Two Trips: Sunshine Coast Trail/Tin Hat Mountain and Tonquin/Ramparts

Sunshine Coast Trail/Tin Hat Mountain: May 29–31, 2019

Tin Hat Hut (Photo: Judy Pasemko)

The Chilliwack Outdoor Club (COC) has done most of the Northern, Central and Southern parts of the Sunshine Coast Trail. We had exquisite weather for May 29–31, 2019, so we caught the early Horseshoe Bay Ferry and a few hours later (another ferry ride), we were at Powell River and on an arranged boat ride up Powell Lake to Fiddlehead Landing Hut (COC had done the 2-day trek there last year).

We were out of the boat and on our trail by about 2:00 pm, and after a lengthy uphill trudge, most arrived at the well-perched Tin Hat Hut about 6:30 pm—dinner done, we took in a generous sunset.

On May 30th, most of the group (be warned—no water at Tin Hat Hut), headed south on the SCT towards Lewis Lake and Elk Lake Hut. Again splendid and not to be forgotten views of forests, glacier-ringed peaks and well-watered lakes below. The tribe was back at Tin Hat by late afternoon, plenty of photos taken from the summit of Tin Hat Mountain and dinners on the rocks to remember.

On May 31st, we were gone from Tin Hat by 5:30 am and back at Fiddlehead Landing (site of a controversial commune) by 8:30 am. The boat picked us up before noon on the 31st, a fine cruise down the lengthy Powell Lake, ferry caught 2:30 pm at Saltery Bay and back in the Fraser Valley by early evening.

Participants: Sue Abegg, Judy Pasemko, Cindy Waslewsky, Nadine Bauman, John Laframboise, Don Field and Ron Dart (trip organizer/reporter)


Tonquin Valley/Ramparts: August 4–8, 2019

(Photo: Shirley Goetze)

Those who have spent time in the Tonquin Valley (south of Jasper) live into memories never to be forgotten. The Rampart range emerges like a massive rock castle that stretches alongside Amethyst Lake and further. The trip began with an overnighter at Edith Cavell Hostel (such sights from the bountiful height). The morning of August 5th, 2019, we were on the Tonquin trail to the Ramparts. We followed Astoria Creek, the trail branching off about 7 km, one turn to Waites-Gibson Hut, the other to campsites near Amethyst Lake and Tonquin Valley Adventures cabins. Some of the trail was still muddy (a wetter, less fire-prone summer), but the trail was quite doable. We had decided to try the cabin approach (having done the ACC hut before), with horses carrying in our food (made for lighter knapsacks). The trip in was a blue-sky beauty.

On August 6th, having access to a rowboat, we rowed across Amethyst Lake, scrambled up some scree, but dark clouds and rain threatening, we headed back to the larger guest cabin. It rained most of the day, and Tonquin Valley Adventures became, for many hikers, a dry place as they did the 2–3 days Astoria-Maccarib loop, caribou aplenty in the flats. August 7th was a bounty of a blue canopy day, so it was in the boat again. We rowed up and down Amethyst and stopped, a few times, at the scant beaches at the base of the Ramparts. A couple of the glaciers were breaking off from the Ramparts, and the thunder of their calving and rocks-ice cascading down the mountainside made for quite an afternoon show.

On August 8th we left Tonquin Valley Adventures by about 8:00 am and arrived back at Edith Cavell Hostel by 2:00 pm. A rather large grizzly (called Old Grumpy by local guides) played cat and mouse with us as we left. This was, I think, one of the 10 best Rocky Mountain trips.


Participants: Abe/Shirley Gotze, Karin Dart, Ron Dart (trip organizer and reporter)

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