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 British Columbia
 Gambier Island - Nov. 12/05 - Short/Epic Journey
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larryl
Senior Member


Surrey, BC
Canada

1036 Posts

 Posted - 11/13/2005 :  2:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply to this posting
Gambier Island (map courtesy of Gambier Island Conservancy)



is about 10 minutes ferry ride east from Langdale ferry terminal on the Sunshine Coast. The ferry dock on the Island is near the town of New Brighton. As a matter of fact, you can see the Langdale ferry terminal from the dock.

Gerry (Celtic3472) and I met up at the Langdale ferry terminal at about 10:10 am on Nov. 12, 2005, and took the ferry to New Brighton. We got to Gambier Island at about 10:20 am and we walked a short distance to the Gambier Island General Store. The trail starts next to the General Store. We went into the Store and was greeted by the owner lady, Trudy (I hope I got her name right).

We had some tea and had a nice long chat with her and about her store which apparently was built in 1911, with very nice hardwood floor and a wood stove for heating. She was concerned about the wood stove would malfunction and burn the whole wooden Store down. Another lady came in and was going to stay at a B & B place for the night. We asked if there is any printed map of the Island and Trudy gave us the map and we made donations to the Gambier Island Conservancy in exchange.

With map in hand, Gerry and I talked about hiking the whole Island in one day next year in the spring or early summer. We can start from Camp Fircom from the east side of the Island, and hike to Mount Artaban and up the north part of the Island and the coasts, and down back to New Brighton to catch the ferry home. We estimate that the Island can be hiked in seven to eight hours that way.

After half an hour or so, we said goodbye to Trudy, and she took a picture of us before the General Store:



The weather was not too bad and it was drizzling. Here are the pictures of both of us going up the trail.



The sign on the trail is clearly marked:



We continued up the trail, and saw this sign:

Isn't that guy running for something in Vancouver on November 19. I am just kidding.

As we went further up the trail, some of the trees have overhanging branches over the trail, and in dim light, they can look really spooky:



In less than an hour, we crossed the Mannion Creek. Here is Gerry before the creek:



At that point in time, the rain was coming down in buckets. We were soaked wet. Then we passed a lake (Woomoon Lake?) that was not marked on the map:



The wind really started to pick up and the damp cold started to bite into the body. We soldiered on. My goal was to go to Gambier Lake and return at 1:00 pm. Short journey for me. Gerry was to carry on and I had suggested to him to stay for the night at Camp Artaban which appears to be more sheltered. Epic journey for him. At 1:00 pm we were very close to the Lake, so I decided to carry on the descent to the Lake. Just outside the Lake, because of the rain water runoff, the trail became a torrent creek and at 1:20 pm, I said goodbye to Gerry.

When I got back close to New Brighton, the rain stopped and the wind died down. Absolutely wonderfull co-operation from the weather. I got back to the Store at 3:00 pm and was told by Trudy that the ferry would leave in 10 minutes, so I hustled down to the dock.

At the dock, I met up with a couple and their children and dog. I was told that to hire a water taxi from Horseshoe Bay to Camp Fircom would cost about $17.00 and the ferry from New Brighton to Langdale would cost $4.25 one way. So to do the whole Island hike from Camp Fircom to New Brighton via water taxi and then the ferry back home would be less than $25.00.

The ferry that I took back to Langdale went to Keats Island first, which will be another hike for me and Gerry, and any other persons who may be interested.

For the epic journey that Gerry continues to do in the Gambier Island yesterday and today, stay tuned for his report.


Edited by - larryl on 11/15/2005 7:25 PM
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larryl
Senior Member


Surrey, BC
Canada

1036 Posts

 Posted - 11/13/2005 :  9:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I got an email from Gerry telling me that he has come out of Gambier Island safely and in one piece. The trail was washed out and tough. No surprise there, after seeing the trail conditions first hand. Gerry should speak for himself.

