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New Skyline Traverse on Vancouver Island’s Mariner Mountain

Danny O’Farrell is a biologist who lives in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. For the past few months, he has been doing research for the Ahousaht First Nations Fisheries department at the head of Bedwell Sound. While conduction juvenile salmon research, he noticed a ridge on Mariner Mountain that cut across the sky.

He joined forces with Chris Jensen and established Owinmitisaht Ha’houlthee Ridge, which is named in respect to the Ahousaht First Nation Traditional Territory who lived within that area “since the dawn of time,” as O’Farrell said. Jensen and O’Farrell loaded their gear on a boat and were dropped off on a dock below Mariner on the first weekend of May.

On the first ascent of Owinmitisaht Ha’houlthee Ridge on Mariner Mountain. Photo Danny Of'Farrell
On the first ascent of Owinmitisaht Ha’houlthee Ridge. Photo Danny Of’Farrell

“We stepped on to the dock and then headed up the Bedwell Trail past Noble Creek, where we started up the eastern ridge,” O’Farrell said. “We then found lots of third and fourth class terrain with some fifth up to 5.6.” After 600 metres of rock, they traversed along the ridge toward the summit.

Owinmitisaht Ha’houlthee Ridge. Photo Danny Of'Farrell
Owinmitisaht Ha’houlthee Ridge. Photo Danny Of’Farrell

The rock quality was great for the alpine,” said O’Farrell. “Once the continuous ridge ran out we then headed on snow over to the main summit and climbed the south face to the top. It was an amazing trip, highly recommended for the adventurous type. Thanks to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort for the help along the way.”

The 5.7 skyline traverse took O’Farrell and Jenson three days to complete. O’Farrell said that he has a number of other big island objectives that require a boat to access.

On top of Mariner Mountain. Photo Danny O'Farrell
On top of Mariner Mountain. Photo Danny O’Farrell