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Mt. Apps, The Squarehead, Mt Joan, Mt Hal: Traverse
Distance - 33km, 12.5 hr: Start Mt Apps Zela Lake,
Finish:Log Train Trail to home


     Welcome to Islandhikes Hiking Page. Below is a " Topo/Image Map", along with a GPS route of the Traverse.

     Date: March 15 2004

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Weather:Cloudy with strong winds.
Trail conditions: Mostly route finding but some trail systems at start and finish, oh yea and logging roads in the middle.

   It is an easy hike up the logging road to the start of the Apps Zela Lake Trail head. I followed this trail for my first leg of the journey right up to the first peak on Mt Apps. Turning around here I back tracked a short distance to the first Tarn I past on the way up. From here I continued South/Easterly over nice open alpine for a few kms before dropping down 400m onto a small but very beautiful hanging meadow. Now heading in a easterly direction it was a short grunt to reach the open ridge that lead up to The Squarehead. On the summit of Squarehead thick clouds rolled without warning making visibility next to none. Now having to follow a track route I'd uploaded into my GPS I slowly plodded over to Mt Joan without any troubles. Past that was the first time for me coming down the South ridge of Mt Joan and all I was thinking was I hoped the clouds lift so that I could at least get a glimpse of Joan Lake on my way by. Luck was on my side as I got some nice views of the lake plus it was not much further on before I popped out onto an active logging road. I could see from up here were I had to drop down and then go up on the other side of the saddle. It looked like a 3km walk on gravel before I could disappear back into the forest. Once leaving the road system I headed up towards the North West ridge leading up to Mt Hal's summit. When reaching the crest of the ridge I came across lots of flagging tape. It looked like someone had just recently heavily flagged the route up Mt Hal exactly where I wanted to go. So now this section which I thought was going to be a thick bush bash turned out to be a slightly bushy pink grunt with no route finding "Oh Well". Again the clouds dropped down when I reach the summit of Hal, no views here today. Now finally it was all downhill, all I had to do was find the main trail in the thick mist. Knowing the area I just headed in a southern direction eventually running into it. Once on the trail I started a slow jog down to Hal creek for a quick foot cool down before picking up the pace even more and jogging the rest of the way down to The Log Train Trail. Finally reaching the Log Train Trail I just paced myself for the final 13km walk home.

   

   How to get there     From Port Alberni, Info Center To Mt. Apps parking spot approx. 43 kms.
Drive West on Johnson st towards River rd traffic lights turn right and cross over a small bridge just before the Petro, turn right again onto Beaver Ck road drive north west for 18 kms, veer right onto Sommers rd and stay on this rd for 2 kms before taking a left turn onto a gravel logging rd. Stay on this main line for 9kms and take a right turn just before crossing Lanterman creek. From here it is still 10.5 kms further up this road which starts to narrow from this point on a 4x4 is a nice thing to have. Make sure to take the first left about 2.5 kms up. From here basically stay on the main road bouncing up the hill and around a few rough switchbacks there is one rough spot about 6 kms up which a low clearance vehicles will get hung up on the large rocks. For you folks please park back from this spot so others can easily get by. For the rest of us we can drive another 4 kms and depending on the 4x4 you can get right to the trail head.

Stay tune in for more adventures at Island hikes

Cheers: Quagger

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