From Rockies to Wild west coast…

August, as usual in beautiful British Columbia is the month of great outdoors. The options for outdoors activity are endless. I’ve been trekking, mountaineering, fishing or paddling for more than 30 years in BC or neighbouring regions. I have been blessed with friends two groups of long term friends who enjoy various treks into the wilderness. One group prefers paddle trips the other backpacking and mountaineering. We’ve been at this summer adventuring together for 25+ years now. The Pacific Northwest is a stellar part of the world to secure friendships and discover our amazing outdoors.


Our Rockies trip this year was less adventure but full of spectacle. We hiked the beautiful area of Lake O’Hara, Yoho National Park. It may just be the best alpine venue anywhere. We started it off with the daunting climb to Abbott Pass where we met many fascinating people at the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) hut. The hike up is full of eye opening vistas but includes a grinding scramble up a steep rocky scree chute that can be dangerous. I took a falling rock off the knee so helmets are essential gear. 

The hut sits teetering on the great divide straddling BC and Alberta border. It’s a busy but wondrous alpine haven. This year the stars and meteors were a treat! 

After slugging it back to OHara campground, we trekked the alpine circuits above the gem main lake. We averaged 15km/3000 vertical feet per day it the vantage points are spectacular. The Rocky Mountains and many Canadian parks offer so many mountaineering trips from simple hikes to world class climbs. The traverses near Banff are spectacular. Although very busy and sometimes crowded, the Lake OHara area is truly stunning. There is something for everyone- not a typical case.

After returning home for a few days, I headed out to the west coast to kayak the remote and beautiful Broughton Archipelago. We took the safe and convenient option of water taxi across the Queen Charlotte strait. The traffic, currents and wind make the crossing hazardous so we chose to keep it simple departing from Port McNeil. 

After setting up a wilderness camp on an outcrop of rock , we enjoyed the remote west coast surroundings. We struck out late each morning, waiting for the fog to lift. We can manage our navigation, via chart readings, compass and a GPS , but it’s more enjoyable if a paddler can see. Broughton is a beautiful area with its multiple islands and tidal areas. Waterfowl, sea lions and humpbacks were around. Paddlers need to plan or be willing to rough it because beaches are very rare. 

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