Hiking Skookumchuck Narrows, B.C.

Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park is a little known highlight of the Sunshine Coast of British ColumbiaCanada.

It was established on August 25, 1957 to protect the Sechelt Rapids located in the Skookumchuck Narrows between Sechelt Inlet and Jervis Inlet.

Famous with the surf kayak crowd.

However, these waters are dangerous. People have drowned.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hikers enjoy an old-growth rainforest hiking trail leading to this powerful tidal phenomenon.

Each day, tides force large amounts of seawater through the narrows

The difference in water levels can exceed 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in height. … It is sometimes claimed to be the fastest tidal rapids in the world.

Click for larger version.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I got to the jumping off point, Egmont, early morning.

Because Egmont is off the main highway, most people speed past. It’s got an interesting end of the world vibe.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hid my bike in the trees close to the nearby trailhead.

Enjoyed the wide, easy trail to North Point lookout.

Many turn back at North Point. But I continued on the rough trail to Roland Point.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my October hike on YouTube.


Related – Likely the world’s most powerful tidal current is not Skookumchuck, but the Saltstraumen maelstrom in Norway.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

What to do about WILD FIRES?

Planning for future hikes often means considering the possibility of forest fires.

As global warming increases, we’re likely to have bigger and more dangerous fires. 😕

‘We already see the initial signs of climate change, and fires are part of it,” said Dr. Amber Soja, a biomass burning expert at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in Hampton, Va.

And research suggests that a hotter Earth resulting from global warming will lead to more frequent and larger fires.

The fires release “particulates” — tiny particles that become airborne — and greenhouse gases that warm the planet. …

NASA

Click PLAY or watch 2020 American fires on YouTube.

Hiking with a TRAILER rather than Backpack

– Easy transportation of luggage on bus, train or airplane

– Prevent common hiking injuries from carrying weight

– Easy to manoeuvre on a variety of terrain

– Easy to handle on steep and rocky ascents and descents

– Ergonomically designed for easy of use and hiking with an armrest

– Holds enough gear to support one, two or three hikers

– Easy to take apart and reassemble

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Radical Design made that one. Not inexpensive.

This father and son walked Camino de Santiago keeping the gear for both in one trailer. 40KG is maximum load.

MountainLion.org on that cougar encounter

Mountain lions are much less dangerous to hikers in North America than snake bites, lightning strikes and even bee stings.

But plenty of people have been freaked out by a recent viral video.

 “The encounter might have been avoided altogether, but once it happened, the runner did a lot of things right,” says Denise Peterson, a Utah resident and region coordinator with the Mountain Lion Foundation.

“But individuals and the media are getting a lot of things wrong …

26-year-old Kyle Burgess has told reporters that he was running on a trail in Provo’s Slate Canyon when he saw kittens on the gravel path ahead of him. Thinking they might be bobcat kittens, he started recording video on his phone. When the mother lion appeared, he immediately knew he had made a dangerous mistake.

In the six minutes that follow, the video shows Burgess doing many things correctly: he backed away slowly, continued facing the lion, spoke loudly and firmly, and didn’t try to run away.

The lion followed him for several minutes, occasionally hissing and lunging. “She clearly did not view him as prey,” says Debra Chase, CEO of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

“The behavior was meant to chase him away, which it did very well. The mother lion was reacting to a perceived threat to her young.” …

Mountain Lion Foundation Issues Plea for Proper Reporting on Utah Encounter
CC BY-SA 2.0

Nitecore NU25 headlamp review 2020

I needed enough light to cycle in the dark as well as for hiking / camping.

After reading good reviews, I went with the Nitecore NU25 headlamp.

I like it.  Comfortable, adjustable headband.  

Four settings for white light.  Three for red.

In addition, a three second press of the white light sets off the well known ••• – – – ••• Morse code sequence.  

Simple design.

  • rechargeable with micro-USB
  • maximum output of 360 lumens
  • max. Beam Distance 81 m
  • auxiliary red light
  • indicator reports remaining battery power
  • lockout to prevent accidental activation
  • 0.99oz

Headlamps have turned on accidentally during transport in the past.  That won’t happen when you lock out this one.

It will work while charging from a portable battery, if needed for many hours.

 

Click PLAY or watch a review on YouTube.

Here are other recommended headlamps in 2020.

