Weather:Misty Morning Sunny by afternoon, Mild
This trip report has been up-dated to show the flagged route through the lower bushy section and probably the optium way up to the alpine.
I had planned this trip for 3 weeks prior and had a couple of friends wanting to join me but when the day came I found myself hiking up the ridge by myself... Oh well at least the only whining I heard that day was my own when navigating the steeper bush sections and upper exposed rock sections.
The route starts of with a good leg stretch down a brushed out logging road which paralleled the Kennedy River and Hwy 4. After hiking 2.5km I took the right turn up an old overgrown spur road, at the time there was still the rock cairn marking this location. From here it's a 300m a very overgrown logging road, keep an one eye out for rock cairns and keep the other eye out for the first right turn. Hike this spur for another 300m before reaching a dry creek. Walk upstream for no more than 200m then start heading into the bush on the right side. Now climb up a steep loose talus slope with a small rock band near the top which I had to navigate through. Hopefully if you hit it right you'll run into some "pink" flagging tape, follow this color right up to the alpine. If at first you don't run across any flagging tape, start slowly veering right to get yourself out of the old burn. Once in the timber hike towards the sound of falling water which should will not be very far away and stay on its right side. Follow it up without crossing it (South) and you should eventually run into pink flagging at some time or another. If not make sure not cross creek and continue to follow it right up to the start of the alpine. Once out the trees depending on where you came out you should be able to weave up and over a few steep rock bumps, there is some flagging and rock cairns so keep an eye out. Once you get up on top of the last rock bump you get a bird's eye view of the East Ridge. Hike up the obvious gullies and rock bands with some exposed class 4 scrambles and bushy rock moves are in order to gain access to the long flat summit ridge. A good Loop trip which I hope to do next year is to head straight down the West Ridge heading towards the small lake 300m above the Clayoquot Witness North Trail-Head. I heard there is a trail or flagged route down from the lake to the logging spur.
How to get there?? Leaving from Port Alberni, drive towards the West Coast on HWY 4# for 60km approx. 1km west of Sutton Pass turn right onto a gravel road that runs beside Kennedy River. Only 150m in you will see an abandoned logging rd that has been dug up at the start to stop traffic from driving over the rotting bridge deck that crosses over Kennedy River. Park near the dirt pile making sure to leave room for ATV's to get passed, if you don't want to find a dent in you're car. "Please" just show some consideration for others and you'll have no problems.
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