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Mt Toquart South Face "East Ridge"
    Weather: Foggy in the valley, Sunshine in the alpine I have made up a "Topo/Image Map", with the location of the GPS track route I took while hiking up to the summit June 27th 2003.

Click - 'Green stars' to view photo taken from approx. location.

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How to get there??     Leaving from Port Alberni drive West on Hwy 4# towards the West Coast turn left onto Toquart Bay "Samlon Beach" logging main, roughly 80km from PA. Drive on gravel for 16km before reaching Toquart Bay Recreational Area, then follow the "km markers" on the roadside from TO1 all the way to TO19. After that you will be stopped by large logs across the road due to bridge removal Park Here.

     This mountain had grabbed my attention a number of years back due to the light coloured rock which made up most of the mountain. The rock looked a lot like Quatsino Limestone from a distance, so me, being the cave nut I am, have always wanted to check it out. I was surprised to see how easy it was to gain access to the summit from the same alpine valley I just used to solo up Mt Hall a few weeks earlier. Before that I had plans to do a long and steep ridge walk over from Triple Peak to reach the summit. So, the next time the weather system looked like it was going to clear up for a few days I made plans with another cave nut Barry Lewis and a hiking friend Randy Church, who was also the person that pointed me in the right direction.

    June 21st was the date and the weather man was calling for sunny and hot. The plan was to meet at the West Bay Hotel at 4:30am and Randy would follow Barry and I to the trailhead, which was still over a 2hr drive away. The hike up the logging road was a pleasure as the coastal fog had rolled in. Unfortunately it started to dissipate by the roads end and then the heat started to set in. My last trip in the area I spent some time and pioneered a route. Starting at the far end of the road keep an eye out for a large log with the bark off, walk over it and head into the slash trying at all times to stay on the crest of the small ridge which heads towards a large white boulder just on the inside of the timber. Then start off by hiking in semi open forest on the left side of the creek for 300m, ford the creek when the cliff on your left forces you to cross, which is just below a set of small waterfalls. Hike 50m up into timber, walk parallel to the creek until you come across a small stream coming in on the right. Walk up the middle of the creek for 75m (Slippery Rock) and look for a small rock cairn, turn left here and head up the dry creek bed which will take you all the way up to the alpine. From the alpine head left over towards the large rock slide that comes down from the summit of Mt Toquart and follow around the base slowly gaining elevation while heading towards the middle of the South slope which separates the two peaks. Hike straight up the slope towards the rock bluffs and climb the steep gully to the left into the trees, pull yourself up through the bush for about 30m. Once on top of the rock bluff look for a small draw which takes you most of the way up to the Col, beware of a lot of loose rocks. To reach the summit stay on the East Ridge climbing over small boulders up through small trees and hanging off Juniper bushes. The summit was large enough for all of us to enjoy a nice lunch in the hills. We descended the same way we came up, but I noticed one can easily down climb the west ridge without ropes and descend on the West side of the rock slide for a faster descent.

    The trip was a safe and successful one. The only downfall about the trip was the light coloured rock I mentioned earlier was not Limestone, so caves were not to be found.
“Bummer”! Cheers: Quagger