The NU 25’s main limitations are its short battery life (in our testing, the NU’s burn time was much shorter than listed) and the fact that it’s hard to keep the light from shining in your camping partner’s eyes due to its wide beam pattern.

Trail Runners v Hiking Boots

Cam Honan posted the best summing up I’ve read:

1. Why choose trail running shoes over boots for three-season conditions?

2. When are boots preferable to trail runners? 

3. “Wearing Your Fears” – Examining the commonly-held belief that boots provide a greater degree of protection for your ankles than low-cut footwear while backpacking.

4. “A Piece in the Puzzle – Why your choice in footwear should be considered an integral piece of an overall lightweight backpacking strategy.

5. A list of 15 of the top trail running shoes in today’s market.

Click through for Cam’s summary.

THE HIKING LIFE – Trail Runners Vs Hiking Boots:  A 30 Year Perspective

I’ve tried most everything over the years, ending up with something in-between runners and bootsapproach shoes — most often Merrell Moab2 Ventilators.  Normally without a Gortex layer.

I go with Merrell as they are available online in very wide sizes.  I have bunions.

I go with trail shoes as I like the durability.

Cam finds he can get about 800 mi (1,287 km) out of a good approach shoe; as opposed to trail runners which normally need to be retired after 500 mi (805 km).

I’m loath to suffer stubbed toes so prefer footwear with good protection up front.

Like Cam, I wear low-cut footwear as my ankles are healthy and I’m agile enough not to bash into rocks.

For something VERY rugged — K2 Base Camp, for example — I would take high tops or boots.

The downside of approach shoes is weight.  And the smell.

After a hike where my shoes get wet I need bake them in the sun.  For days.

related – Cam’s more comprehensive post – Hiking Footwear Guide

 

The Fight for America’s Public Lands

Trump and the Republican Party have been ruthless for 4-years selling out public land to rich supporters and corporations. The Environmental Protection Agency has weakened regulations.

For example, a Judge removed Trump public lands chief —a former oil industry attorney — who’d been working in that position illegally. 

Patagonia has just released The Fight for America’s Public Lands.

A feature-length documentary about America’s system of public lands and the fight to protect them.

Despite support from voters across the political spectrum, our public lands face unprecedented threats from extractive industries and the politicians in their pockets.

Part love letter, part political exposé, Public Trust investigates how we arrived at this precarious moment through three heated conflicts—a national monument in the Utah desert, a mine in the Boundary Waters and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—and makes a case for their continued protection.

Take action to protect our public lands.

Text DEFEND to 71333.

Learn more about ‘Public Trust’ here.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

OR Click PLAY or watch the entire documentary on YouTube.

Hiking the Indian Himalaya Independently

It’s easy to hike Nepal independently.

Not so India.

I did Markha Valley independently.  But for Kuari Pass I finally signed on with a guided trek.

The hiking infrastructure in India is not well developed.  Getting to and from trailheads often a headache.  Next time I go to India I’ll likely sign on for trips guided by IndiaHikes.

One bit of good news.

Peter Van Geit has been creating detailed hiking maps of the Indian Himalaya.

So far, he has pulled together over 1,000 trails across Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.

It shows 600 passes, 700 high-altitude lakes and more than 10,000 reference points. …

It allows hikers to see elevation profiles and download GPS logs onto their phones rather than having to carry multiple, less detailed paper maps.

“The map has more trails than anyone could ever cover in a lifetime,” he says.

“It took me months to plan a long traverse across the Himalaya. With this new digital map, you have all the information in a single place.” …

Everything is open sourced, so can be accessed with any Open Street Maps viewer or mobile app (for free). Other hikers can add information to it and help the resource grow. …

ExplorersWeb

Golden Hinde Traverse, Strathcona Vancouver Island

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

UPDATE.  I didn’t get very far on the Traverse finding it too difficult and dangerous to hike solo.  I’ll go with a group next time. 

For example, one hiking group did complete the Golden Hinde(less) Traverse between July 18-24, 2020.

I did complete the first two sections:

      1. Elk River Trail
      2. Elk Pass Trail

ORIGINAL POST from Sept 2, 2020 below:

Heading for Strathcona Provincial Park September 3rd.

Hoping to climb Golden Hinde, the highest mountain on Vancouver Island 2,195 m (7,201 ft).  September should have drier trails. Fewer bugs. … 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.

The best hiking guidebook is Exploring Strathcona Park. Dead tree version available only.

See our list of the best hikes in North America.