Upper Bluffs

May 21, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I noticed that the forest had really greened up with ferns up to 3 feet in height in the lower part of the trail. The moss still looks green despite the lack of rain during the entire month. There is still lots of mostly decayed leaves from last year scattered about.

The poor traction on my worn out boots is quite noticeable on loose surface especially going up and down an incline. I can feel the rocky ground through the soles. I have been holding off on buying new boots as I figure a good soled leather boots would set me back by around $450. Forget cheaper boots as they will only last several years.

There was a nice layered cloud formation over the mountain range when I reached an opening in the forest with views of Buttle Lake below. I saw a small boat on the lake at the mouth of Phillips Creek. The water level is still high but has retreated at bit. Since the lake level is controlled by several Dams along the way to Campbell River, water is constantly being drained from the lake which exceeds the amount being supplied by melting snow.

Inspecting a huge boulder in the forest near the pond.

Cloud layer over the mountains reflect on Buttle Lake.

When I reached the pond in the forest, I decided to forgo filtering water since I still had around 1/2 liter. I continued up the steep trail and onto the loose talus slope where a downed tree made it impossible to get by so I took a detour. This would be the norm since this trail is unmaintained.

Hiking to the upper bluffs, I started to encounter snow. My legs were tired by the time I got onto the bluffs. I had no more water left but I knew where I could find some in the forest. Unfortunately, it was still a bit early in the season as the small creek lay underneath piles of snow. I look everywhere but couldn't find a clear spot where water was running. I could hear the water running but didn't see any. I contemplated heading up to the tarns about 20 minutes up the trail but the dark clouds hanging over the mountains and the chill wind made me turn back. There was still tons of snow but I could see the orange markers on the trees.

Hiking round the upper bluffs.

I decided to head back down to the pond in the forest and so hiked down at a fast speed than what I normally would do. It still took about 45 minutes to get back down. I filtered water from the stagnant pond and noticed dozens of mosquitoes flying about. They don't appear to make the characteristic buzzing sound until later in the season and they paid no attention to me so I didn't have to worry about getting bit.

Using my Katadyn Pocket filter

Lower Bluffs

I headed up to the lower bluffs and noticed the purple and pink penstemon flowers were blooming. Dark clouds were drifting across the sky. I was lucky it didn't sprinkle much since I left my raingear behind. It was such a nice sunny day when I started out on the hike but I did bring an umbrella although it would be useless when I'm using my hiking poles.

Colorful penstemons

A ground view of some pine cones and plant shoots emerging.


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