This introduction to backcountry travel samples some of the best Strathcona Provincial Park has to offer. With a multi-day sea kayak trip on glacier-carved lakes, hikes into Vancouver Island’s backcountry and an introduction to rock climbing at Strathcona Park Lodge, campers will challenge themselves, and learn to be comfortable and self-sufficient in the backcountry.
After arriving at Strathcona you’ll meet your fellow Expedition members and your instructors. The instructors will show you around the Lodge and will play some fun games so everyone can get to know each other. You’ll also begin planning your Expedition. Dinner is in the Whale Room, our dining hall, and you’ll spend the night at the Lodge’s base camp.
Start the day with a challenge! You are going rock climbing, to learn the basics of climbing, knot tying, rope systems, safety equipment and rappelling. Getting off the ground and reaching the top will require trust and perseverance. The feeling of accomplishment at the top is matched by the adrenaline of rappelling back down. In the afternoon you’ll head down to the water to be introduced to sea kayaking skills, strokes and rescues in preparation for your kayak expedition. Eat and base camp at the lodge.
After a hearty breakfast you’ll pack your sea kayak and head out on your great adventure.
Over the next four days you’ll explore Upper Campbell and Buttle lakes. You might take side trips into the river mouths, or look for the perfect swimming spot, or you may just lay back and float enjoying mountain rimmed lakes. A highlight of this expedition is a day hike through the pristine Tlools Valley where you will attempt to reach spectacular Mia falls. Tlools is a wild and rugged old growth valley, home to abundant wildlife. By the last few days you and your group will become self sufficient, you’ll be taking over the decision making from your instructors, you’ll navigate, pick campsites, set up camp, prepare meals and light fires. A celebratory dinner and last night with your group rounds out your WYLD experience.
On your final day enjoy your closing ceremony and the encouraging feedback from your instructors. It is also time to clean up, pack up and finally head home knowing you have accomplished more than you likely thought possible; proud of your new skills, increased confidence and shared memories.