Edited by - larryl on 11/13/2005 9:57 PM

mick range
Extreme Hoser

Trail running, bike hucking, fast packing, beer drinking collector of pine cones on a day pass

AKA

Dances with Trees

Forest Gnome Cabin
Canada

13585 Posts

 Posted - 11/13/2005 :  9:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Interesting journey,Larry
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celtic3472
Junior Member


Kits Vancouver, BC
Canada

191 Posts

 Posted - 11/14/2005 :  12:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After Larry turned around I started the descend into the steep creek
Larry described.
The trail was basically the stream. At most places you could
jump across or zip-zag but sometimes you had no option but to
wade in. It wasn't very deep or tough but awkward, for if I lost my
balance, I would have been soaked head to toe and possible a cracked head.
This part of the descend took about 30 minutes.
For me it was also the prettiest part of the hike.
Steep banks, lush green undergrowth and streams and waterfalls appear everywhere because of all the rain.
I also saw a few deer.
After 30 minutes and one more precarious jump
the trail flattens and widens again but there is a still water underfoot.
Then the trail starts to completely flood and once again no option except wade in.
This lasts for about 10 minutes until I reach the lake.
Lake Gambier is overflowing and blocking any further progress.
The option is to continue is over very slippy logs in the water.
I am able to do it without my backpack and camping gear.
But decide not to risk it for fear or injury.
There are some well sheltered camping spots near the lake
and I setup camp.
But I can't start a fire and my batteries die soon.
At least I eventually got my lighter to work and
am able to use my stove.
I spent the rest of the evening reading a book by candle.
It's at times like this that you wonder is it all worth it.
Next morning I am rewarded with a clear day,
views of the snow capped mountains and more deer.
The hike out is fairly easy( took just over two hours), even the part with the steep creek.
When I got out of this there was snow of some of the trail.
Back at the Gambier General Store I met some of the people who built the trail.
Like all hikers they where curious about my trip
and were not surprised that the trail was flooded.
Bizarrly there is string( looks like fishering line)
on most of the trail.
I find out from locals it used by surveyers to map out the island.
This trail is only going to get worse as winter progresses.
Although I am happy I did it, I won't recommend it unless you like
hiking through streams and flooded trails.
Sorry I don't have pictures.
They might have given a better idea of the conditions.











----------------------------------------
come back for more

Edited by - celtic3472 on 11/14/2005 12:15 PM

canuckgurl
Senior Member


surrey, bc
Canada

1389 Posts

 Posted - 11/14/2005 :  12:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
reading by candlelight eh? wow.. dont think i ever did that yet!

so, when u say u had to wade through the water, how deep was it? did u just keep taking off u're boots?

good reports!




----------------------------------------
yeh baby!!
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celtic3472
Junior Member


Kits Vancouver, BC
Canada

191 Posts

 Posted - 11/14/2005 :  3:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm Irish so I can use poetic licence.
I didn't have to wade through more than 12".
If I fell in it could have been a few feet.
But wading sounds more dramatic.



----------------------------------------
come back for more
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simonc
Day Tripper

Peak bagging, bushwhacking, zamboni driving, snowshoeing, self portrait artist, and speed demon who loves to hang out on Mt. Seymour


4580 Posts

 Posted - 11/14/2005 :  6:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Good going both you guys. Gambier doesn't get a lot of hikers. I had a interesting time (semi bushwack) doing Mt. Liddel last year. A bike does help on the dirt roads from the dock. Not sure I'd be too keen on riding with a 50lb pack on my back though.

----------------------------------------
Snowshoe naked. Chill out in the backcountry.
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larryl
Senior Member


Surrey, BC
Canada

1036 Posts

 Posted - 11/14/2005 :  10:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by celtic3472


I also saw a few deer.

---------------------

Bizarrly there is string( looks like fishering line)
on most of the trail.
I find out from locals it used by surveyers to map out the island.

----------------------------------------
come back for more



About the deer, I forgot to mention that on my way out of the forest, I heard loud bangs which I thought were firecrackers. I thought it was rather late to have Halloween in Gambier Island. Then I saw three hunters with their rifles coming towards me. Now I know, they were hunting for deer. I even asked them if they got anything!!! Yaks.

About those fishing lines, Gerry, remember, on the way up the trail, I said I thought that some guys tossed out their fishing lines after fishing in Gambier Lake. On the way down, it dawned on me that those lines were used for survey. I actually used them to guide me on the trail instead of constantly looking for those green markers on those green trees!!!!! Amazing.!!!!

