Golden Hinde Traverse, Strathcona Vancouver Island

By BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I’m hoping to climb the highest mountain on Vancouver Island 2,195 m (7,201 ft) late August, early September.  Fewer bugs.  Dryer trails. … Hopefully.

Many try and fail to get to this summit.  It’s a scramble up snow or rock at the top.

The mountain took its name from Sir Francis Drake‘s ship, the Golden Hind, named by an early fur-trading captain who was reminded of Drake’s ship as sunset hit the mountain

Jes Scott made it August 2019.  Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Jes had tried and failed in 2017.

My plan is to hike the 47km Golden Hinde Traverse on the Elk River trail through to Myra Falls. I’ll only attempt the summit as a detour if conditions, health, time and weather permit. No pressure.  🙂

Cost for a guided climb is about CAD $1500 for 5 days.

 

Dientes Circuit, Patagonia

Last year I tried and failed to complete the Dientes Circuit on Isla Navarino, Chile.

The trail was covered over with snow, and I had no guide to lead the way. I only tented one night. Then turned back.

AT A GLANCE

  • world’s most southerly major hike?
  • circumambulate the jagged spires of Cordon de los Dientes
  • out of Puerto Williams, Chile, on Isla Navarino (pop. 2,262 last time we counted)
  • recommended 5 days, 4 nights in the past. Most hikers are doing it in 4 days, 3 nights now as the route is better cairned and signed.

This guided group had far worse weather than me. And still made it.

Click PLAY or watch it on Vimeo.

To find out how to do this trip yourself, click over to our Dientes Circuit information page.

#BlackLivesMatter

This campaign is against violence and systemic racism towards black people.

And broader issues such as racial profilingpolice brutality, and racial inequality.

Those are part of the bigger issue – human rights regardless of age, ethnic origin, location, language, religion, ethnicity, or any other status.

Out in the wilds it’s easy to see we are all created equal.

View this post on Instagram

Hello, friends. Hello, white people. Hello, everyone. We have issues. Just because many of you (myself included) enjoy extended periods of time in the mountains – away from "the world" – doesn't mean that we are absolved of societal obligations. The United States has never been great. Slavery was around until 1865. Women couldn't vote until 1920. Race-based discrimination was legal until 1964. Same-sex marriage could be outlawed until 2015. Unarmed black people are killed in the streets and in their homes with virtual immunity to this day. The US is plagued by systemic racism. Police who commit murder and beat protesters need to be held accountable. Police are (supposedly) trained professionals whose job it is to protect and serve their communities. There's no excuse. Have you ever seen a report of some corrupt and dysfunctional-looking country and thought to yourself, "I sure am glad I don't have to live there."? Guess what – that's us. The world is looking at the US and thanking whatever god they pray to that they weren't born here – that they don't have to worry about being killed or beaten in the streets by their police. This is far from the greatest country on Earth. The delusion you're immune to these issues (yes, even those of us who choose to occupy outdoor spaces – seemingly untouched by society) only allows this cancer to grow into a larger problem. Just as COVID-19 managed to infiltrate every societal crevasse, so too will failure to address the need for policy and police reform. This is on you. You can help make this country better. Don’t know where to start? Start by saying you care and that you aren’t okay with the state of this country. We don't just vote for the President and Congress. We vote for judges, mayors, governors, district attorneys, and sheriffs. Local authorities hold a lot of power (e.g. the current pandemic) – it's not just about Washington DC. So support Black Lives Matter, support the National Police Accountability Project, educate those who are choosing to focus on looting and rioting instead of why these things are happening in the first place. Much love, friends. -Mac #blacklivesmatter

A post shared by Mac | Halfway Anywhere (@halfwayanywhere) on

Ursack Quick Release Knot

I recall being reluctant to buy an Ursack to protect my food from bears and other critters — but finally got one in 2011.

This was the first time I used it, on the Howe Sound Crest Trail out of Vancouver.

2011

I was won over instantly.

Though I own two Bear Vaults, I always carry the Ursack instead if it’s allowed where I’m hiking.

It’s much less bulky.

