Photo of the Month – October

Oct2013-photo of the month

Three years ago, VISTA hosted the Vancouver Island Spine Relay – the topic of several previous postings of “Photo of the Month”. This photo shows the participants of an October 2010 day hike up Mount Clifton, southwest of Cumberland, along the “spine” of the Beaufort Mountain Range. We appreciate the support from Island Timberlands to hike on their private forest lands. The hike was also supported by the Comox and District Mountaineering Club. You can see the map of the route below as an attachment.

The plan was for three of us to continue on for three days – hiking along the Beaufort Mountain Range spine to Mount Hal; and then descending into Port Alberni; thus completing most of the alpine trek between Cumberland and Port Alberni. However, on speaking to CDMC pioneer Otto Winnig (who has hiked the spine several times) who was doing the day hike, and viewing the incoming weather, a spontaneous decision was made to turn back. I also saw the largest black bear in my life just below the summit of Mount Clifton!

We believe this section will be the “Pièce de résistance” of the 700km VI Spine Trail, with ocean views in both east and west directions. However, this will require some effort, given that most of the land requires private owner permits (and liability insurance for hikers), along with trail construction in the heavily treed areas between ridges.