24-May-2011 -- I stayed in Vancouver BC to attend the IARS 2011 annual meeting and report results of our team on the Sunday, 22 May session. I allowed me a few days more to visit both British Columbia and Washington state with my wife Antonella. This was a perfect occasion to make some tries on CP in the Northwestern area. The story begins at 48°N 122°W, then goes through 50°N 123°W and 49°N 124°W and ends at 48°N 123°W.
After our failed try on 50°N 123°W we were highly motivated to succeed on this point on Tuesday, 24 May. We choose this point because after reading the previous reports we were strucked by the fact that reaching the CP seemed impossible by the south side of the river while quite easy to hit by a northern approach. Studying the Google Earth pictures couldn’t give us a clear evidence to understand this fact so we planned to make a try on both sides on the same day.
After crossing the Georgia straight from Horseshoe bay to Nanaimo, we went to Ladysmith for lunch and decided to start our plan by the south approach. We found easily the lumber track operated by the TimberWest company which led us right beneath the electrical line on the south side of the river. We parked our car at 780 m of the CP which was indicated full north by our GPS. We walked 400 m in the direction indicated and were stopped by a cliff overlooking the river by 100 m. We made a few tries to find out an easier way to get on the river shore but had to give up for safety reasons. Access to the river by that approach should be done with at least a climbing rope and helmets because the rocks in the cliff are very unstable.
We then decided to go down to Cassidy and try to reach the CP from the north side, once again with absolutely no doubt on our eventual success. Once in Cassidy, we found the road crossing the railway and heading WSW easily (timberland road) and went on another TimberWest logging track wich seemed to lead so perfectly to the CP; we soon realized that we were engaged on a labyrintic web of still used or abandoned logging tracks that made our progression very slow. We couldn’t get closer to the CP than 1650 m although we had a clear sight on the electrical lines. At some point we decided to leave our car and scout our way on foot in the direction of the lines but were equally unsuccessful in discovering a track leading any closer to the point.
Having understood our mistake we decided to go back for a while in order to find the track described by Bob Grantham in his 2002 visit which seemed the only one that could lead us to the electrical lines, but without the help of a forester map we just couldn’t make it and decided to give up at 6 pm with one more failed try in Canada.
However, our day wasn’t finished and we had one more big surprise: getting down the logging road we found it closed at the TimberWest gate and realized that we were locked on the track with no way to get over the gate. After 3 interviews with local people passing on timberland road and one unsuccessful call to 911, we finally encountered someone that indicated us that there was a night watch man at the quarry we passed along 1 km before reaching the gate. We quickly went to the quarry and ultimately met Gary the night watch man who fortunately had the key of the gate and accepted to save us from a night in our car, waiting for the gate to open in the morning. Gary steadily refused any reward I offered him to express our gratitude, arguing that "something good" should happen to him shortly. He also refused to be photographed with us.
Relieved after all we drove to Victoria and spent the next day appreciating the wonderful Totem poles displayed at the Royal BC Museum.
So here’s our advice to all future CP hunters trying to hit this point: the road signs tell you something true: GATE CLOSED ANYTIME!