|Posted by Dean Hebert on January 31, 2021 at 6:35 PM|
This is not the hike for someone out for a Sunday stroll, it's for serious hikers only! Over 1800 meters of elevation gain can sap the strength out of most and I was no exception.
The day started overcast but the forecast was for clearing skies so I was hopefull for a good sunset.
I really enjoyed hiking the trail. The lower section is a well graded trail through an ever changing forest, making it easy to keep your mind occupied. Around the 1500 meter mark you roll through an emerald forest which I just loved.
Not much further along and the views open up.
At the end of July the slopes have abundant wildflower cover and all the vibrant colours helped lift me to the lake, still over 400 meters below the summit.
Past the lake the trail turns to rock with zero shade. It's here that the slog begins. The unending treadmill can be a real ankle twister if you're not careful. I kept the carrot of the summit dangling in front of me and made my way to the top.
Unfortunately, the clouds moved in just as I was summitting. Because of that, I decided to not actually make the final climb to the peak, but instead enjoy a snack and take some photos.
I could see a lake off to the south-east that looked very inviting but I wasn't sure if I could just drop down to it. The terrain didn't look too complex so I made my way in that direction. The sunlight played across the plateau and I had to stop for pictures.
Without any difficulty I was soon at the lakeshore. Looking back at the peak I could see the clouds parting. Apparently my timing was a bit off.
Viewed from the lake, the summit isn't overly impressive but it still draws the eye. I waited for the wind to die so I could get the perfect reflection shot but it didn't happen.
Originally I thought I could just sidehill over to the trail, but as the route in front of me became cliffy I decided the safest thing to do would be to hike up to the first lake and regain the trail from there. As I passed a garden of castilleja I had to stop and frame a few shots with the distant mountains in the background.
Then it was time to make the trek back to the car.
I was ready for the hike to be over long before it was. My knees and hips were throbbing and I knew I'd be feeling it for days to come.