Date: Oct 20, 2018
Time: All Day
October is late in the year, and if there has been significant snow in the prior week, or rain is forecast for the Saturday, the event will be postponed until the following spring.
Getting to the trailhead is a long drive from either Campbell River or Victoria – 5 hours. Most people will spend Friday night either in Port Alberni or camped at Sproat Lake Provincial Park, or at the trailhead (which is pretty uncomfortable, btw).
Plan to start up the Cobalt Lake trail around 9:00 AM, to arrive at the hut 11:00 – 12:00. The official opening is scheduled for about 1:00. Celebrations until 3:00. If you are planning to overnight up there, please bring a tent. Most people, we expect, will descend in the afternoon (3:30 – 5:30) with official dusk at 6:50 PM. Please do not bring your dog for this trip.
Finding the trailhead.
Highway 4 runs from Port Alberni over Sutton Pass to Tofino & Ucluelet. Sutton Pass is the highest point (230m) and is 40km west of Port Alberni. At the pass there’s a large paved pull-off with washrooms on the right (out of sight from the road). From the pull-off, drive 10.5km west on the highway and look for an unmarked forest road on the left (south) side. This is Marion Main.
We have been advised that Marion Main will be upgraded before October 20. It is currently 4WD capable. We hope it will be much better on the day. However, parking at the trailhead is severely limited. Car pool and share rides where you can. We will be looking at possibly setting up some type of shuttle service for this event from the Marion Main turn off on the highway to the trailhead which is 9.7 km from the highway.
The Cobalt Lake trail is the easier trail. At the bottom are two maps and a link to a GPS track which you may find useful. The trail is easy, safe but continuously steep for at least two hours to the lake. Just before the lake you leave the forest and enter alpine terrain, and will see the hut on a ridge above – another 30 – 60 minutes to go!
Bring adequate gear for a big mountain, and lunch. If you’re planning on overnighting, expect to use the kitchen and biffy, but beds will be unavailable – bring a tent, foamie & sleeping bag. You’ll get more sleep outside anyway! There’s plenty of flat tenting space.
Don’t bring lots of water. There’s water at Cobalt Lake, and by October the tarn above the hut should be full again.
Contact: If you are able to attend please RSVP to Mary Sanseverino, firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct 16th so we can judge numbers attending. This social event is not operated at as a traditionally led ACC-VI hike. Hiking will be involved (that’s how we get to the hut and back), but people can come and go as they please throughout the weekend.
Maps and GPS link
GPS track for the Cobalt Lake trail