It was a beautiful day to hike up to the flagpole above Pulpit Rock. The fall leaves are at their peak right now and Nelson is full of colour!
The flagpole trail has had a number of improvements this season, including the development of new switchbacks to ease the moderate route. I took the difficult route up just to change things up. The grade is much steeper, and there are sections that involve scrambling up rocky bluffs! Nevertheless, the views up the difficult trail are very good with a constant panorama of Nelson below.
Looking down the Kootenay River Valley towards the Playmor Junction
It was a good plan. We were going to hike Jumbo Pass and Monica Meadows over the Thanksgiving long weekend, ending the hiking season in a blaze of glorious, golden larches. Sadly, Air Canada had other ideas.
I spent a summery September day hiking Gimli Ridge! We hiked this trail last year under ominous active weather, but today the Valhallas were sunny and warm and cheerful.
Some other improvements over last year’s excursion:
- More goats! We met a large, male mountain goat gallomping down the trail to Mulvey Basin.
- Bannock Road is freshly graded, accessible by 2WD low clearance, thanks to a new logging operation near the trailhead. The car-sized boulder has been removed from the road.
- BC Parks has installed a new and exciting toilet at the campsite on the saddle. Nice to see some upgrades, worrisome to see a conveyor-belt used in such a manner.
We spent a magical weekend backpacking into Gwillim Lakes. This is truly my favourite West Kootenay hike and an overnighter was the only way to do it justice!
Smoke from the wildfires has settled around the Kootenays, pushing the mountains back into a blue haze. It’s not great conditions for hiking, but we trekked up towards Kokanee Lake anyways.
Returned to Toad Mountain today with the goal of avoiding further sunburn. It was a hot hike in the full sun and we moved slowly along the ridge, packing snow into our hats.
A hot sunny day of hiking on Cornice Ridge! Bear Grass was in full bloom up and down the slopes, along with patches of Beardtongue and Asters.
Trekked up to Old Glory with the Kootenay Mountaineering Club yesterday. Lots of wildflowers out along Unnecessary Ridge and the Seven Summits Trail, and just a few small patches of snow!
Looking out from the summit of Old Glory
Flowers on Old Glory
Along the Seven Summits Trail
It was a big snow year and much of Kokanee Glacier Park is still under snow! Checking the webcam at the cabin is a good indication of how much snow is left, but we decided to trek up to Kokanee Lake anyways and enjoy the views!