Main Menu
HomeAbout BC Car-FreeWhere to Buy BC Car-Free
Table of Contents
Hiking
Backpacking
Cycle Touring
Weekend Getaways
Horseback Riding
Whale Watching
Bird Watching
Salmon Watching
Cave Exploring
River Rafting
Sea Kayaking
Canoeing
Appendix: Getting There
Ramblings
Seasons in the Sun
About the Author
The Critic's Voice
" This book seems long overdue. "
Jane Williams Co-op Radio Red Eye
Sidebar
Image
Krumholtz
Trees clustered together in the sub alpine stand a much better chance of surviving the harsh conditions. Called krumholtz, these tree islands are miniature ecosystems unto themselves, providing mutual protection against the elements while acting as a catch basin for moisture. A krumholtz provides habitat for lesser plant species as well as insects, birds and mammals big and small. Usually trees in the krumholtz, German for "crooked wood," are old if not ancient, stunted by a short growing season, harsh weather and a paucity of nutrient-rich soil. Branches tend to flourish on the downwind side only.
Illustration by Manami Kimura
Vote Now
Would you be interested in an E-Book Version of BC Car-Free for iPad, iPhone & PC
FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest
08
Feb
2007
argaiv1344
The West Coast Trail-Day Two E-mail
(6 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Michigan Creek to Tsusiat 12½ km
From Michigan Creek the first two kilometres to Darling River are beach accessible during all but the highest tides [below 3.7 metres.] The cable car across the Darling River [km 14] is the first of many you will encounter on the West Coast Trail. They are fun to ride on and will keep your feet dry but often the cable cars are out of order. When creeks are running low marching across them instead will save considerable time and energy. Whenever fording streams undo your waist belt and loosen your pack straps in the event that you stumble and have to quickly jettison your pack.

If the tides are in your favour, continue along the beach for a further 3 km until Tsocowis Creek. Though a forest route is available, most prefer the open coastal scenery and the ease of walking the beach route affords. Keep an eye seaward as the foreshore is popular with foraging Gray whales.

The next three kilometres to Trestle Creek follow a relatively easy forest footpath packed with historical relics. To find the trail from the beach, look for fishing floats hanging in the trees. Access points are marked this way all along the West Coast Trail. Be sure to top up your water at Billy Goat Creek as the elixir of life can be hard to find the rest of the way to the Klanawa River. About a kilometre beyond Billy Goat Creek pause for a moment at the Valencia viewpoint to consider the victims of the shipwreck in January 1906 which ultimately led to the construction of the Pachena Point Light Station and the West Coast Lifesaving Trail. In time the sea has claimed every last remnant of wreckage leaving only the dimmest memory of the 126 people who died on the rocks off distant Shelter Bight. Those not mercifully claimed by drowning were trapped with cliffs at their backs and impassible headlands on either side. Many faced the raging sea bravely only to be exhausted and broken by hypothermia. Amazingly, 38 survivors managed to scramble to safety.

Just beyond the viewpoint you'll come across first a grader then a steam "donkey" [km 19] left behind after completion of the Lifesaving trail in 1909. The road-wide portion of the trail extended from Bamfield to the site of the Valencia wreck at Shelter Bight, continuing on to Carmanah Point as a well-defined trail. Beyond Carmanah the Lifesaving trail was a rough footpath hacked through the forest to Port Renfrew. Though all sections have been vastly improved, today this relativity persists.

The winch on the rocks at Shelter Bight and the anchor at Trestle Creek are thought to come from the 1923 wreck of the steamer Robert E. Lewers. At low tide wreckage from the Janet Cowan which sank in 1895 can also be seen at Shelter Bight [km 20.]

Either trail or beach will take you the 2½ km from Trestle Creek to the cable car crossing at Klanawa River. Since you will have already covered 11 km since Michigan Creek some will want to stop here for the night and Klanawa River [km 23] is certainly a suitable spot to pitch a tent. Many, however, will want to push on for another 1½ km through the forest to the most popular place on the West Coast Trail, Tsusiat Falls. The sandy beach, picturesque waterfall, dipping pool and sea caves are attractive enough for some hikers to camp over for several days at a time. The crowds can be insufferable however so many others would rather opt for a more wilderness setting to set up camp. The choice is yours. Assuming you fall into the latter category and decide to stop for the night at Klanawa keep in mind that the river is tidal so you may have to go upstream some distance in order to get untainted water when the tide is in. Always taste the water first before filling up to avoid contaminating your container.
 

Banner
Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
The graphical images and content hosted at www.car-free.ca are viewable for private use only. All other rights - including, but not limited to, distribution, duplication, and publication by any means - are the exclusive property of Brian Grover and Whisky-Jack Communications. International law provides criminal and civil penalties for those found to be in violation.

Contact the Author for further information.

© 2017 BC Car-Free Outdoor Portal - Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.