Green Mountain via Sno Bird Trail

In Family, Hiking, Island Mountain Ramblers, Nanaimo Regional District by ExploringtonLeave a Comment

Dear Hemingway and Octavia,

No one will deny that 2020 is a year of social and economic challenges. Regardless of what’s happening, you two keep growing. Every day I discover you each have a new level of understanding of the world around you, I see it reflected in your eyes and words. As a family, it’s challenging to continue with business as usual, but abandoning our passions won’t take the problems away.

Save me this pine cone.

On June 13, 2020, I led a trip for the Island Mountain Ramblers to Green Mountain. We’ve done this trip several times before, but this time we used a new to us route to the summit. Sometime over the past winter, the road washed out about five kilometres from the more common trailhead, but I was excited to give an alternate route a go.

Total Distance: 9.0 km
Starting Elevation: 629 m
Maximum Elevation: 1461 m
Total Elevation Gain: 825 m
Duration: 6 hours, 20 minutes

A week earlier, you two joined me on a short recce hike to find a way through the bush to the open terrain. It was just the three of us on that trip, and we hiked at Octavia’s pace to give plenty of time for exploring everything from ditches and bear scat to flowers and bog. You both impressed me so much on that short hike.

On the recce hike, finally out of the thick bush and now just in the nettles.

It’s best to say that we didn’t find the best route on the way up that day. By anyone’s standards, we were mired in a dense bushwhack. We found hellebores, wildflowers, alder and stinging nettles so deep that Hemingway only waded through them by holding his hands high above his head. Hemingway recalled this fact as the hardest part of the day–his arms got tired. Adding to the challenge, we had to fight through tough alder and watery bogs. Yet, I heard no complaint coming from either of you! You both seemed to have a lot of fun and were still smiling upon our return.

On the recce hike — so many Hellebore!

Our June 13 trip, by comparison, was a breeze. On that earlier trip, we found an ideal route through the bush, qualifying the club’s ascent as hardly bushy. The toughest part of the hike for our family was the length of the day, and probably the elevation gain. Hemingway, you didn’t need any help at all, nor did you complain. Octavia, you walked far more than I expected, and I was happy to shoulder you most of the day. 

Meadows for days

off the hill and onto an old road, ready for a break

summit shot

The only blemish on the otherwise fantastic day was a lack of bears and marmots. Climbing to the summit, I pointed out old emergence holes, but we didn’t see any signs of recent activity—just one more reason to return.

rain coming in.

Guessing on a highlight for the day, I’d pick the crazy carpet. The looks on your faces when I pulled it out of my backpack were priceless. We only used it three times, a total of about thirty seconds, but the effect was lasting. You both had huge smiles, and it invigorated you for the return to the car.

and then the rains came

Both of you have such resilience. Even when the weather turned on us, your smiles persisted.

I love you both. I can’t wait to see where the adventures will take us.

See full album of images.

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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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