Edited by - larryl on 11/14/2005 10:14 PM

the743
Intermediate Member


n van, bc
Canada

830 Posts

 Posted - 11/14/2005 :  10:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hahah Awesome picture with Jim Green, the logging maniac. That's a good laugh for anyone who has done that hike. He passed us twice on the way there and back. He didn't want to pick us up when we tried hitchhiking to the trailhead :P

Oh yeah, when on Gambier Island do NOT throw the little round sticky balls at eachother. Unlike the ones around here(if you look closely they have little hooks on them), the ones on Gambier are shaped like a needle. We had a huge war with those and it was definately an itchy experience after. You can't even get them out of your shirt, they're so small. Picture your pack rubbing against the back of your shirt covered in sweat with thousands of those in your back :S ahhhhhhhhh. Good times!

Just a peice of advice!

And Jim Green is the man! Sorry to hear the trail was washed out. Did you see those little thin peices of string? I was wondering what they were for. They were very long, thin threads.

----------------------------------------
How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?
~Matt Groening, The Simpsons, spoken by the character Homer
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larryl
Senior Member


Surrey, BC
Canada

1036 Posts

 Posted - 11/15/2005 :  7:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by the743

Hahah Awesome picture with Jim Green, the logging maniac. That's a good laugh for anyone who has done that hike. He passed us twice on the way there and back. He didn't want to pick us up when we tried hitchhiking to the trailhead :P

And Jim Green is the man! Sorry to hear the trail was washed out. Did you see those little thin peices of string? I was wondering what they were for. They were very long, thin threads.

----------------------------------------
How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?
~Matt Groening, The Simpsons, spoken by the character Homer



Yeah, Gerry and I had a good laugh too when we saw the sign. That's why I took the picture.

The little pieces of string are what I refer to as the fishing lines in my post. According to Gerry, they were used for survey to build the trails by the local people. They are all along the trails. If you see them, then you know you are not lost.
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larryl
Senior Member


Surrey, BC
Canada

1036 Posts

 Posted - 11/15/2005 :  7:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by simonc

Good going both you guys. Gambier doesn't get a lot of hikers. I had a interesting time (semi bushwack) doing Mt. Liddel last year. A bike does help on the dirt roads from the dock. Not sure I'd be too keen on riding with a 50lb pack on my back though.

----------------------------------------
Snowshoe naked. Chill out in the backcountry.



Actually, about the dirt roads from the dock and the trail going up, Gerry and I were talking about running up the trails in Gambier Island. The beginning part of the trails is ideal for trail running.
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Dru
Mountain Grammar Police

Sardonic sandbagging scoundrel, Cascade Climbers lobotomized spraymeister, space blanket flyer, new millennium vulgarian betaboy and friend to all squids

Climbing, a mountain
Canada

∞ Posts

 Posted - 11/15/2005 :  7:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Those "string" pieces are what is called "hip chain". You have a box at your waist with a roll of it that passes through a wheel on the way out of the box. You tie one end to a tree or bush and start walking, the wheel turns and tells you how much string has been pulled out. If you don't have GPS, it's pretty accurate way to survey. You see it all the time on logging roads, etc as well as trails. I happen to have 3 hip chains in various stages of brokenness...

The other good thing about that string is that if you have something, say apple skin, stuck in your teeth while hiking, you can use the hip chain string as floss

KARVITK
Advanced Member

Happy go lucky, plaid wearin, postholin, safeway gaitor sportin, old-school film shootin, giver of many regards

Abbotsford, B.C.
Canada

15034 Posts

 Posted - 11/16/2005 :  11:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dru & Larry

Thanks for the memmories. Of the time when I slogged the hills around Quesnel and Barkerville, Cranbrook to Lumby, dragging that thread in a straight line over whatever obstacle on the ground there was. Devils club, windfall, small cliffs, etc..

Would almost think you would need hip flippers to get around on those creek bed trails, thanks for the report Larry and Gerry.

I still have some spools of that thread still left, very fine and plenty of length for a small spool.

Regards,

silver000
Starting Member


north vancouver, bc
Canada

45 Posts

 Posted - 11/18/2005 :  9:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Gambier Lake is a great place to hike and camp at! The dock near the convience store is a great place to have some fun and jump off a few times. The shoreline looks fantastic for snorkelling.

JohnMandick
Starting Member



33 Posts

 Posted - 11/23/2005 :  3:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks for info about the strings, Dru. Had guessed what they were for. Are all over Gambier.

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