Published: May 31st 2009May 26th 2009
our hiking team
here we are looking clean at Kilometre one in Bamfield
We have just completed the West Coast Trail from Bamfield to Port Renfrew. We started by spoting a car in Port Renfrew prior to the hike. Our hiking trip then started on May 17th when we picked up our son Ryan and his partner Michelle at the Long Harbour ferry on Salt Spring. We then drove off the other side of SSI and made our way over some dusty and bumpy logging roads, arriving in Bamfield at 6.00 Saturday nite.
We camped in Bamfield and the next morning got shuttled out to the Parks Canada HQ. Parking there is not recommended due to auto-crime issues etc. After a brief orientation and lots of warnings about bears,cougars (animal version) muddy trails, broken ladders, roots etc.,
we set off at 10.00 am.
The first day was about what we expected-an immediate introduction to ladders which turned out to be quite easy and lots of mud which didn't turn out to be easy.
We also crossed over lots of board walks and bridges (there are 107 bridges on the trail). We had a little rain but otherwise perfect conditions. I gave thanks for gaitors and walking poles but still got very muddy. This
one of the many ladders-one of which went up 300 feet
was in contrast to Ryan who treated it as an easy stroll carrying 65 pounds and never even got mud on his feet.
We did about 14 km and camped at Darling Creek after fording the stream -very cold We had an excellent dinner complete with a dram of scotch and then to bed early.
Day two was a repeat of the first day but somewhat easier as we were on the beach quite a bit plus some ladders-we did 11 km and stopped at Tsusiat Falls at 3.30m as it was starting to rain. We crossed over 2 supension bridges today with the first one being kind of high. Beach walking can be easy or hard depending on the terrain. The worst beach walks are on loose sand or cobbles-the best is stone covered with barnicles. Timing your travel to low tide is key. When we got to camp we found a cave to cook in which was great - we managed to dry a few things out and it was out of the wind.
This was our biggest day-17 km as we went all the way to Cribs Creek. We were ferried over Nitinat
great camping spot -we had a cave to cook in
Narrows and HAD BEER. This day had it all -beach walking,sand,mud plus suspension bridges,ladders,mud,roots and boardwalks.We also had some rain as well as some spectacular scenery. There were a few other campers at Cribs including a PC maintenance crew-nice campsite on the shore-lots of wave sounds at night plus rain. Another great meal-we are eating down the weight in our packs. Water is a big issue-not hard to get but it all has to be treated-we are drinking lots. We are at about km 42. Apparently now things get a lot harder??
Day four-Up a bit later-Jan's Birthday - we are off at about 10.00 through the forest on little used trail. After a few K, we abandoned the forest and went out on to the beach.
After Carmanah lighthouse, we came to Chez Monique, home of the $16 burger and the $6 beer.
We had to try it. As we left, the resident beagle-Charlie Parker, joined us on our walk down the beach. Later we learned he went past us to Logan Creek (about 12 Km) To get there the dog swam several streams and climbed some ladders!!!!! Only a beagle- Parks Canada to the rescue. They picked
on one night it rained,we had a cave to cook in -this was near Tsusiat Falls
him up and were going to boat him back to Chez Monique. We ended the day at Km 53-22 km to go in next two days
Day five -Another tough day-not a lot of Kms (12) but major ladders at Logan and Cullite - 300 foot climb to very scary suspension bridge -lots of mud and roots again but we are getting better at mud-also it is easier than walking on soft sand or beach gravel.
We made it to KM 65 by 6.00 then camped in forest clearing. Sock situation is getting dodgy and we all smell like cattle. We ate the last meal and finished the scotch. We have had great weather today -sunny and not too hot,however it is getting cooler at night. We are sleeping in clothes plus the bags-A special thanks to inventor of Thermarest mattresses. We have 10 kms to go on our last day.
Day six - The last day - This section is apparently supposed to be really tough. We got up early at 5.30 and were on the trail by 7.30-lots of roots,mud , etc plus Ryan had to rappel down a cliff to get water from a stream
a suspension bridge along the route
in a cave etc. It took us 3.5 hours to get to Thrasher Creek Junction which was 5 Kms-This works out to 0.86 miles per hour and I thought we were really moving.
We took a good lunch stop then off on the last 5 kms by 12.00 - Lots of tough climbing yet and a new hazard-wet loose rocks on a downhill slope..........ACE. We finally made it to the Port Renfrew pickup point at 2.30.
An excellent experience. The worst part of the trip which was yet to come was retrieving the car from Bamfield.
There are more photos below