Location: Comox-Strathcona, Vancouver Island
Distance: 12 km (return)
Elevation Gain: 600
Recommended Time: 1 Day
Month Completed: March
From Highway 19 turn right at the lights onto Piercy Road. After a few hundred meters take another right onto Forbidden Plateau Road, follow this road for a few Kilometers until ends in the parking lot of the old Forbidden Ski Area.
About the Trail
The Forbidden Plateau Ski area is an abandoned ski area, it’s been closed since 1999. The final demise was the collapse of the lodge roof under the weight of heavy snow. It’s surprising and a even bit spooky to see the ancient ski lifts with chairs still strung up in the above after being closed for nearly two decades.
Today the ski area offers incredible backcountry opportunities to skiers, snowboarders and Snowshoers alike. The trail is of moderate difficulty and there really are endless possibilities for ski runs.
On the particular day I chose to do this with a few friends, I followed the trail on a Backcountry Ski setup while my friends hiked in snowshoes. The trail to the summit of Mt. Becher is a moderate hike with periods of gentle elevation gains, followed by traversing trail. On a clear day the view from the top offers views of the Comox area, Mt Albert Edward and the Mount Washington ski resort.
Ski Touring Possibilities
It was a bluebird day with a very fresh coat of powder. My only regret on this day is that it was indeed a day trip. With a good weather forecast insight it would be fantastic to plan to setup a base camp near the summit of Mt. Becher. From the summit of Mount Becher a trip could be made across Paradise Meadows to the Mt. Washington Ski Resort.
Most of the terrain in this area is quite simple, making it a good choice on big snow days. While the trail to the summit generally follows safe terrain, going off piste should always be done with proper avalanche training, gear and Avalanche bulletins should be reviewed.