It’s a hard life

It’s a tough life at 2000 m – yellowing needles on a tiny lodgepole pine on the way to Vantage Peak.

Picking our way back down through the rocks and shrubs after summiting Vantage Peak, I was struck by this little pine tree eking out its existence between some rocks. I particularly liked how it made a nice little counterpoint to the enormous glaciated mountain in the background. Normally these trees have deep green needles but I’m guessing that up here at 2000 m, the soil has less water and fewer nutrients to keep those needles green. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate just how tough these plants have to be to survive in these high mountain environments, and that we as hikers/scramblers/mountaineers can only ever be transient guests.

Reflection perfection

Ooh, pretty… The Joffre Group reflected in a flat calm Duffey Lake. This the same view I posted a few weeks ago, but now on a gorgeous sunny morning instead of a dull cloudy one 🙂

We were on our way up to Downton Creek for the weekend, but when we stopped here to admire the reflection we felt we could have spent the weekend here instead, just lounging around by the lake. But if ever there was a spot for a cheesy stand-up paddleboard shot, it’s here. I hope no one reads this…

Mountain mirror

The Joffre Group reflected in a mirror-calm Duffey Lake

I’ve had this spot in mind for a nice shot of the Joffre Group for a few years now. It’s only when you get a bit of distance between you and that cluster of mountains that you realize how big and imposing they are compared with their neighbours. The hike in to Joffre Lakes doesn’t actually give a good perspective on the encompassing mountains but thankfully there are plenty of other places to get that. One is the peak of Mt Rohr, across the valley (which we summitted last year), and another is the eastern end of Duffey Lake. This morning the lake was absolutely mirror-calm. The light wasn’t the best, which is why this photo is black-and-white, and the mountain tops were in the clouds, but the reflection was irresistible.