Mount Drabble, The Family Way

In Activity, Comox Valley Regional District, Family, Hiking, Island Mountain Ramblers by ExploringtonLeave a Comment

Dear Hemingway,

My trip reports usually focus on the technical details of a hike: the terrain type, weather, and simple descriptions of the route, including any notable terrain features. But sometimes those details aren’t the important ones. Our trip to Mount Drabble is a great example; it’s the things you said, and what happened after the trip, that make it so memorable.

The group walking through the meadows

Mount Drabble Route

The hike to Mount Drabble has three access points; one close and two quite far from the mountain. I’ve hiked to the summit from Raven Lodge on a through trip to Wood Mountain, and I’ve snowshoed the mountain from Wood Mountain as a return trip. But it wasn’t until this trip with you on October 5, 2019, that I hiked the to the summit from the logging road off the Strathcona Park Highway.

Just a boy in the mountains

The hike itself was a lovely ramble through the meadows. The cloudy sky kept the air cool, which made for a beautiful walk. When we summited, we looked out on the horizon. We spotted the white-capped peaks of the Comox Range: Albert Edward, Regan, Comox Glacier, etc. You even exclaimed, “I want to hike to all those mountains!”, to which I answered, “Just wait, you might change your mind.” I won’t hold you to your declaration, but it is feasible.

I mean, what else are you supposed to do when you see ice?

As we stood admiring the peaks, I pointed to a treed bump in the foreground. Mount Elma was still stark green, in contrast to the snowy mountains in the background. The hump didn’t capture your interest until I reminded you that it’s one you’ve already hiked. When you recognized the name, your eyes opened wide and scanned the feature before wandering to the Comox Range in the distance. I wonder if you were seeing that those far-off places could become future adventures.

The Comox Range

I’m sure the highlight of the day was on the summit when we lunched. While I was boiling water for hot chocolate, you did the tour. That’s when you schmooze with the other hikers in the hopes of scrounging up a treat. This time, you came back with Girl Guide cookies! By the time lunch was over, you’d eaten somewhere in the neighbourhood of ten chocolate-covered mint cookies –damn those Girl Guides!

summit shot

While we were on the summit, the fog rolled in. You were already bundled up in your seater, warm jacket, and Gore-Tex, but you still felt it. Heck, I felt it! There was an icy breeze in the mists–Winter is definitely coming. This wasn’t your first time in the fog, but it was your first time having it descend onto you, and then quickly disappear.

leaving the meadows, heading back to the car.

The route back is always quicker, and you even led the group some of the way. As fun as the trip was, it’s still great to get back to the Jeep. It was less than four hours round-trip, but you were tired and fell asleep in the Jeep on the way home. Hiking can take it out of everyone, even a six-year-old.
Around two weeks after the trip, when you were cleaning up your room, you brought your hiking journal to me with the reminder, “We didn’t write in it.” I was surprised as much by the fact that I forgot to do it, as I was by your interest in completing the entry! It’s our routine to reflect on what you liked, the sounds, smells, and sights of the trip, and what you found challenging.

I love you, Hemingway

See all the photos from this trip

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Matthew is an adventure blogger and photographer. He documents his adventures on His stories create a vivid backdrop that give his photographs cotext. He finds his adventures with the Island Mountain Ramblers, and whenever possible, his family joins his adventures.

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