lake. The flagged route was established by Island Alpine Guides who have been using this access for several months to promote their mountaineering courses in the spectacular alpine arena around Mirren Lake. Check their web site at http://www.islandalpineguides.com/ to see photos. From the dried lake stay to the right (north) of the valley under the steep headwall avoiding thick bush in the middle. Scramble across scree and talus slopes back around to the river where it cascades down from above. Cross the creek and then ascend a snow/sparsely vegetated slope to get under the headwall on the south side. Above the cascade the U-shaped valley narrows considerably and is choked full of snow from winter avalanches. Several larges crevasses have become exposed and the possibility of others still hidden is a concern therefore mountaineering experience is essential to successfully climb the slope to Gordon Wood Lake. From Gordon Wood Lake continue around the south side to Mirren Lake. Camp on the rock bluff near the outlet of the lake or continue around the lake to a gravel flat half way around the south side. The total time to Mirren Lake from the end of the road is around 3 hours.

From the lake there is easy access up onto the ridge between the Comox Glacier and the Aureole Snowfield. This route avoids at least 2 days to get to the Aureole via the traditional Comox Glacier route. Access can be made to the Comox Glacier via the North Gully by going half way around the lake. At the gravel flat on the lake ascend up the wide snow/scree slopes aiming for the treed bluffs to the lookers right of the seracs. Easy travel through the bluffs will take you to the edge of the glacier. From there travel (to the left) is straightforward under the headwall but through crevassed regions which will take you to the base of the Comox Glacier's North Gully. The crux of the gully will be negotiating the bergshrund and in low snow years it could be tricky to by-pass. Ascend snow/ice up to 45 degrees. From the top of the gully head northeast across the flats to the main summit of the Comox Glacier.

Alternatively once beside the glacier continue heading on the upper lateral moraines above Milla Lake to the head of the cirque where an exposed 4th class section will pop you onto the Comox/Argus Col putting you in a perfect position for Argus Mountain. Take care here if it's wet! Early season there are large cornices above both these features to content with. (Posted June 2009)

Page 45, Rees Ridge Mirren Lake access up Kweishun Creek

The logging road up the Kweishun Valley was built in 2006 and I drove most
of the way up to the seasonal lake in my mini-van in August of 2007.  In
June 2009,  we hiked up the valley to Mirren Lake and up to the ridge
looking down to Milla.  I hiked out the Kweishun yesterday May 23, 2010.
The road is fixed up from major wash-outs from last December so logging
should start soon. We skied from Mt. Washington along Rees ridge and down
the Kweishun to the Cruikshank river in 2 days.  (submitted by John Waters,
May 2010).
 

Page 64 ff., Bedwell Valley Trail

For updated information on this trail see http://friendsofstrathcona.org/bedwell-valley-trail/

Page 106, Crest Mountain Trail

For information on the building of a new bridge and/or a bypass on this trail see http://friendsofstrathcona.org/crest-mtn-trail/

Vancouver Island Trails Information Society