Flash Back Fridays
Dave King lost with kids on mountain
One of my favourite stories from Strathcona involved a hike on Elk Mountain which was located across the lake from the Lodge. It was before the mountain was so dramatically clear cut. The original Elk Mountain was beautiful. Trees like what you would expect to see in Cathedral Grove; cool creeks running through lush forests. Dave King, one of the SPL instructors, was guiding a group of students on Elk Mountain. They had planned to hike a short distance and then establish a base camp from which they would do day hikes. The group got to their destination, established the camp, and then headed up the mountain on a day trip.
Dave, a very seasoned guide, had taken his group on what was to be an afternoon walk. The leader soon realized that they were lost. Eventually it became apparent that the only course of action was to hike with the group down the mountain to the highway, have one of the leaders hitch hike back to the Lodge to get the bus and then drive back to pick up the group on the side of the highway. Then they would take them back to the Lodge for the night. The next day the group went back up the trail and hiked back up to their empty camp, packed everything, and walked back down the mountain to meet the waiting bus for the ride back to the Lodge. This was quite a blow to the ego of the instructor, but I am sure most of us have had a similar story in all of our many years as guides in the wilderness.