Island News & Views
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General · 22nd June 2009
Lannie Keller
A few weeks ago twelve fortunate individuals discovered first hand why Bute inlet is worth protecting. Some Friends of Bute Inlet spent two days exploring the Homathco valley, gazing on mountain vistas as spectacular as any in the world. Everywhere we looked there was more natural beauty: lush valleys, tremendous waterfalls, hanging glaciers – and Mt. Waddington, BC’s highest peak. Our trip from Campbell River was very comfortable aboard the 12 passenger water taxi from Steep Island Resort. Along the route we enjoyed glimpsing a variety of wildlife, including bears and a large pod of Dall’s porpoises that entertained us – also teasing the photographers in our midst! As we neared the head of the inlet the glacial turquoise of the ocean changed to brown, laden with with glacial silt carried by the spring freshet. We waited a few minutes for the tide to allow safe passage 2 km up-river to the Homathco Camp Logging Camp, a rustic facility with full amenities and tons of coastal character!
Departing from the camp, experienced mountain guides Rob and Laurie Wood, and Chuck Burchill, congenial host and longtime Bute resident, directed our adventures on foot and by truck. On excursions along old logging roads (propose to become three-lanes wide) we saw the remains of avalanches and rock slides, witnessed the natural power of the Tekahame, Homathco, Hekamie and Jewakwa rivers, and listened to the stories and wisdom of old-timers who know the area and some of its idiosyncrasies... We saw some of the GE and Plutonic proposed infrastructure sites and places where the rivers will be diverted. We hiked to viewpoints and saw some of the rugged terrain and unstable slopes that will threaten Plutonic’s roads, turbines and transmission lines. We experienced the beauty and immensity of the area, envisioned the tremendous power of the elements – and now understand first-hand why this project will probably not succeed.
Back at camp we relaxed in comfort, we ate well, and we slept soundly under the lovely quilts made during quiet winter months by Sheron, hostess and camp chef. With departures from Campbell River and Quadra Island, similar trips to ButeInlet are planned bi-weekly throughout this summer: two full days of adventure, including round-trip water taxi, guided daytrips, camp meals and accommodation costs $350 per person. For dates and more information see http://steepisland.com Questions and reservations, please contact Jon or Chantal at infosteepisland.com or 250-830-8179