Habrich framed. A pair of mountain hemlocks stand tall on Skyline Ridge, while Mt Habrich dominates the view across the Shannon Creek valley.
I love hiking through subalpine terrain, especially at this time of year as the leaves on the berry bushes start to change colour, turning from green to various shades of red. One feature of the subalpine I particularly like is the large mountain hemlocks that grow there, undoubtedly hundreds of years old given the difficult growing conditions at these altitudes. They have such incredible stature, and often take on fascinating shapes. They may not grow as big as their lower-elevation cousins, or the red cedars or Douglas firs, but they are the giants of their domain.
So it should come as no surprise, then, that the moment I saw this view, with two big trees standing either side of the granite pyramid of Mt Habrich, I couldn’t resist taking the photo.
It’s pinesap season! I love how these flowers emerge from the ground, uncurling and unfurling as they grow. Saw a few along the Sea to Summit trail at the weekend, and on Mt Gardner the previous weekend, and more on our hike to Mt Harvey a couple of weeks ago. Alice Lake is a great place to see them at this time of year.
Much like coralroot, I was intrigued by these colourful flowers that grew in the shade of the forest. I don’t remember exactly when I first saw one of these flowers, but I could immediately see it was unlike any other flower I’d ever seen. Varying from creamy-yellow to salmon-pink in colour, this tiny flower unfurls directly on the forest floor, starting out as a tiny coloured bump before growing up and straightening out to a full height of about 30 cm. Like coralroot, there’s not a hint of green anywhere. They sometimes grow alone, but more often in small groups, two or three, maybe half-a-dozen. Since then I’ve found a place where it grows in profusion, and the trail becomes one of the slowest half-miles I’ll ever walk 🙂
So keep your eyes open – they’re picky about where they grow, but when they find a place they like, they can spread out and colonize the area.
Busy on the suspension bridge at the Sea to Sky gondola. Hiked the Sea to Summit trail yesterday in search of beer. We found some but there must be easier ways… 😁🍺
There are a couple of superb viewpoints along this trail but the best is undoubtedly from the patio at the gondola station. The clear view up the valley towards the Sky Pilot group is stunningly dramatic, and the suspension bridge in the foreground adds a bit of interest too, rather than just a valley full of green trees.
Best of all, you can sit and enjoy this view with a well-earned cold beer in hand!
Shannon Falls from the side, this view is from the parking lot at the Sea to Sky gondola – waterfall season is fast approaching!
It’s been a pretty miserable winter here in Vancouver. Lots of rainy days, and sunshine has been hard to come by. But rain and snow make for good waterfalls, so there’s something to be said for enduring all the grey and damp. Shannon Falls near Squamish is usually a good bet for a good flowing waterfall, and this day was pretty good for early spring conditions. I’ve seen the falls flowing much more strongly than this, but today there was enough to get some good misty spray drifting from the upper cascades. We’d called in to the Sea to Sky gondola to buy annual passes (aka Christmas presents!) and caught this nice view of the falls as we walked from the car, a slightly different perspective than usual.
Recognize this peak? It’s the Chief as seen from the Sea to Sky Gondola – coming down, of course! 😉
One thing I really like about the Sea to Summit Trail is coming down on the gondola, and getting this great view of the three peaks of the Chief. The route to each peak is so clearly laid out from this angle.
Fifteen minutes later…
What was that about savouring a beer? I could so easily gone for a second, but we still have to drive home…
Sky Pilot and Blueberry wheat rewards
It’s been a couple of years since we hiked the new Sea to Summit Trail so we thought we’d try it out again to see how it’s faring. Mostly OK, but there are parts of the trail that definitely need some TLC. Even on a dry day it was quite muddy which will cause many people to go around the mud, further widening the mess. Sigh… One thing that had remained the same was the great view from the patio, a superb place to sit and savour a well-earned beer!