Though my old white one is going strong, Ursack has newer models in black . And a quicker way of tying the bag to the tree.

Ursack AllMitey bear bag

I’ll probably get the larger capacity URSACK MAJOR XL when I eventually have to replace my old white one.

On my recent cycling / hiking trip through Vancouver Island I tented 6 nights.

There are PLENTY of black bears. I’d never seen so much scat anywhere as on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, for example.

You absolutely MUST PROTECT YOUR SMELLIES in this part of the world.

For the first time I used the new recommended quick release knot to attach the Ursack to a tree.  It is a big improvement.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Southern Sierra High Route

Pie on the Trail:

The Southern Sierra High Route (SSHR) was developed by Alan Dixon and Don Wilson in 2014.

It is 100 miles long and the majority is off-trail travel mixed with sections on the JMT. Elevation loss and gain are high and the going is hard.

2019 Backpacking Trip Report

Blake Bole’s 2019 trip report was posted in rhyming verse!

Vidette Meadow

Hiking this route requires a wilderness permit from Inyo National Forest.

Bear canister(s) required. There are no easy re-supply points. Snow is an issue some years.

Stingy Nomads do Fish River Canyon, Namibia

We based our Fish River information page much on Stingy Nomad’s trip report:

Some guide books says this is the toughest hike in Africa …

Fish River is definitely a hike to add to your must do hiking list.

Total distance of Fish River canyon hike 86km, the river itself is longer but due to many shortcuts your walking distance is about 14km less. …

Fish River canyon hike, Namibia. Itinerary, tips, map

Click PLAY or watch some drone footage on YouTube.

Tuck in your Pants to avoid Ticks 🕷

I cycle, run and/or hike every day while on Vancouver Island, Canada.

The risk of tick-borne disease here is low. But I’m still tucking in my pants before going out.

Mine are very light weight, slippery nylon. (Light coloured clothing would be better as it’s easier to spot ticks.)

The biggest danger in my neck of the woods is the western black-legged tick. It can transfer Lyme disease.

Western Black-Legged Tick

Fortunately for me, in order for a human to be infected by the bacterium, the tick must be attached for approximately 36 to 48 hours. I shower and check after each workout.

There is a report of one hiker who contracted Lyme on the nearby West Coast Trail. On that week long hike you may not be washing or checking regularly.  😐

Check the tick risk where you are adventuring. There are about 30,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year in the States. The number seems to be increasing with global warming. New species of ticks are becoming known.

Check your pets for ticks.

If you get one, gently remove a tick embedded in your skin with tweezers. Firmly grasp the tick’s head without squeezing and pull upwards.  Save it in a plastic sealed bag.  Use a felt pen to write the date, name and address of person bitten.  I’ve only ever found one once.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

related – Wikipedia – Lyme disease

Tips for hiking during COVID-19

Obey all laws.

Do nothing unethical.

Ensure you stay physically distant from strangers.

But get out of doors as much as you can. 

Click PLAY or see tips on Instagram.

Hiking in Place: Inspiration Near Home

Hike in Place: What It Means

Hike in place does not mean to literally walk in place. No, instead, the Superior Hiking Trail Association encourages people to rediscover hikes and nature in your neighborhood. …

GearJunkie 

As I’m physically isolating in a small town on Vancouver Island, each day I’m cycling, running or walking the closest parks.

Top Bridge Regional Trail

documentary – Surviving the Outback

Michael Atkinson places himself in the historic predicament of two stranded German aviators in 1932 to see if the his skills as a survival instructor, pilot and adventurer will allow him to escape to the nearest civilization.

It is a gripping film.

I learned a lot about surviving in the harsh Australian coastal wilderness.

The most remarkable feature of this documentary is its mode of filming. It is not performed by any film crew that follows his journey. It is single-handedly managed by Mike through drones and cameras so it preserves the natural element. The breathtaking pictures of the ocean, varied shades of the waters, flora and fauna of marine sea and the natural cliffs along the coast paint an excellent landscape for the viewers. It manages to take one to an unexplored world …

 Watch the hour long documentary FREE on TubiTV.