West Coast Trail day 1

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles.

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | info page

By luck I met my friends at the store in Bamfield, buying last minute provisions. Everyone but myself had arrived by JUAN DE FUCA EXPRESS Water Taxi. (about $135 / person one way in 2013)

They’ll be hiking back to their vehicles in Port Renfrew.

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Still clean. Still fresh. But with HEAVY packs. 🙂

It’s not easy to get permits for a group this large. (The maximum group size is 10.) But we somehow managed it, booking by phone the very first minute that reservations are taken.

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Famously — this is supposed to be the EASY end of the WCT. Yet Sandy found this the toughest day of all.

Sandy’s catch phrase for our adventure, day-by-day, was from Big Bang Theory:

What fresh Hell is this?

Day 1 was not all that “easy”. New ladders have been added at the Bamfield end.

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Still — there are some gorgeous attractions.

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When it’s not raining, temperate rain forests are intriguing. So many odd mushrooms, for example.

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Trying NOT to accidentally step on huge Banana slugs is a challenge.

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At this end, many of the biggest old growth trees have been logged.

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How are the toilets, you may ask?

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Not as good as on my past trips. Avoid them if you can. Sit in the woods, instead. 🙂

How is the mud?

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Not as bad as on past trips. 2013 was a very dry season.

As always, the safest strategy is to plod right through the middle. This is one trek where waterproof footwear and gators are recommended.

Most of our group was from flat, FLAT Saskatchewan. Tidal pools are a big attraction.

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All week our timing with the tides was perfect. Hiking the coast when tides are low, weather dry, makes the WCT far, far easier.

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On my other trips we camped at Michigan. Trying to avoid the crowds, we kept going to Tsocowis Creek. We found it fairly crowded.

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What’s this weird toilet-paper-look-a-like kelp?

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For the first time on the WCT (for me), we had a bear lockers at every campsite.

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A perfect start to the West Coast Trail. 🙂

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… Except that my headlamp failed. New batteries were dead. 😦

Warren advised to put a piece of plastic between the batteries and the contact while in transit. Next time.

more photos from this day

day 0 | day 1 | day 2 | day 3 | day 4 | day 5 | day 6 | info page

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