Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mid Vancouver Island, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, imitation jogging
Kanyaurat: Thank you for your interesting and extensive response. Like you I have yet to do Nootka but it is in the top 3 of my bucket list (and our group has it pencilled in as our 2018 feature hike). I will do the WCT for the 10th time this summer. Sometimes it has been great weather and sometimes...not so much. The NCT for me, but based on my only time doing it the first year it opened, was harder. I am going to do it as well this summer so I will have another chance to compare the two. What follows concerns only the North Coast Trail
- When we did it the first time, some of our group, those with shorter legs had trouble with the steps cut in logs etc.
- Some of the route was guess work but I expect now years later, it will be apparent. At one point, three groups converged and all of us were off the track apparently
- Tides held us up twice. It was a first time hiking with some in our group so we initially overestimated our pace and thus got pinched by tides
- Some of the ropes and headlands were challenging safety wise versus the mud baths the trail had in common with the WCT
- The biggest surprises were the need to carefully plan water sources and the steeply sloped beaches with rocks/large pebbles
- We covered it in 7 days opting to take a day off on day 4 (after the hard stuff had been done) and a day to read books, make a steam sauna, and generally bask in SUNSHINE. The sun was a nice surprise for sure.
It may seem simplistic, but I think all of these hikes, Nootka, WCT and NCT are worthy of at least one experience and the fact we are able to discuss them and compare them tells just how fortunate we are to have these fantastic options available to us.