A Early Fall Ramble to Mt. Moriary

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Looking south from the first Moriarty bump

The summer is petering out, the signs are in the air and hanging off the branches of trees. Everywhere I go, I am reminded that time is marching on and the days of excellent whether, warm air and dry forests are numbered.

We met at the Whisky Creek Co-op on the Alberni Highway (HWY 4) at 8 AM, on Saturday September 27th.  The group of 12 was composed of members from the Alpine Club of Canada  and the Island Mountain Ramblers. We were quick to organize and on the road. We turned off the highway onto the Cameron Mainline, often used to access Mt Arrowsmith, Cokely and other locations beyond.

GPS Route with Photographic Annotation

Total Horizontal Distance: 7.4 km
Starting Elevation: 900 m
Maximum Elevation: 1607 m
Total Elevation Gain: 900 m

Many of the roads are active logging roads. In recent years the road to Mt Moriarty and Labour Day Lake was becoming rougher and more challenging to access. However, recent logging in the area means the road has seen redevelopment , The road is now smooth and easy to drive.  In addition, there are several new spurs heading off the main line, including one that give access to the north side the lake, about 50 meters higher. Though there are a few water bars that require a vehicle with good clearance, it provides great access. This location meant that we didn’t need to hike along the lake. We followed a flagged route from the cars to regular route up to Moriarty’s ridge.

Shot on a Rollei 35

We departed the cars at 9:30, the heavily overcast sky of the early morning beginning to breaking up, giving us the first hints of the day to come. The cars were parked at 900 meters and the route gained elevation quickly. We made it to 1450 m by 11 o’clock, where the route turns north east and gains the next set of elevation to the lower bump at 1550 m by 11:45.

The route is easy to follow,  in only a few areas are the trees are starting to encroach upon the trail. Even so, the dew that adorned the needles of the spruce and hemlock trees hung like ornaments that gleefully deposited themselves on our clothing as we passed, soaking those hiking in the front of the line.

A Young Man in His Element

We reached the main summit at noon, sitting to enjoy our lunch and the view. Unfortunately, nature had other plans, low laying clouds billowed up and obscured our view in most directions. After signing the register and eating, we started back to the cars. Before long … the cloud scattered, opening up the view to the south. As we reached the lookout we sat and enjoyed the view. Eventually we were forced to succumb to the end of the hike and descended  into the trees, finding our way down the hill.

We arrived at the car before four o’clock, having voted against going for a swim in Labour Day Lake. I was happy to cross this hike off my list and will definitely visit the location again. I would like to visit Moriarty in the winter, probably early Spring.

Click here to view the full photo album

a friend helps clear some trail

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