Monday, 18 July 2016

Alpine Hiking at Mt Washington Ski Resort near Courtenay, B.C.

by Keith and Heather Nicol

On Friday July 15 we looked out our living room window toward Mt Washington and noted clear
Check out the wildflowers enroute
skies to the top. June and July in the Comox Valley has been cloudy with lots of cloud forming over the mountains. Often the day would start out sunny but by 9-10 am the cumulus clouds would start to form so when this day looked clear we decided to head up to Mt. Washington Ski Resort and hike to the top of the mountain. Last summer we did the trail with our daughter Kristie who was visiting from Vancouver and on that occasion we followed the Linton’s Trail (2.1 km) to the top. This time we opted for the Seaview Trail which is abit steeper. This trail starts right from the base of the alpine ski area and is flagged with blue markers so the trail is easy to follow. It is around 1.3 km long which makes it accessible for many hikers but be aware this trail does climb to the top of the Eagle Chair (vertical rise of 1650 feet) so bring water and a light jacket depending on the weather. Allow about an hour to hike the trail depending on how many pictures you take of the views of the wild flowers and mountains. The views toward Mt Albert Edward and the surrounding mountains were great although the pesky clouds did start to form again around noon.
The alpine hiking at Mt Washington is scenic with mountain and lake views
 Near the top we decided to take the Linton’s Trail since it passes by a great lookout platform and once we reached the summit we took the short Top of the World trail to get spectacular views in all directions. You can look back to the Courtenay- Comox area, north to Campbell River and Quadra Island but the most impressive views are to the southwest of Mt. Washington . Here you can see Mt Albert Edward and the Comox Glacier as well as many other rugged peaks. Be sure to bring your camera since the vistas are spectacular. A great bonus is that once you reach the top you can ride the lift down (last ride is at 5:00 pm) which is a fine way to end a hike. For more information on summer activities at Mt Washington see:
Looking out over the Salish Sea with the Comox Valley below

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