Chasing the Falls (West Coast Trail 2015 - Day 4)

Day 4 - Tuesday, August 24, 2015
Route: Cribs Creek (KM 41) to Tsuiat Falls (KM 25)
Distance: 16 km
Start Time: 9:30am

With today’s hike at roughly 17 km to Tsuiat Falls, it was going to be one of the longest hike in terms of distance.  We also had to contend with the fact there was a "no drinking water" advisory for the next 13 kilometres.  All the creeks were completely tapped out due to the extremely dry summer. So definitely a few challenges ahead, but nothing we couldn't handle.

Leaving Cribs Creek, the terrain was fairly steady. Even the beach wasn’t so bad with only having to walk mainly on rock and shale. From KM 38 on, the path was quite easier than the past few days with only flat terrains and newly constructed boardwalks.  So new you could even smell the cedar as you walk past it.  There was even a helicopter was air lifting fresh piles of wood onto the trail.

Past all the construction, we soon arrived at Nitinaht Lake, known to most hikers as the Crab Shack! Unlike the Burger Shack, this place served food that was no more than 20 mins old.  Here we had the option of a salmon filet w/ a baked potato or the popular choice of dungeness crab ($25).  They usually have other seafood items on the menu pending on the day and what's been caught.  Beers ($7) and bags of chips ($1) are also offered, but not as extensive as Chez Monique's.  If crab happen to be your food of choice, you'll likely see your crab pulled out of the "trap", gutted, and brought to the kitchen for a boil bath!  Those of us who did choose the crab didn't have any regrets, some of us took our time dissecting and savouring it, others wasted no time in chowing down.  Either way, the crab was definitely worth the purchase!

With our seafood cravings satisfied, it was time to hit the road.  To get back on the trail, we would have to cross the Nitinaht Narrows using the ferry service from the Crab Shack.  Once we got back to it, the trail was back to the familiar terrain we all loved to hate, which meant climbing up and down steep hills.  So we didn’t hesitate to get on the beach the first chance we got.  Back to the beach, we also encountered another landmark at the Tsuiat Point, otherwise known as the “Hole in the Wall”, which literally was a hole in the wall. Definitely a great resting stop to cool off from the sun.

From there we continued on the beach to Tsuiat Falls.  This would be my favourite campsite of the WCT.  We found a VIP spot with a neat campfire set up and right next to the falls.  The waterfall is also a great place to take a dip and a quick shower, especially after walking in the scorching sun.  The only negative aspect to the campground would be the only clean water source coming from the waterfall itself, so it wasn't easy gathering water compared to the creeks from previous campsites, but it was still manageable.  It even gave Dustin the opportunity to use his rain gear for the first time when collecting water at night.  

Throughout the beach, it was evident that there were a lot of buoys carved out by past hikers.  So Brock to it upon himself to personalize our own buoy.  We wanted to immortalize our legacy on the WCT, so it was decided to carve out "Furious 7".  "Furious" since we were all a pretty fast and determined group since we passed and overtook a lot of hiker on the ahead of us on the trail, plus there were seven of us, so it made sense to be the Furious Seven!