Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hiking Beautiful British Columbia

Encouraged by our Half Dome conquest, I wanted to do some more hiking during our stay in "Beautiful British Columbia".
The possibilities there are endless IF you have a high clearance 4x4 car... With our family car though, options were limited ;-). I didn't believe this at first and gave some back roads a try but very soon realized that that wasn't a good idea.
But nevertheless, there were a few hikes in our reach and they gave us a little taste of British Columbia's amazing nature.

The first outing was to Cliff Lake, the access is a well maintained gravel road, a funny sign at the beginning points out some radio frequencies...and we soon discovered why the road was so well maintained and what the radio frequencies are about...it is a logging road. As a huge dust cloud came closer and closer I quickly pulled over to one of the many pullouts and just in time as a huge, loaded to the brim, logging truck came blasting by. In lack of a radio, every time I was spotting a dust cloud I was pulling over and waiting for the truck to pass. Not for the faint hearted...and our car looked like a camouflaged military vehicle by the time we were back home...

...the short and serene hike to Cliff Lake and it's back country though was sure worth the trouble....

On our way back we shared the road with some Big Horn Sheep ewes and their offspring.

The next adventure lead us to Wild Boar Lake, we didn't see any wild boars here, but the "road" sure was wild...

Unfortunately one can't hike around the lake, so we took a side trail and paid Maechen Falls a visit:

Here a close up from the top of the waterfall, wild and beautiful!

Done with the rough roads, this next hike was promised to us as one with a really easy access near Premier Lake. A tranquil hike that normally loops around three little lakes. But due to the flooding this year, we only could access Yankee Lake, where the trail then vanished under water.

A recent storm victim in the clear lake water ...

But the absolute best hike was the climb up to Mt. Teepee via the Mt. Stevens summit. With an elevation gain of 4900 ft it is equal with the Half Dome trail, but with half of the mileage to reach Mt. Teepee, we knew we were in for a rather steep ascent. The trail guide says: "long, steep, forested trail; extensive elevation gain to moderate exposure on alpine ridge; two high Rockies summits." (1)
The boys gave me that hike for my birthday, since they knew I really wanted to go, and on the hike I got this rather unique birthday card!

And it was steep! Once we reached Mt. Stevens ( 8717ft ) though, we had a fantastic view over the Kootenay Rockies.
Here a self portrait with the Rockies in the background.

Already quite exhausted we looked at the trail ahead to Mt. Teepee...not so steep anymore but on the ridge a fierce wind was blowing...

After a short break we took the challenge and made it up to Mt. Teepee ( 9100 ft )!

The "Gipfelstuermer", cold but happy.

After a nice lunch break we only reluctantly left our mountain top with it's spectacular views


A memorable hike, a great birthday gift, an exhausting adventure and Skipper even experienced his first snow...

Hikes in the East Kootenay of Southeastern British Columbia 
by Janice Strong

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful images and write-up, as always!
    Brought back memories when I was hiking there some years back.