Thursday, August 22, 2013

Alpine hikes

Since Erin goes back to the city soon,
we've been making an effort to get out
into the wilderness for some big hikes.
We met a lot of pikas on yesterday's Alps Alturas Trail. 
Fiona is amazing. All 70 pounds of her.
Five hundred metres elevation gain?
A thousand? No problem! (Not that she
doesn't sometimes lose heart, or complain of
being tired. But don't we all? And she gets
to the top anyway.)
The best part is the excitement of seeing what's at the end of
the trail. Usually snow, and a basin of some sort. Wonderful
clear water. A stark world that feels near the sky.
Sophie, exploring the edge of an alpine lake, in front of
some watermelon snow.
We could actually smell the watermelon scent this time,
it was so concentrated. Chlamydomonus nivalis is the
name of the algae. 
Even amongst the rocks so near the sky, alpine
flowers flourish.
"Tourist heaven," Fiona pronounced.
The little lake seems to pour over the edge of the
world into the infinity of mountains beyond. 
Food for the summit: an absolute must. Caramel nut
brownie energy bars by Luna. Yup. Best summit food ever.

At this point Fiona thought the summit of the hike
was at that ridge a hundred metres up. How wrong
she was ... but she made it the extra 500 metres.
Truth be told, these girls ate their way to the top.
Huckleberry tongues.
Lyle Creek Basin. The most beautiful place ever.

The pour-over of the basin lake into Lyle Creek. The water
just disappears over the edge into ... nothing.

We got caught in nasty weather during one descent. We had a tarp
and jackets and could have stayed dry. But it was warm, and we were
feeling wild and crazy. We ran through the deluge, jumping smack
into the puddles, ponds and creeks that were forming as we watched.
Wind flower, or western anemone, makes seed heads that look like
aging hippies. Fiona collected seed heads along the trail and
felted this tribble. We brought it home, where it's drying on a ledge.
The Delica in its native environment.
This vehicle was made for this kind of travel,
up high into the subalpine on crazy forestry
roads. Drives that used to be impossible, or
at least hair-raising, now feel like no big deal.


  1. Amazing to live so close to such beauty. Thanks for sharing.


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