Tag Archives: mountains

Marble Meadows

Marble Meadows, just a short boat ride and a mere 1400m of steep switch backs and you will arrive at your destination. Approach challenges aside Marble Meadows promised spectacular alpine views into the heart of Vancouver Islands mountains and Strathcona Provincial park. While the approach was as grueling as expected the views did not disappoint.

We started off by making the 1km journey across Buttle lake to spend the first night at the Phillips creek before starting the seemingly never ending uphill battle to our campsite at Limestone lake in the morning. The area around Phillips creek was stunning and was a welcome surprise and other than the many mice around the camp site is was one of the nicer ones I used considering the relatively easy access.

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Looking down Buttle lake from the mouth of Phillips Creek

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Looking down Phillips Creek towards Buttle lake

The next day it was an early start to tackle the 5.5 hour grind up to out campsite at Limestone lake. We gained about 1400m of elevation but until you get to the meadows you really don’t get any rewarding views other than the switch back just above and below you. Limestone lake is one of 3 lakes in the general area and like most alpine lakes was quiet beautiful. As soon as we dropped our packs it became immediately apparent that we traded the amazing views for an unbelievable number of bugs who from what I could tell have never eaten before. Bugs aside it was a stunning place and after camp was setup it was time to take in our surroundings for the next few days.

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Reflections in a nearly calm Limestone lake

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The last of the sun touching lighting up the ridge above camp

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Twilight tones outline the mountain ridges surrounding camp

The following morning we decided to tackle Marble Peak that over looked our campsite. This involved a number of increasingly exposed scrambles but with each one the views of the area only got more spectacular.

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Scrambling up a small gully on Marble Peak

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One of the more rewarding views on the way up Marble Peak

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Another exposed scramble with the 3 lakes in the background, Limestone lake is the smallest one on the left

Not one to sit around camp, especially with all the bugs around it was time to do a bit more exploring before the sun set. While it seemed we missed some flowers there was still some colour left in others.

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The sun slides behind a stand of trees by camp with a small patch of wildflowers in the foreground.

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Golden light illuminates the stalks of wildflowers

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Looking down onto another group camped at Globe Flower Lake

One of the more spectacular things to see when in the alpine is the stars. Away from the lights of the city you get an unobstructed view of the stars and it always blows me away just how bright they are. If you get the chance to spend a night or two in the alpine away from the glow of artificial light do yourself a favour and get up to take in the all night sky has to offer.

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Home under the stars

The following day we spent some exploring the limestone area we had seen from the trip up Marble Peak. While it was fascinating to explore the area and examine the various rock formations and fossils it was not overly conductive for photos. Fortunately we had another nice evening to take in the surroundings near camp.

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The sun sets over Marsh Marigold Lake with the Golden Hinde in the background

The following day was a relatively quick (and easier than the approach) hike back to Phillips Creek and a nice boat trip back across the lake while it was still nice and calm unlike the journey over.

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Boating back from the Phillips Creek trail head

Marble meadows like all the hikes I have done in the alpine of Strathcona provided some spectacular views but it certainly makes you work for them. It seems that Marble meadows is really just a hint of all the other adventures that are hiding just over the next set of hills. Looking into the heart of the mountains  in Strathcona is both alluring and beautiful, it tends to draw you further in the more time you spend exploring the never ending adventures it seems to offer.

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Strathcona Hiking

A few weeks ago I spent 4 days hiking in the stunning mountains located in Strathcona Provincial park. We first hiked in to Baby Bedwell lake to setup base camp. From here we would explore some of the surrounding areas including Mt. Tom Taylor. While the weather was not ideal we made the most of it and on the plus side it never rained!

The hike up to Baby Bedwell while steep was a very good trail which was easy to follow and provided some nice views of some streams.

Our first views of Baby Bedwell lake where far from the stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains that people had been raving about…

It was far from summer at camp.

The following morning we started out on our attempt to summit Mt. Tom Taylor. The weather was much the same with limited visibility and we had some difficulty finding the trail but eventually we got going. While it was nearly August we still where dealing with winter conditions.

Once we got closer to the summit the clouds did break a few times to tease us with the views we missed on the way up.

The following day we had a bit of a break in the weather and decided to enjoy some of the views we missed the day before and explored Bedwell lake area.

Overall it was an amazing trip and I can not wait to get back into the mountains.

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Rockies Road Trip: Day 9

After a cold and very windy night it was time to pack up my tent for the last time and make my way to Rossland to spend the night there. The night had dumped patches of fresh powder around but most of it was blowing around and drifting in patches along the way.

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Sunrise

After being on the road for 2 out of the 8 hours for the day I decided to stop to get some photos down near a river. Bad idea. As I was walking down the river bank while carrying my camera I managed to fall down the bank first breaking my fall with my camera and then my head. Camera and lens held up very well and seem fine. My head on the other hand did not come out so well. I managed to get a good 3inch gash in my head which seemed to bleed a lot. This is why it is always good to carry a first ad kit! After patching my self up I got the shots I wanted and it was time to get back on the road.

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After my incident was not feeling up to taking to many more photos so I drove to Rossland and spent the rest of the day hanging out in the hostel and recuperating. Next is the last leg to Vancouver, which was mostly driving.

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Rockies Road Trip: Day 5

I awoke early this morning because it was so cold,  I had ice around my mouth and nose as well as my sleeping bag. After packing up camp as quickly as possible I went to to the river that ran through the campsite to shoot the sunrise. It was cold enough for the edges of the fast moving river to ice over!

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On the plus side it was the first (and only) sunny day! Once the sun was out the temperature warmed to a more friendly temperature. After setting out from camp I stopped to view Peyto lake from the Bow Pass summit which was one of the more spectacular sights of the whole trip.

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Peyto Lake

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Bow Summit

There where lots of smaller lakes along the way that always make you want to stop, I stopped at most of them but not all because I was running out of time.

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Next stop was the Athabasca glacier in the Columbia ice field, I had high hopes for this but could not help but feel a little let down. You could not really get to close to the glacier because of liability issues unless you hired a guide which I did not do.

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After that it was time to head to Jasper for the night, of course I made a few stops on the way.

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Looking back at the Columbia Ice field, the “snow dome”
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Bellow Athabasca Falls

Tomorrow a bit of Jasper and then down a long drive to Banff.

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Cloudy Sunset

The sun sinks behind the clouds looking towards Nanoose Bay from Lantzville on Vancouver Island.

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