March to Moat Lake

I don’t know what was more difficult: the long hike out and back to Moat Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park, or sorting through the photographs this week. The hike was a physically draining 25+ km and by hour 8 I was literally dragging my feet from Croteau Lake down through Battleship and Paradise Meadows. The light was less than ideal so I ended up with only about 150 images by the end of the day. I’ve culled that down to less than 50 “good” images and am in middle of the tedious process of adjusting/correcting them. Adobe Lightroom┬áis extremely capable in this task, but I’m still learning how to use the software to its full advantage!

Fortunately, although the light was a bit flat, there were a few breaks in the clouds and the sun broke through in the afternoon. I spent the day experimenting with a polarizer lens and was pretty impressed with the results when photographing ponds and lakes, even with the flat light. I found that I had to underexpose by about 1 stop to get somewhat decent exposures, and with the Nikon D80 this meant noticeable grain was visible in full size images after making corrections to balance the exposure. Not so bad in smaller web images like the ones below.

Lake Helen MacKenzie Meadows
Meadows on the far side of Lake Helen MacKenzie.
Pond Near Circlet Lake
A pond near the trail junction to Circlet Lake and Moat Lake.
CDMC signs like this one pointing to Moat Lake seem to last much, much longer than BC Parks sign posts.
Cruikshank Canyon
Gorgeous views of the Cruikshank Canyon are possible from the trail to Moat Lake.
Dorothy Pond
Dorothy Pond, near Moat Lake, is a beautiful spot for an afternoon swim.
Moat Lake
Cabins owned by the Wood family on Moat Lake, Strathcona Provincial Park.

This hike was part of the summer programs delivered by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute and was guided by William Wright of the Comox District Mountaineering Club. If you’re looking to join a group for a backcountry hike, make sure to check out both of these non-profit organizations to find out about hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park.

I’ll be working through more of my images from this hike this weekend and hope to have a few more posts and a full gallery up at by the middle of next week.