davidjgilbert

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Dave, Jackie, Richard, and Ferg hike the CPR Trail from Cameron Lake up Mt. Arrowsmith.

Cold nose and feet...

Our first view point, just as the sun was emerging. Our big dog, Xhosa, was left at home today as she’s been limping and she needed some rest.

It’s been very dark and wet in Port Alberni so when our friend Richard called and suggested hiking up Mt. Arrowsmith we jumped at it!  And a nice rare clear day too!

IMG_20160201_124845 copy This is a 1000 metre climb, and since Jackie is in training for an upcoming race, she opted to go with her full water bottle vest she is trialling. As you can see, the trail is not easy to find when everything is covered in snow.

Ferg has cold nose and feet!

Ferg has cold nose and feet!

The scenery was very nice being snow covered once we got high enough.  We saw fresh cougar tracks crossing our trail about half way up.

Richard Ronyecz knows this area well .

Richard Ronyecz knows this area well. Good thing, because you couldn’t see much of the trail.

There was no snow at the Cameron Lake trailhead, but after a couple of hundred metre elevation gain the snow started and got deeper and deeper until it was about a metre deep with higher drifts.

Scenic up high.

Scenic up high.

Ferguson loves the snow!

Fergus loves the snow! He was really tough for such a little guy – we were out there for nearly five hours.

We ended up, at the far side of the loop, not being able to clearly find the track. So we took the safe option, rather than risk wasting 15 minutes at a time, over and over again trying to find the trail, and just retraced our tracks back down. A very fun and beautiful day.

And if you have a couple of minutes and want a laugh, check out this video of Fergus (Yorkie-Chihuahua cross), with icebergs hanging off his fur, after four hours of hiking through the snow, still full of energy and having a good play:

 

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Dave and Val hike the Laugavegurinn trail from Landmannalaugar to Porsmork, Iceland!

Valerie and I decided for our yearly summer expedition to hike the wilds of Iceland!  We took a special bus with large wheels that could cross rivers from Reykjavik to the central interior area called Landmannalaugar to hike the Laugavegupinn trail.

We are off! Landmannalaugar to Porsmork hike.

We are off! Landmannalaugar to Porsmork hike.

Val and I flew Vancouver to Reykjavik, watched the weather while collecting our remaining food and gear, and booked a bus to the start in the central Iceland interior.

Heading up, up and up into the mountains.

Heading up, up and up into the mountains.

Still heading up...

Still heading up…

Mountains! I didn't sign up for this! - Val.

Mountains! I didn’t sign up for this! – Val.

After about four hours there was more snow and ice than rock.

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The trail was defined with stakes with red on top, and others had left a trail through the snow.

Dave's selfie...

Dave’s selfie…

Val enjoying the day.

Val enjoying the day.

Heading for Alftavatn lake in the distance.

Heading for Alftavatn lake in the distance.

Spectacular views in every direction! Cold winds in the late afternoon.

Val having a hot drink at camp.

Val having a hot drink at camp.

Since the sun was  up 22 hours in early July, we hiked until 8:30 pm and covered 24 km of high mountain trails. No complaints from Val.  We had packed very light so we could move fast and pull long days.

Coming down out of the snow fields.

Coming down out of the snow fields.

Windswept volcanic plains.

Windswept volcanic plains.

The mountains gave way to vast volcanic plains, with winds carrying black dust.  We moved fast as we didn’t want to be here if any wind storms arose.

Dave selfie with Val in the distance...

Dave selfie with Val in the distance…

Playing crib in our crib...

Playing crib in our crib…

Cold.  We both slept with all clothes on, hat, gloves, and head under the sleeping bag.  My MEC down bag to 0 degrees C was not near enough.

Ever changing landscapes.

Ever changing landscapes.

Getting lower.

Getting lower.

A steep bit.

A steep bit.

Then on to Porsmork at near sea-level for a bus ride back to Reykjavik for the best hike ever! 55 km, three days.

 

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WE’RE BACK! Fastpacking to Della Falls, Love Lake in Strathcona Park.

It was time to return to one of our favourite spots, Della Falls and Love Lake!

On our way.

On our way.

A perfect hot sunny June day.

On our way to Love Lake!

On our way to Love Lake!

Can’t miss where we are going!

Della Lake from across the Drinkwater valley.

Della Lake from across the Drinkwater valley.

It’s been a very dry spring, with very little snow in the mountains this year.

Love Lake for lunch.

Love Lake for lunch.

Last time we were here – which was our September 2011 Della Falls/Love Lake hike, Love Lake was still totally frozen over. This time, even only in June, there was no snow.

Della falls almost dry…

Dry Della Falls.

Base of  Della Falls – neary dry.

A beautiful day in the mountains.

Heading home.

Heading home.

Last time, we ran most of it and did the whole thing in eleven and a half hours – including a two hour stop up top. This time we took it much easier – more hiking than walking – and took closer to 14 hours all up. It’s around 40 km there and back, with a total elevation gain (and loss) of 1300 m – most of that on the climb from the base of Della Falls up to Love Lake. Fun day, and a great way to kick off a summer of hiking in the mountains of Vancouver Island!

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Sun Mountain 80 km ultramarathon, Winthrop, Washington! Our first 50 miler!

Owner Carl at Javaman Burritos

Owner Carl at Javaman Burritos

Jackie and I have gone to Winthrop, WA, to run ultramarathons for four years in a row. A stop for burritos at Java Man Espresso and Burrito Bar is now a ritual. Read the rest of this entry »

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Run to the top of the China Creek, Port Alberni’s watershed.

Jackie raced her ultra yesterday in Patagonia and I needed a long run and the weather was awesome so I headed up the China Creek Watershed.  I parked on the Cameron Mainline at the yellow gate and started up the long hill.

New beaver dams.

New beaver dams.

I ventured off the main road to Read the rest of this entry »

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Mt. Horne hike with Rich and Xhosa.

Jackie just finished a 132 km hike in Patagonia before her ultramarathon so I’m wandering the mountains here with Rich.

Cameron Lake start.

Cameron Lake start.

We parked at the yellow gate at the Port Alberni side of Cathederal Grove and walked down the road to the flagged trail start. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mt. Wesley Traverse.

Jackie is still in Patagonia so Rich, Xhosa and I decided to tackle the Mt. Wesley Traverse. This trail is the ridgeline over the top of the mountains across from Cameron Lake.

Trail sign from rail line.

Trail sign from rail line.

Read the rest of this entry »

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