With the early spring weather I decided to get hiking season off to a roaring start. Yesterday the February sun was brilliant in the morning, so very inviting! The day's meetings were cancelled or postponed. so I grabbed my gear and dashed down to the 9:50 mini-ferry from Langdale over to new Brighton, Gambier Island for a scamper up Mt Killam. My first Gambier hike was Mt Artaban in 1973 but i've never done Mt Killam. A while back Zelzkok posted a TR on this self same hill and I have since been inspired to get up there. Check out his excellent TR for great photos and good info
I made it up and back to the wharf by 3:15 so a little over a five hour round trip, with breaks. A pace that yielded some soreness at this early stage of the season. I was further motivated to check out this dominant island dome by reports from friends who have found access to the Trailhead confusing and in need of updates. Indeed the buzz of residential lot clearing, wood lot harvesting and new spur roads here and there make the route to the TH less than obvious. I have included pics of two GPX tracks overlain on Google earth images, in perspective and plan view, along with five numbered key photos indicating landmarks along the way. This should make things obvious. I'd be pleased to provide my GPX track to guide along the confusing maze of roads to the TH. Just message me and i'll send it.
Important to note the TH is at the gravel pit at the end of the forest road, several km from the dock. The TH is off to the left before the pit but it has been obliterated. The pics should make it clear. The trail is generally well blazed and ribboned. You will find it starts ABOVE the gravel pit following the ridge with the creek to your left. It soon meanders along the falling boundary of a small woodlot cutblock. This is a pain in the butt as windthrown trees, branches and deadfall impede your path for a few hundred meters.
You'll find this trail ambles for several km along the gravel road, then gently climbs for 1/2 km from the gravel pit, runs along some new road work, re-enters the forest and then veers left for a steady, sometimes steep climb to the top. Along the way you'll see the gargoyle stump (this is actually a 'live stump' where the cork cambium inner bark cells keep growing once the tree is cut). There is a nasty patch of blowndown timber, with piles of scrappy branches about 2/3 the way up the mountain. Go around this stuff.
The viewpoint prior to the summit affords superb views. The summit, some 20 min further is utterly unremarkable, being fully treed. There is a rock cairn there and what looks like a geocache. Other than that, not much else at the summit.
It was a fine, sunny day and the hike was grand.