Assault on Benson: Too Much Snow!

Ryan, Allan and I ventured up Mount Benson again this Sunday with the expectation of a little bit more snow on the top. There wasn’t a little bit more snow on the top. There was a lot more snow on the top. Erik and I, powered through what was there last weekend to reach the summit, but today it was a tougher climb.

The snow started about half way up and quickly covered the trail. We didn’t get into the deeper stuff until we reached the clearing and viewpoint at about 3/4. After that it was a slog to get up through the snow. Near the top it was almost impossible to get through the thick white stuff without sliding back 2 steps first. We had to switch off lead after a bit after I quickly burnt through the last of my energy. Ryan had his dog stuffed in the top of his jacket for the last kilometer of the hike because she was cold but he still kept on trucking up the hill.

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The photo above was was near the top. I took a photo of the same tree just one week ago with hardly any snow around it. It’s the first photo from our first Benson Assault.

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Near the top we popped out above the clouds and basked in the sunshine. Everyone else in Nanaimo saw a grey and rainy day. Ryan, Allan and I were getting a tan on the top of Benson!

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Snow Over Nanaimo

With all the fresh snow in the past few days, there were no tracks to be seen when we got to the top. The clouds that were sitting over Nanaimo gave a strange perspective from Benson at only 1028 meters.

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We headed back down the other side of the summit, down the Te’tuxw’ton Trail. This is my favorite part of the trail, especially heading up. Part of the way down we veered off on a steepcut that lead down back to the other trail we came up on. I had no idea there was going to be so much snow on this part of the trail. It was more than a meter in some sections and slowed our progress considerably. Every step, we sank to our hips and then wrestled with the snow to get out of the whole. I ended up sliding down the snow face first for part of it and then just crawling along the flat sections. It’s definitely time for snowshoes!

0 thoughts on “Assault on Benson: Too Much Snow!”

  1. Thanks for your website. Mt Benson was the first mountain I ever climbed a way back in 1968. We walked all the way the road going around the south flank of the mountain into the area between Mt Benson and Blackjack ridge and straight the back side. It was the middle of winter and very cold and windy up top.Later on we learned of the trails going up the front (facing Nanaimo) but we also bushwhacked the southeast flank. At any rate thanks for your memories reminding me.john

    1. Thanks for the comment John! Mount Benson is a great place to play. It was cold and windy the one time I’ve been up the backside. Almost a blizzard on top that day! You’ve been through Roberts Roost to the southeast then?

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