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Michael Paskevicius


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In July of 2021 I joined a great crew to adventure into Strathcona Park for a less travelled traverse from Flower Ridge to the Bedwell Trail. Our intention was to go up Flower Ridge, find our way down onto Price Pass navigating between Margaret and Green Lake, climb up and around the Mistorns on the east side of Mount Rosseau, down to Love Lake, do a day trip down to Della Falls, travel around Love Lake to find our way back up on the West side of Mount Septimus, then down to Cream Lake, and then out on the Bedwell Trail. The car shuffle was fairly straightforward with a car dropped at the Bedwell Trailhead and one left at Flower Ridge. I was looking forward to seeing some new angles in Strathcona Park and gaining experience on the mixed terrain.

Trip Totals
Distance 55.94 km | Time 94:11:10 | Total Ascent 3,747.9 m | Total Descent 3,881.8 m

Day One Flower Ridge

The route up Flower Ridge is fairly straightforward and we found ourselves on the ridge with clear skies and good progress. Our first camp was a beautiful spot that gave us some great views of the route ahead. Green Lake, a bright blue beauty visible as we peered over towards Price Pass, looked exquisite against the backdrop of the Septimus-Rosseau massif and hanging glacier.

Distance 13.29 km | Time 8:05:06 | Total Ascent 1,592.6 m | Total Descent 275.8 m

Day Two: Price Pass

On day two we started early and made tracks for Price Pass. The flowers as we descended from the ridge were gorgeous and our route ahead visible. Unfortunately, we made two navigational errors on this day, once dropping too early off of Flower Ridge, then again on Price Pass, missing the climb to the Mistorns required to get us up and over Margaret Peak. We did some moderate bushwhacking and backtracking and ended up staying on Price Pass for the evening. Although we did not travel very far, this was a long day. The mosquitos on the pass were quite intense and coupled with the blazing hot sun, made for an uncomfortable situation, sweating with all our clothes on or hiding out in our tents to prevent bites.

Distance 5.55 km | Time 7:11:34 | Total Ascent 446.0 m | Total Descent 540.1 m

Day Three: Margaret Peak to Love Lake

Day three was a big one, as we did some extra planning to ensure we could find our way over Margaret Peak and down to Love Lake. We had some ups and downs on the way to Margaret Peak with some scrambles and moderate climbing. The ice axe was essential here, but we did not have to break out crampons. There were options for rock or snow travel in most cases. We also had a navigation misstep on this route, requiring some backtracking. It was great to finally reach the summit and see over the other side where Della Falls came into view.

The trip down into the Love Lake basin was interesting, with a fair bit of shwacking and lots of Heather growing on the way, which can be quite slippy. The last mile into Love Lake was a giant gully, with lots of loose rock and tree debris scattered on the way down. Once down at Love Lake we found a picturesque camp spot on the south side of the lake. The basin is massive with many waterfalls draining into the lake, with the Septimus-Rosseau massif viewable now from the other side.

Distance 5.63 km | Time 11:38:00| Total Ascent 595.4 m | Total Descent 670.2 m

Day Four: Love Lake Attempt to Cream Lake

As we were now a day behind, we had a difficult decision to make. Forgo the day trip to Della Falls, or attempt an out and back to Della Falls and continue our way with the intention of getting to Cream Lake. That latter would make for a long day and many of us were weary at this point. Only one in our group decided to make the Della Falls visit happen, leaving at the crack of dawn to make the trip. The rest of us had a slow start to the day and did some exploring around Love Lake.

The Love Lake basin

Once reunited, we all attempted our trip around the lake and up to Septimus. We took the waterside route for a bit, climbing over rocks and up the bluff along the lake where possible, before getting stopped out at a cliff and high bluff to our side. There was seemingly no way up or around the cliff, unless we were going swimming. At this point, after some deliberation, we made the difficult decision to abort the plan and exit through Della Falls. Two in our party had inReach devices and made great use of them to contact partners and arrange a water taxi pickup at the Della Falls trailhead and a car pickup once back at the harbor of Great Central Lake.

Distance 12.20 km | Time 8:02:25| Total Ascent 257.1 m | Total Descent 1,095.0 m

Day Five: Della Falls

And so we backtracked along the lake and made our way down to Della Falls, allowing us all to view its magnificence, one of us for the second time that day! With a total height of 440 m it ranks as the 16th tallest confirmed waterfall in Canada. We had several views of the Falls, both at the base, and from a distance. Seeing it from a distance really allows you to see its full brilliance and just how tall it is.

We had to get fairly far down the 16 km trail as the only water taxi available was at 9am. So we viewed the falls quickly and made tracks down the trail. We camped along Margaret creek and had an early start to make the water taxi.

Distance 10.88 km | Time 3:03:26 | Total Ascent 61.0 m | Total Descent 342.1 m

Day Six: Della Falls to the Great Car Shuffle

The final hurdle was getting our car back from the Bedwell trail head. If you know the island, you might recognize the great distance by road required to fetch our car. In the end we drove nearly 300 km to find our way back to the car. It was a long day, and added to this, Ryan and I had to still get back to Victoria, so our total mileage for the day was over 600 km. We had a great chance to chat, thanks Ryan!

The Great Car Shuffle
Sunshine Coast Trail: Sarah Point to Saltery Bay
Hiking the South Brooks Peninsula

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