Ridges for miles… Throwback Thursday to a great weekend in the mountains at the beginning of August. Those hot buggy days already seem a distant memory…
It’s a bit of a slog up to Gott Peak but once up there it’s possible to walk for some distance right along the ridge top. One side slopes away steeply but smoothly over boulders and then meadows, while the other drops precipitously in a cascade of broken rock, dirt, and snow. The ridge is not just an endless line stretching out before you to infinity either, instead undulating up and down, gaining and losing 50-100 m of elevation each time. Of course, that soon adds up, turning a simple climb into a more challenging adventure.
Thankfully getting to Gott Peak only involves going over one such bump (indeed, our first visit to this area we only ventured to this sub-peak), and it makes for a wonderful photo-op on the return journey, especially when lit by the warm afternoon sunshine. We continued beyond this peak to cross other, lower bumps further along the ridge, eventually dropping down very steeply into the valley to rejoin the trail back to the pass. A fun day of ridge exploration!
Another Friday, another flashback. I posted a photo of this view back in October last year after the first fall of snow (feel free to scroll back through my feed to find it). It was nice to revisit it on a warmer day.
As we headed out on our hike, I kept an eye on the view back towards the lake to see if it would be possible to recognize the spot where we sat in the snow last October. It turned out to be easy and I could even identify the very rock we’d sat on. Without being able to see exactly what I’d taken last year, I did my best to size up what seemed to be the most likely composition, hoping that consistency would be on my side.
Reproducing the scene turned out to be surprisingly easy, but where I got it wrong was in my editing of the photo above; I was a little too keen to crop out the right-hand side, and I used a different aspect ratio (4:3 rather than 3:2) which I can put down to using a different camera. The end result makes for quite a nice comparison. See for yourself:
Snowy lunch spot at Blowdown Lake at the weekend.
The forecast said a mix of sun and cloud, which is exactly what it looks like in this photo. We walked along the lower road until we found a clear view of the lake and a rock big enough for us both to sit on. Our little Therm-a-rest seats worked well enough for scraping the inch or two of snow off the rock, and we enjoyed a scenic, if chilly, lunch. We made the pre-winter season mistake of not bringing a flask with a hot drink – the cold water we had was not appealing!
By the time we’d finished our lunch the blue sky had vanished, the wind had picked up, and it began to snow, just lightly, with a few perfectly symmetric snowflakes landing on my jacket. At first I thought it was snow blown off the trees but as I watched more closely I realized it was coming from the thickening clouds overhead. We packed up and returned to the car at a speedy pace to warm up again. That was the first time I’d actually hiked while wearing a down jacket – I think I only really needed it for the first 15 minutes or so, but then couldn’t be bother to take it off after that. We were back at the car within an hour.
The changing of the seasons – it’s autumn in the valley, but winter is beginning to make its presence felt on the mountaintops.
With a better-than-expected forecast for Sunday, we loaded up the car and headed for Whistler, spending Saturday night at Nairn Falls campground on its last night of the year. The next morning wasn’t as sunny as originally forecast, and when we were turned back from our original hike due to active logging, we weren’t sure what to do.
Getter lazier by the minute, we opted for Blowdown Pass, a hike we’ve done several times before but one that we knew was pretty easy and accessible. We pulled off the Duffey Lake road onto the Blowdown FSR and began nosing our way through the (30) water bars. Thanks to the recent logging, we had a superb view of the valley as we gained a little height, and had to pull over in order to capture the view in the photo above. With the curve of the road, the colour lining the avalanche path (and what an obvious and impressive path!), and the dusting of snow on the mountain tops, this was a stunning view and an instant photo-op. Possibly one of my favourite photos from the day. All that was missing was a bit of sunshine.