Written on September 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm, by Scott
Written on September 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm, by Scott
Fall time at the Lodge is always exciting. School kids arrive and get to explore Vancouver Islands rivers, mountains, lakes and ocean. One can walk around the property and fill up on fruit and berries as they come ripe and so much more. Call 250-286-3122 for more information about the abundant activities available at the Lodge.
Written on July 5, 2013 at 3:30 am, by Scott
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.
Written on June 28, 2013 at 3:30 am, by Scott
Nootka Adventure – Sea Kayaking
AGE GROUP: 14-16
Length: 8 DAYS
Dates: July 20-27, 2013
Skills: Backcountry Basics, Kayak Strokes & Rescues, Ocean Travel, Marine Navigation and Weather, Surf Landings and Launchings, Trip Safety
A moderately challenging sea kayak trip in Nootka Sound, a little known remote and wildlife rich destination on Vancouver Island’s west coast.
We’re not sure why more people don’t sea kayak in Nootka Sound, but we’re not complaining. The rugged coast near Gold River on the west side of Vancouver Island is a sea kayaker’s dream. There are dozens of islands, empty beaches, tidal pools galore, coves, inlets and passages to explore and resident whales, sea lions and sea otters to spot. On this 8-day adventure we’ll learn about thousands of years of First Nation history, hundreds of years of European occupation, the tides, weather and ocean navigation all while visiting some of the best campsites on the coast.
Day 1: After arriving at Strathcona you’ll meet your fellow Expedition members and your instructors. As a group you’ll begin planning your trip, including an introduction to sea kayaking skills, strokes and rescues. Dinner is in the Whale Room and the group will sleep at the lodge’s base camp.
Day 2: The adventure beings after breakfast with a van ride to the Nootka Sound. In a quiet marina you’ll pack your kayak and set off across the sheltered waters following the coast of Bligh Island. As you paddle past coves and small beaches you’ll begin to get comfortable in your sea kayak. By late afternoon the group will begin looking for a good place to camp for the night.
Day 3-6: Over the next several days time is spent learning the backcountry basics as well as exploring the islands, beaches and shores of Nootka Sound. You may spend time fishing for dinner, or scrambling around tidal pools teeming with new and exciting sights, or you may just lay back and float, enjoying the peaceful solitude of the Sound. You may visit Friendly Cove where Captain Cook landed in 1778. Here you are introduced to the First Nations people and culture of this region. Being in the wilderness means attending to the essentials. As days pass you will find you have honed many of your camping skills and your group begins to take over more responsibility from your instructors, taking over the navigation, campsite selection and set-up, and meal planning and preparation. It is your opportunity to use everything you have learned to finish your journey and succeed as a team.
Day 7: The last strokes return you and your group to the marina where a van will be waiting to take you back to the Lodge, a warm shower, a celebratory meal and a final night with your group.
Day 8: On your final day campers 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.