Thursday, 4 September 2014

Hiking! In the mountains!

So after going for a short, 5 km walk in my neighbourhood without difficulty, I decided to join the Sunshine SnowHosts on their annual hike today. We went up to Sunshine and wandered, the day after it snowed (yes, snowed on September 3rd). Okay, the others wandered farther, climbing a mountain. I didn't climb the whole mountain, just one side of it.
The two peaks of Quartz Ridge they planned to climb
Starting in the village, we headed up the trail to the Continental Divide, passing the Divide chair along the way.
Doesn't look like this in the winter
The group left me and my still recovering leg in the dust, and headed down the Citadel Pass trail.
Off they go
My plan was to just to visit Rock Isle Lake...
From the lake viewpoint
...but my leg felt fine after climbing 150 m and going 2 km. So I set off cross country in the basically flat meadow towards Quartz Ridge. The meadow was pretty beautiful.
Wide open spaces
Closer still
It was pretty lonely in the meadow. Most of the Columbian Ground Squirrels have gone underground to hibernate. Very few birds were out. No sheep ot goats were around, nor any real sign of them.
A hawk kept an eye on me 
Amazingly invisible at this time of year
I got to the base of the ridge and still felt fine, so started to climb the northern ridge. I had no intention of climbing to the top, but thought I could make the bench about half way up that's visible in the photo above.

The weather was varied today. It started sunny but went to cloudy, with weird clouds around.
I made the shoulder without difficulty, wandered around taking photos for a while, then found a place to sit, have lunch, and wait for the group to descend -- and promptly got very cold. It was only about 5°, and the wind was very chilly. Down jacket, multiple layers, hat & gloves were all necessary to stay warm.
The others are climbing the ridge towards the peak on the right 
Looking back towards Sunshine 
The end of the Monarch Ramparts, where I hiked in 2011
Towards Citadel and Fatigue Passes
 After an hour, the others came off the ridge.
We retraced my steps back to Rock Isle Lake...
Afternoon clouds
... and the Village, where (the best part of hiking at Sunshine) I had a beer to celebrate actually hiking just over 10 km in actual mountains, including 350 m of climbing.


Wally said...

Glad to read that you are mobile again Derek. How was the aftermath of the unfamiliar outdoor exercise of that leg? Best wishes!

RyderDA said...

I was amazed; nothing really hurt. Now, if the weather will cooperate, more hiking is in store!