Perfect day for a hike

I have been planning to hike both Mt Tuam trails for a while and since I had to drive my son to work for 8am I thought today would be the day.  The weather this winter has been so mild that I knew there would be little to no snow up on top of Mt Tuam.  Here is the trail map I downloaded for the trip;  Mt Tuam.  By the time I found the trail head it was 9am.  Glad I left home early, with one little stop at Embe for a coffee and treat (hot out of the oven apple fritter).  The trail up the old logging road was really not that hard of a walk.   I made the first stop at the east navigation light.


I took this picture and put it on twitter saying if anyone (except @saltspringsoap ) knew where it was they would get a free coffee.  Of course Gary @saltspringsoap  tweeted the location.  Gary does a lot of local hiking and never misses a chance to get a free coffee.

Farther up the logging road I came across what appeared to be airplane wreckage.  See photos below.  June really despises my liking of the TV show Mayday I’m actually not sure why I like it but do find it interesting.  The amazing thing about hiking on Salt Spring is one usually gets cell phone coverage.  With a quick google I found out about a crash on Mt Tuam but it was not this wreckage I was looking at.  Here is the page I found TSB Aviation Investigation Report   the crash site in the report was farther up the hill and not the parts I was looking at.  These parts seem bigger and heavy they might not be airplane parts.   Will have to do a bit more research on this crash which I have done and updated this page.  The parts are from a crash on Oct. 4, 1942­ when P/O Norris Thomas, RAF, (THOMAS_NORRIS age 27 )  died, alone, when his Hampden crashed and burned on Mount Tuam.  Here is a cutaway drawing of a Hampden, note the parts around the motor;  Also during WW2  on Jan. 14­, 1944 – Sgt. Pilot H.C. Birch, RAFVR, (BIRCH_HAROLD_CHARLES age 19) flew another Hampden AN136 into Mount Tuam, this one struck at the 1500-foot level, Salt Spring Island ­within 500 yards of Hampden AN 105.  hampden cutaway


I made this video as a November remembrance video for PO Norris Thomas

So with a new goal to find the crash site of the Cessna I was back on the trail.   It did take a long time of bushwhacking to find the crash site.  At the site I did pay respect to both young pilots who perished in the crash of 1998.  So sad to read that they were so young.   Most of the site has been cleaned off here are a couple of photos of the wreckage; Here is a pdf copy of the crash report a98p0303 .  To me this is a grave site of types and I did not remove any items.

After leaving the crash site I headed for the docking site.  You know where the mother ship makes contact with Salt Spring.  Do you think I’m making this up?  It’s true or at-least I have been told it’s true.  Tell me does this look like the mother ship docking site:


Not that I’m an expert on UFOs and or believe in them but I would not want to be up here during an electric storm.

The view is worth the hike, from the summit of Mt Tuam, one can see forever.


I could have taken a few more panorama shots but with the price if film and all.  One can see from Vancouver – Victoria and to Vancouver Island.  It really is amazing to see.

Finally after a long hike I took a break.


Good thing I had my backpack full of good trail food.  It was such a treat to have a day off and enjoy the island.  After 14 years I’m still finding new places to go and new adventures on Salt Spring.

If you want to do this hike here is the screen shot of “My Tracks” app I used on my phone.

Mt Tuam route

Cheers Scott Simmons

Below are snippets from the local paper on the crash of the bomber.

comment on selling of plane by gov Norris grave write up Driftwood Article Nov 5 75 mt tuam engine recovery 1976 picture of engine 1976

After doing some more research I found out that what was left of the aircraft on Mt Tuam was removed from the island and ended up in Langley BC at the Canadian Museum of flight.   The museum used the parts from the Salt Spring aircraft as parts to rebuild a aircraft pulled from the ocean.  At the museum they have one of the only intact Hampden aircraft in the world.  Here are some photos of it.


  1. Scott Collins says

    As one Scott to another I am hopeful you can share the GPS track from your phone with me? I am interested in repeating this hike but the link you provided to the Tuam?mode=embedded site, the UTM coordinates listed there are all wrong or systematically in error, I am not sure which. I tried correcting them using Google Earth but I am not sure they are right. Can you assist?

    Thanks….Scott c.

    • Hi Scott Not sure if I can figure out how to share the gps track from my phone with you.

      • Scott Collins says


        Have never used this app so I am not sure. Wikipedia says you can export saved data in .gpx format using this app but how to do that I can’t say. If you figure it out, just e-mail me the .gpx file and I will upload it onto my GPS.

        Thanks….Scott C.

  2. The UFO docking station is the Victoria VOR to help aircraft navigate.

    • Yes good point Ken and as matter of fact after PO Norris Thomas crashed on 4 Oct 42 one recommendation from the court of enquiry was install a light on top of all local mountains. Thanks for you comment Ken. Sometimes I wonder if anyone reads anything much on my site.

  3. Note that this top part of the mountain is owned by the federal government is access is restricted to the public because of the installations. There are also a significant amount of species at risk on this Gary Oak Meadow, including many mosses, lichens and plants. If you have questions as to where public are allowed on the mountain, please contact the Salt Spring Island Conservancy.

    • That is such a lame comment Karen. Do you really think the federal government should crack down on hikers! Hikers are usually the ones who are out there in nature and see the maniacs in their ATV or 4×4 chewing up the country side.

  4. Dylan kress says

    The Cessna plane crash . My uncle was co-pilot. They were flying the globe and mail news papers . Please do not remove any items from that crash site

    • Yes, I agree with you fully on that, no one should ever pick at the parts, its a gravesite. It would be nice to put a small plack up there in honor of them. If you are ever out this way and want to go up there and can not find it let me know, sorry for your loss. Scott.

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