I have made up a "Topo/Image Map", along with the GPS track route that was recorded while hiking up and over most of the peaks on the Beaufort Range in the last days of June 2004. Hiking at a leisurely steady pace taking two long breaks in the hot sun it still took only 10 hrs from start to finish. Next time I'm planning to do the whole range starting by going up Mt Clifton then on to Chief Frank over to Tsable....Apps then continuing on to Squarehead and finishing off at Mt Joan. Then limping down the standard trail to the East Coast for a pick-up. Has anyone done this route in one day? I'd be interested in hearing from you
Click - 'Small Black/Yellow dot' to view photo taken from approx. location.
I apologize about the small size but it was needed so I could get it to fit
Starting point was the West ridge on Tsable, first off hike up steep slash for a short distance. From here the going is a bit easier but the grade is still a good pitch until you reach the summit ridge of Mt Tsable. Turn right and head East down towards a false summit, climb a short hill to it's cap while staying on the left side. The true summit is 100m to the South/East but head North down a steepish gully cutting slightly left up onto the long flat ridge that slowly leads up to Mt Stubbs. This is an enjoyable part of the route which offers great views of Beaufort Lake and also of the East coast Townships. Heading East descend gently down over rolling bluffs, lots of flowers surround you giving the ground lots of colour. At the base of Henry Spencer there's a bushy ramp heading up from the South side which offers a short climb on rock along with a couple of pull-ups. There is a small cairn along with a register on the summit of Henry Spencer but once taking a look at it I noticed it dos'nt see many visitors during the summer months. "Ken you better call Comox air force the're leaving behind those flare canister again :-)" The ridge now starts to head in a South/Easterly direction the going is fairly straight forward down to Rosemary Lake. There's two ways to go here, I choose to stay on the North/East side which head into the trees for a short distance while wrapping around a bump, before dropping down to the Lake. The other way follows the South ridge which quickly turns East before descending to the Lakes South side. It's a bit longer this way but you will get to stay out of the trees, plus it looks like you'd get good views to boot. Hiking around the Lakes North shore head up the obvious gully staying slightly to you're right to gain the West Ridge up to Tumble Water peak. While hiking up the ridge look left, there is a really cool looking lake hidden in a narrow Cir que at the base of Tumble Waters North side. From here there are only two more peaks left to bag but be warned they are larger than the rest and require a bit more thinking and effort to make them enjoyable to hike up and over. Here you can easily venture too far left or right which would really put a damper on things and possibly turn into a big ordeal. "Know where you're going at all times" Coming off Tumble Water head East across a fair sized ridge, stay on the left side of the first hump then up and over the second. There are great views of Tumble Water Meadows here so hopefully the weather is clear for you. Now at the base of the rock bluff we did a switch backed by heading up a South ramp. This looked like to me the easiest way up onto the main ridge. Heading East over easy terrain the ridge then turns North/East which host some small rock bluffs to climb over before it leveling out a bit just before Mt Cameron's summit. Descending of this summit can been tricky, so over the years I have found a fairly straight forward route off, with minimal bush belays. First follow a small creek draw which heads South/East down over a few steps towards the start of the East ridge. Here you'll reach a small hanging meadow now turn right and head East towards the middle of it you should find a steep treed gully. If you're in the right one it will take you directly to a small lake below. Hike left up and wrap around a small hill to reach the ridge running over to Mt Apps. Soon you'll run into the odd piece of flagging and a worn-out trail. I've heard the trail comes up from the Alberni side somewhere but never bothered to go down it and find out. Following it should take you up to Zela Lake then onto the Apps's summit, at the time there was still too much snow. I've always found it best to stay to the South side just below ridge top for as long as possible then head up to ridge top. Other wise you could find your self going up and over house sized boulders covered in thick bush. As always I headed up to soon so a bit of bush was encountered before reaching Zela Lake "Oh Well". From here it's a "Walk in the Park" the trail is well worn and easy to stay on. A quick jaunt up to Apps's South summit then it was down the main trail to the logging road to where our pick-up was.
How to get To Mt Tsable Leaving from Port Alberni, drive towards the end of Beaver Creek rd and follow the road right onto Sommers rd. at the Trout pond turn left and stay on main logging road and head up the Valley Link Hwy (gravel). At km9 the rd turns sharply left and drives over Lanterman ck, a 1km further on take a right and then another right at the next intersection stay on this rd for another 4/5 km looking for a right turn that heads immediatly uphill called Branch 116. You will need a good two wheel drive vehicle or 4x4 to be able gain access to the far end of the road system. The spur rd you need to get on will take you up to the headwaters of Katlum ck, park just before the road crosses Katlum creek. The bridge has been removed so a 4x4 would be needed to drive to the end of the road. This would make for an easy hike up Mt Clifton or Chief Frank.
How to get To Mt Apps Starting from the Port Alberni Info Center To Mnt. Apps parking spot is approx. 43 kms. First drive down Johnson st hill to River rd turn right and cross over a small bridge, veer right just before the Petro-Can now drive north west for 18 kms to the far end of Beaver creek follow through the right turn onto Sommers rd and stay on it for 2 kms then take a left onto a main logging rd. Stay on this main line for 9kms and take a sharp 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.
Hope you enjoyed reading this the route description it has been on my to do list for a while... now the whole range.