WYLD Summer Camp: Backcountry Classic – Hiking
Backcountry Classic – Hiking
AGE GROUP: 15-17
Length: 12 DAYS
Dates: Aug 11-22, 2013
Skills: Backcountry Basics, Paddle Strokes, Map and Compass, Alpine Hiking and Route Finding, Ice Axe Use and Snow Travel (depending on snow conditions)
Our most challenging camp and a true expedition. Starting at the lodge, participants will paddle by canoe to a trailhead and hike for several days into the alpine culminating in a steep mile long climb to reach the summit of Mount McBride before returning home.
Our most advanced camp is a 12-day multi-sport expedition. Beginning at Strathcona Park Lodge the group sets out by canoe down Buttle Lake heading for the Marble Meadows Trail, a water access-only backpack route into the Vancouver Island mountains. The trail leads to a huge alpine meadow where several mountains and ridges can be climbed, including snow covered Mount McBride, one of the highest peaks on Vancouver Island. After six days of hiking, its back in the boats for a two day canoe back to the Lodge.
Day 1: After the group arrives at Strathcona Park Lodge they will begin packing and planning the expedition. Dinner is in the Whale Room and the group will sleep at the lodge’s base camp.
Day 2: With a hearty breakfast out of the way you’ll load the canoes and begin paddling down Upper Campbell Lake. The mountains will get higher and snowier as you head south into Buttle Lake, exploring coves and beaches. After making camp you’ll begin learning the backcountry basics: how to set up shelter, prepare dinner and light a fire.
Day 3: The group will continue down Buttle Lake, passing several river estuaries before arriving at Phillips Creek and the trail to Marble Meadows. Here they will set up one more lake camp and lighten their load before heading into the mountains for six days.
Day 4: The switchbacking trail climbs steadily, passing through old growth forests and onto the edge of Marble Meadows; a wilderness camp will be set in the rolling plateau of wildflowers and patches of forest.
Day 5-9: Spend the next 5 days exploring the alpine area of Marble Meadows including Wheaton hut, Limestone cap, Morrison Spire and, the highlight, the summit of Mount McBride. Each destination demands fitness, group management and teamwork, as well as new skills like ice axe use, snow climbing, off trail navigation and map reading. At camp each night the group will take on more responsibility with meals, group decisions and planning.
Day 10-11: Down at lake level again – it’s time for the paddle back. As a well-oiled group, the canoes will fly across the lake. Enjoy refreshing swims and lakeside campsites as your canoes hug the shore on the journey home. A celebratory dinner and last night with your group rounds out your WYLD experience.
Day 12: On your final day, paddle back to Strathcona Park Lodge, enjoy a shower, clean up, pack up and head home knowing you have accomplished more than you likely thought possible; proud of your new skills, increased confidence and shared memories.