Tennant Lake and Mt. Myra
23 February, 2015
Immediately following the surfing trip I headed back up island with Zev for some backpacking! We drove in through Myra Mine (about an hour past Campbell River) which in itself was interesting. Coming from Teck it was strange to see civilians driving alongside haul-trucks in order to access the provincial park.
We hiked into Tennant Lake which took us only a couple of hours of consistently steep slugging. The chosen camping spot was on a small land spit right below an old and now defunct helicopter landing pad. It drizzled a little bit throughout the evening but that didn't stop us from setting up camp quickly, exploring for a while and then making a delicious mashed potato, gravy and sausage meal. We turned in pretty early on which worked out well because a storm rolled in and absolutely pummelled us with rain all night long. Unfortunately the spot we had chosen for our tent flooded throughout the night and drenched most of our clothing, sleeping bags, and boots.
When we woke up we quickly realized we couldn't spend the planned second night in the soaked bags so we agreed to pack out after an attempt at the summit. We pulled on our wet boots and strapped our snow shoes to our back and headed towards Mt. Myra! It was a difficult steep hike which included some near-vertical rock faces and a fair share of rain and snow. The main route markers are rock cairns which popped up now and then but I imagine many of which were under the snow. After several hours of hard work we passed Sandbag Lake and reached a sub-peak. Our elevation was about 40 m short of the actual peak which we were looking across at.
At that point we were in a cloud, and getting hit pretty hard by the wind. We looked for a while but couldn't see an obvious and safe route to the actual summit. Unfortunately that meant turning back - a heartbreaking decision. I don't believe I've ever failed a summit attempt before so I was pretty disturbed by it, but as it turns out we hiked out and down to the car for 5:40pm - about 10 minutes after dusk.
All in, it was a phenomenal way to spend a few days with a motivated hiking partner! See photos below.