West Coast Trail with 9 and 11 year old - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2018, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Default West Coast Trail with 9 and 11 year old

I’m considering the west coast trail next year with my kids who wil be 9 and 11 next year at the time of the hike.

My question is is this a good idea?

My daughters have done a lot of Rockies hiking Berg Lake at 5, Skoki at 6, Mt Assiniboine this past summer so she can hike multiple days of 15km per day with 600m or so of elevation. From reading trip reports this is far more experience than most Adults on the trail.

My only real concern is exposure on the ladders and getting into cable cars.

What are people’s who have done the trails thoughts?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2018, 10:57 AM
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A few suggestions Greg:
1. Pick a historically dry period (mid July to Mid August)
2. Do some ladder work with packs before you go with the kids to build their confidence and your sense of how they might handle the rungs.
3. Go North to South so that by the time you get to Tsusiat Falls, you have a sense of how much rigour they can tolerate (given the last portions are the most challenging heading to Renfrew/Gordon River) and turn around if needed returning North on the easier part of the trek. (Alternately enter at Nitinat and simply go North only)
4. I have seen many younger hikers with parents and never had one say they regretted taking them and assisted one family by stepping up and doing a cable car crossing with one of their kids as I was hiking it solo.
5. Go for it!
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2018, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input

I like the idea of practicing ladders with pack so on to get them (a me as well) used to it with packs on.

I didn’t think of the turn around option of North to south. I was thinking of doing it that way so my food weight will have dropped before the more difficult sections but having that’s as a bailout is a good idea.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 12:32 PM
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If you do a daytrip to Bamfield you can hike onto the trail and experience some ladders without a permit. They won't be as big as some later but likely enough to give you a good idea. You'll find in general the ladders aren't at a very steep angle (except the one at the south trail head) so it's not that scary with a pack
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2018, 03:23 PM
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Your kids sound more than ready. I did the WCT at 12 the first time and we did the JFT a few yrs ago with our 4.5 and 6 yr olds. There should be no problem with the cable cars. make sure everyone keeps their hands away from the cable wheels while in motion. I know someone who got a finger caught. OUCH!! If you cross first, you can help pull them from the platform. Don't worry about the ladders. If they feel they can't make one of the ladders with their pack you will have to make multiple trips. plan a couple short days with more chill/beach time. It is worth it!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg1920 View Post
Iím considering the west coast trail next year with my kids who wil be 9 and 11 next year at the time of the hike.

My question is is this a good idea?

My daughters have done a lot of Rockies hiking Berg Lake at 5, Skoki at 6, Mt Assiniboine this past summer so she can hike multiple days of 15km per day with 600m or so of elevation. From reading trip reports this is far more experience than most Adults on the trail.

My only real concern is exposure on the ladders and getting into cable cars.

What are peopleís who have done the trails thoughts?

You may want to check with Parks Canada as there used to be a minimum age for the West Coast Trail (12 if I recall). When we did the trail in 2015 there was a pair of 13 year olds doing it with their dads and they handled it just fine. It will be even easier now with the new bridge at Logan Creek. I'm hoping to take my kids in a couple years when they are 12-13
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 04:58 PM
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The minimum age is actually 6, but the recommended age is 12
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Lythe View Post
The minimum age is actually 6, but the recommended age is 12

That would explain where I got the age 12 from
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-17-2018, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymcdonald78 View Post
You may want to check with Parks Canada as there used to be a minimum age for the West Coast Trail (12 if I recall). When we did the trail in 2015 there was a pair of 13 year olds doing it with their dads and they handled it just fine. It will be even easier now with the new bridge at Logan Creek. I'm hoping to take my kids in a couple years when they are 12-13
Is the Logan Creek bridge done? Only sketchy part of the trail when we did it in June, but added to the trail. New suspension bridge was like 20% completed when we were there.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 09-18-2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by russellcoffin View Post
Is the Logan Creek bridge done? Only sketchy part of the trail when we did it in June, but added to the trail. New suspension bridge was like 20% completed when we were there.

The original bid called for it to be completed before end of September, but I haven't seen any updates on its current status
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2018, 04:11 PM
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they're putting a suspension bridge at Logan Creek? I thought the little narrow bridge was fine at Logan and the big ladders were fun. IMHO the ladders are a welcome bit of civilized hiking; pleasant short breaks from the sketchy muddy gnarl. Injuries seem a constant threat scrambling on elevated logs, slippery roots, slippery beach boulders, steep muddy banks and decrepit remains of 'boardwalks.' But ladders, I like em.
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