Crest Mount Mt Idsardi Traverse
Date: July 16 2006
Weather: Sunny, Hot
Dificulties: Moderate/Hard, depending if done as a day or over-nighter.
The first part of the hike gains 1240m over 5km up a well worn path to the summit of Crest Mountain and is one of the most popular hikes in the North end of Strathcona Park offering excellent 360 views. This was one of the main reasons I found myself stuffing my pack in the wee hours of the morning on what was going to be a gloriously sunny day and driving the 200+ kms. to the trailhead was just par of the coarse. Also I had not done this trail before, so it was all going to be new to Kiku and I. Arriving at our destination by 6am I did a quick stretch before heading up the long up-hill grunt. This was not as bad as I first thought as the trail was in fine shape and the switch backs where well placed. At the start of the upper section around the 1000m mark I was treated with my first veiws of the Elkhorn Valley and boy they where nice ones. Past that it got fairly steep with some loose rocky sections. Once at the lake the trail skirts the West end and over a small bump before reaching another small lake with a Radio Repeater on the bumps summit. Past the second lake I followed rock cairns and some flag tape for 1.5 kms to Crest's rounded summit. The second part of my hike was again 5kms in length but dropped 300m before heading back up for 330m. This section was not a trail but a route instead having no flagging tape or rock cairns to follow but lucky for me that day was clear so it was easy to navigate off Crest Mountains North Ridge toward Mt Idsardi. There was one bushy section which went up and over two small bumps. I had no problems here either, "short and sweet" as they say. Once out of the trees the hike up Idsardi's south side was an enjoyable hike through rolling fields of Heather. The summit offers an airy view down it's very steep rocky North Face, Weeeeeeeeee.... and I also won't forget the awesome views of Victoria Peak in the distance.
How to get To Crest Mnt Parking lot Starting from the Port Alberni's Info Center. Drive 35km East on hwy 4# towards the Inland island highway turn North then drive 110km to Campbell River's far end. Then drive West on Hwy 28# towards Gold River for about 67km you'll then cross over the Elk River bridge, 4km further up on the South side is the Trail Head for Mt Elkhorn, Colonel Foster/Landslide Lake. Mt Crest trailhead is only 1 km further up the hwy on the North side.
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