Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to Find Mt. DeCosmos' Summit

Poor quality pano from the top...1st and 2nd Lakes 4000 odd ft below...(Click to enlarge all images)
We were up on the Mt DeCosmos roads around mid-July for the second time when we rode up the second lower summit as far as roads would take us.  Not enough--we've wanted to get right up to the summit and look over the other side at the Nanaimo Lakes for quite some time now.  So, this was today's plan:  Follow much of our July route and hike to the summit.

The route:

1.  Entered the Lantzville Foothills roads through the Harwood Drive Workaround and followed the beaten path to Bonnell Main (Sundew Main)
2.  Left turn to join the main logging roads (Bonnell)
3.  Round Lake and Kidney Lake area
4.  Left onto Branch 142 towards Boomerang Lake
5.  Right turn after Boomerang
6.  Turned right on the "Power Line Trail"
7.  Exit left towards Mt. DeCosmos (see photo directly below for additional details).
8.  Through "ThE HeLLeVaToR" trail... (bwaaaaahahahaha), then turn left on DeCosmos roads.  (Actually, the trail leading towards the "Hellevator" suits the name better.  We've tamed this hell spawn wannabe--little softy satanic trail that it is....pffff).
9.  End of second summit road.  Parked and turned left to hike up the slope to the top.
10.  Not a bad hike.  We had to stop a few times to catch our breath, but it was fairly easy going for the most part.  Bring water! 
11.  Stopped for a while at the transmitter that sits at the summit.
12.  Lots of trees to hike around to find the good viewpoints of the Nanaimo Lakes.  We found a couple of rock outcrops that get past most of the trees.  Photos below ;)
13.  Retraced our steps to the Alternate Tank Traps.  (This route has recently become usable again after two recent dig up sessions by the logging company)  Works for now, but get in quick folks, because when they find out...
14.  From Doumont to the Black Bear Pub to celebrate our victory!

Some additional details for left turn at location #7

Colour Coded Altitude Track:  Range = 103.5 m to 1331.6 m (339.6 ft to 4368.77 ft)  
Google Earth Screen Capture Showing Elevation Profile (Click for Better Detail)

Here's a GoogleEarth flyover video of the route.

Here's a "fly on the map" 100x animation of this track.  I left the GPS sitting a couple of times, so you'll have to be patient with the occasional 100x wait.  ;)

Looking Back Towards Okay Mountain from DeCosmos 2nd Summit


Some guy who was working on the transmitter

Looking SE towards First Lake
Clearer View:  SE Towards First Lake
Looking NE Towards the Winchelsea Island Group 
"Crash Corner" is directly above the "NE" in the above caption...Our first attempt at summiting DeCosmos left me with months of physiotherapy, and Andy with a damaged bike...You can read about that and see the route here...De Cosmos, De Crash and De Lesson...  You cannot get to this peak from the Crash Corner route (without a fair hike), but it's just possible you might be able to hike up to the "other" DeCosmos peak from the end of that road.

The Park 'N' Climb Spot...  Ready to Head Back
Shots of the riding conditions and what you can expect to encounter (surface quality and terrain) referring to numbers from the map:

Above - Between 6 and 7: The hydro-line trail was as usual dry and easy

Between 7 and 8 - Above and below - the trail connecting the hydro lines to the Hellevator can be fast and smooth, but is littered with boulders from winter runoff.  It seems longer every time we ride it!

Between 8 and 9: this gate was open in July.  The workaround is simple - the strange little gatekeeper sliding down the bank from his cave on high - directed us to the workaround (he's standing on it).  As we rode around, he slapped his leg and laughed, explaining that the joke was on us, as the gate wasn't locked!  "What's the point?!" we retorted.  He simply placed his index finger to his temple and replied cryptically that, "Tim Berwest works in mysterious ways."
Close to 9: almost there.  Look at that surface!  Dirt bike Nirvana!
8...Descending the Hellevator...You may be able to click and improve resolution, by clicking the settings button...

Track available HERE.
Fantastic ride!  If you decide to follow our track, make sure you wear a bright orange shirt so you can attract as many wasps as possible while on the summit.  This is particularly important if you want wasps to cluster around your sandwich and water bottle.  ;)

His nibs, replete in luminous orange insect attracting shirt (snicker), directing wasps, horse flies and various other biting insects to "Sit".  It must be the altitude.
EDIT:     Ah, here we are.  The proof:  "I command you to SIT!"

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