Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hike No. 5

Monday was B.C. day (it may be called another name in the province you live in, or it may not be a holiday at all if you live in Quebec, Newfoundland & Labrador, or the Yukon).

We had planned to hike to Joffre Lakes, but because of the wildfire situation in that neighbourhood we couldn't. We picked a hike closer to home just behind Cypress Mtn, which is one of the ski hills.
Mt. Strachan was the destination. We followed the hike listed in my book 103 Hikes of Southwestern British Columbia. This route is not a direct route to Mt. Strachan, but rather takes a little longer going to the west before ascending easily (at first) to the meadows before heading up the steeper climb to the first peak.

The trail was very dry and even dusty in many parts since we haven't had any rain since early July. Even the moss on the rocks crunched underfoot in some parts. I can understand why there is a complete campfire ban in all of the parks and smoking is prohibited. You can be fined for smoking in or around parks. With over 500 wildfires burning in the province you can understand the concern.

db and I went with a friend who's a little older so we slowed our pace a bit. He also hadn't hiked in quite some time and is a smoker so I was a bit worried about his fitness level for such a long hike. It took us a little longer, but it did not take away from the enjoyment of the trails. The first part of the hike was mostly in the woods so we were well sheltered from the sun.

I think our friend did well. I'm not sure he's about to hike again any time soon, but he is keen on Joffre Lakes when the time comes.

We had lunch overlooking one of the meadows and a small pond. From there we headed up more steeply and came across the plane wreck from the 60s.There's a memorial plaque attached to one of the trees since 2 people died in that crash. db noted that it was the day after JFK was assasinated (he remembers such details).

The first peak of Mt. Strachan had great panoramic views.
The lions are the peaks in the distance (another hike for another day). We didn't hike up to the second peak since we felt we had suffered enough on the first climb and were satisfied with how far we had come and what we had seen.
As we descended we got some more great views of the lions that made them seem quite close.

You can see how hazy the sky was. On a clear day the water and islands would be clearly seen.

Lupines were abundant near the top and through the meadows.

Ah the descent that was steep, rocky, and straight down.

Near the end of the hike the fireweed lined the trail. It was so nice to see some bright colours.

db wants to make Sunday hiking day. It would be our only day to do this since it's our only day off together now that I'll be working Saturdays all the time.
I'll have to shuffle my running schedule as well, but I'm looking to try something new with my training as well so it may work out just fine. Besides we've only completed 4 hikes in our book, and have 99 to go.


Wandering Coyote said...

Beautiful! And, yes, it's really dry out there, isn't it? I hope we get some rain soon...

SME said...

I can't even recall what the Monday holiday is called in Alberta. It obviously didn't impress me much.