Got a morning free from construction activities here on Vancouver island. Decided to head out for an 8:00 a.m. start on the 5.7 km one-way Mt Mark Horne Lake hustle trail, not far from Qualicum Beach, on the shores of Horne Lake. Haven't been up to the summit for seriously 40 years when there was no trail and we bushed whacked from the north side. Now they tell me there's a great trail on the south side! So I checked it out. The trail's horrible but the views are incredible. Fortunately this miserable path is not very long, although your knees will feel like you put 25 km into them.
Parked at 8:00 a.m. at the gate, 3 km hike up a thankfully shaded forest road to the start of the "Horne Lake hustle". This is a trail that's has been put in over the last decade or so by some local smartypants who find humor and joy in scampering straight up a mountainside in hot dusty conditions where you can tumble down, break your neck and enjoy every moment.
Perhaps it was the day. it was excruciatingly hot even though it was shaded. The trail so dry and loose on the steep section that every foot placement resulted in a face full of moldy smelling dust.
Thankfully on the 1.5 km of approximately 50% grade steep climb, local merciful trail junkies have placed a half dozen rope sections to assist in the nasty grunt up the hill. Believe me, you need them. You also need gloves or you'll burn your hands raw on the way down.
Word to the wise, if you don't feel like busting your can right to the summit where the views are outstanding. At about the 4 km mark, 70% of the way up the trail and having captured most of the elevation gain, there is a beautiful viewpoint on a bluff called Benji's bluff. The views from here are almost as good as from The Summit. Great place for a snack or lunch and a turnaround if you're pressed for time.
I will go back and do this sometime on a crisp cold fall day but as a hot summer hike it stinks.