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Snowshoe up the CPR Arrowsmith Trail
Timestamp Free: 2020.03.28 - 08:52:34
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Insular Mountains / Vancouver Island Ranges
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 780m
Participants: Lucas Earl, Doug Hopwood
Difficulty: 2: Unbroken trail difficult to follow higher up
Hike and snowshoe up the CPR Trail, to the lookout
Weather: Cool, upslope clouds with clear skies above

After our Christmas Eve trip to Lake Helen Mackenzie my Uncle and I decided to get out for one more outing before I returned to Seattle to start my new job. We settled on the old CPR Trail up Mount Cokely, which was nearby Qualicum Beach and would at least offer some views part way up if we didnít end up making the top of Cokely.

So we headed out Hwy. 4, parking at the summer lot adjacent to Cameron Lake. In warmer months this spot is often overflowing onto the road, but early on a December morning it was mostly empty. Before heading uphill we got a couple of good pictures across the lake, with the winter sun just hitting the higher slopes even at 10:30 in the morning.

[photo]01_IMG_3765.jpg[caption]Morning on Cameron Lake[/photo]

We hitched our snowshoes to our packs--the trail was snowfree at the relatively low 200 m elevation of the trailhead--crossed the highway and started up the old logging road that forms the start of the CPR Trail. The route is marked with easy to follow green signs, as well as orange arrows. Soon we met the end of the logging road and the real trailhead, which was marked by a new looking informational sign about the regional park that protects Mounts Cokely and Arrowsmith. The sign stated it should take about 2 hrs to get to the lookout.

[photo]02_IMG_3772.jpg[caption]Map on trailhead sign[/photo]

From here we headed uphill, around the corner in the very dark McBey Creek valley. In the summer this is no doubt a respite from the heat, but in December it meant there was no sun to be found and it was generally pretty dark under the second growth trees. I was ahead of my Uncle a bit when I reached the nice bridge across McBey Creek (to...

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