Buttle Lake Bluffs

May 03, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I was in better shape so I hiked the steep Jack's trail up to the bluffs at the pond. Not too far from the start of the trail, several trees have toppled over which makes hiking up to a small bluff in the forest a little challenging. The trail switchbacks up to a small bluff which looks down into the forest but a tree which stood on top has fallen directly over the trail below with the ground torn up and with the roots exposed. This tree took out another tree which fell over the bluff and tore away a nice section of moss which clung to the granite rock. Another tree lower down fell in the same direction but lay underneath the other tree. This is not an established BC Parks trail so it won't get the maintenance like other park trails. It's basically user maintained so the only way to get by this mess would be to reroute the trail.

Normally it takes me about 1/2 an hour to reach an open area which gives nice views of the mountains and Buttle Lake below but I took my time and got there in one hour. I noticed that the snow had melted somewhat on the mountains across the way. There is actually more snow on the mountain tops at the south end of the lake.

Not much snow on the mountains which are about mid-way down the lake.

There was a small creek in the forest further up which was running about a month ago but now has dried up. A waterfall not far off the trail was flowing which means the pond water must be high for runoffs however when I reached the pond in the forest at ~800 meters elevation it had receded back where the outlet runs off as a small creek in the forest. There was one snow-patch lying in a shaded area near the pond. The bluffs are a short jaunt from the pond. Where I like to go is a steep hike down some moss and bush covered slope to a small area on an expose ledge which drops steeply to the forest below. A fallen tree which wasn't there last year blocked the way but it was easy to get by. I noticed lots of blooming spreading phlox flowers growing on ledges of an exposed bluff across the way. They do apparently start flowering in April but I haven't seen them that early around here.

Heading up the slopes along the steep bluffs

Marble Peak across the way. A lot of snow has melted from the mountain tops.

There is a gap separating the two cliffs so I hiked around into the bush and forest and came out onto the moss covered cliffs where I can look back and see where I had rested. This area is a nice place to sit and rest with nice views over Buttle Lake. I also saw some red Indian Paintbrush flowers which had blossomed and there are still quite a few bushes in which the leaves are not fully developed.

I boiled up some hot water for coffee then ate my lunch. I used my mini Trangia alcohol stove but prefer to use methyl hydrate for fuel because it burns hotter and cleaner than alcohol. It's small and lightweight which I find perfect for backpacking however the flames are susceptible to wind but this morning there was practically no breeze to worry about.

Boiling up some water near the cliff edge. The lake water is calm enough for some nice reflection. Doesn't happen often.

I didn't see any signs of bears on this trip which I have seen on previous outings. They apparently like to wander around these bluffs also and the pond nearby is a convenient water source.

Hiking back down, I noticed the temperature change; it got warmer so I ended up sweating a lot. I felt glad to get back down because time seemed to drag on despite being a short hike. I guess I'm still not in that great shape.

I drove back to my favorite spot near the lakeshore where I can access it by a short steep path. Most of the nice sandy shoreline is under water but the water level looks about the same as my last visit. I rounded the corner along the lakeshore I collected driftwood to fix up my sheltered spot under a dead tree root. Not much wood to collect around the area but it did provide enough shade from the hot sun. I cooked up my dinner and watched the sun go down behind the tall mountains around 7 pm. It turned a bit cool with the breeze.

I slept overnight where I was but got a stiff neck from the lack of a nice pillow so I didn't get much sleep. It started getting light around 5:30 am. I headed back to my shelter by 6 am and noticed that the water level had risen. A few more days of sun and I think the lake level will rise higher.

Shoreline shelter. May not be useable if the water level keeps rising.


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