Saturday, 25 August 2012

Monashee Lake Aug./12

Ruudie and I drive the 2 hours to the trailhead for Monashee Lake from Coldstream. The road has been washed out 5 km before the trail head parking area but it is not too steep going in to the trailhead so no biggy.
 Ruudie looking up at the long hike up into those mountains so far away. And there are grizzlies along the way.

Ruudies ready to hike with his own pack. Pat has elected to ski train instead of going hiking which is a first for us. This is one of the first times that I have gone without her.

We rest for a few minutes at the picnic table which is usually trailhead.. There won't be any more major rest until we arrive at the lake in 4 hours.

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Time for a splash and drink in the creek. This where the trail gets sketchy and very steep.

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Ruudie has to go for a swim after all of that vertical hiking. No one here and this is a holiday long weekend. Let me stay in awhile longer, pleeease. Ice cold water

Put up the tent and get ready for a fire and food

Nice little view from the tent. Waterfront property.

That is Mt. Severide in the middle. Thats the climb for tomorrow.

Somebodies already catching a few "zzzz"

Nice and warm in the daytime. And no one is around.

 blue colours of the lake mixed with the greens of the alpine grasses.

Setup the dragonfly, dump some sidekick noodles in some water and presto, Supper.

The kitchen is set up. Just needs a fire and we will be all ready to go.

I've already wacked down a dead snag for the fire tonight. It will keep the bears at bay.

Yummy. Noodles are soft and after all of that hiking, I could feed on pine cones and be happy.

Ruudie looking down the valley from where the truck is parked at the wash out.

We are right at treeline so there is not a lot of fuel for a fire but we have enough for the evening.

This is my security guard, on duty 24/7. No he doesn't sleep inside cuz he is on bear watch. plus it's too warm for him.

The last of the evening sun is shining on the Balsom firs.

The truck is parked a long way down the valley around the bend.

Got the food hung in a water proof bag and set inside a rodent proof steel mesh bag. Bag does't have to be hung away from the tree as there are no black bears at this elevation. The grizzlies would kill them if they were around . And grizzlies can't climb trees.

Got my fancy 6 position captains chair which doubles as a mattress.

Next morning after breakfast, we start hiking up a side valley to the bottom of Mt. Severide. Ruudies playing in the snow. Looks like a pretty steep hike.

Haven't seen any animals yet.

Lots of fresh snow melt coming off the mountains.

Just a quick scramble up the snow and some skree and we will be at the saddle that takes you over to Twin Lakes and the Berger Traverse.

From the saddle we look across to the Pinnacles .

Monashee Lake. I don't think you can see our tent but we done good seeing I didn't make any reservations. We have the mountains all to ourselves.

The peak that is in the shadow will be our destination tomorrow.

Starting to climb up Serveride. Rock pretty crumbly but pretty safe.

Looking down on the snow that is on the pass when you hike from Twin Lakes. The hike took us 7.5 hours with light loads.

Looking back at the mountains above Twin Lakes and further east, Monashee Park.

Cobalt Lake is just peaking through on the left side. Across the valley you can see the route we will take to climb the Pinnacles which means climbing over the snowy saddle in the middle of the photo.

This is Aug. and there is still ice floating around on Cobalt Lake.

Ruudies already can smell his food back at camp so he's heading down to the pass.

Happyness is a cool puppy lying in ice water on a summers day.

No filtering or chilling required for this water.

This is the route we took to climb Severide.

Instead of going back the way we came, I turn left at the ridge at hike up above Cobalt Lake. More scenic than heading straight back.

Monashee Lake and our homestead. Hard to see the tent from up here.

Our route tomorrow is to hike up to the right of the lake to a snow field, traverse to the saddle, then up the ridge to the peak. From here you drop down in a valley and traverse till you get to the ridge that is  the Pinnacles.

Monashee lake from a snow field.

Now I can see the tent. Still no neighbours yet. Thats the beauty of the BC interior, the mountains are seldom busy.

Next morning after a great breakfast, we head out to conquer the Pinnacle.Ruudie playing with natures A/C, snow.

Tow Haired Babies are out amongst the rocks.

There will be endless snow slopes to traverse today.

Ice formed last night on the small lakes and Ruudie has fun chewing on the broken pieces.

Looking across at Severide which we summited yesterday.

As we head west on the ridge, we pass Pinnacle Lake which is in the valley over from Monashee.

Working our way across a snow field on our way to the saddle.

Have to make it around to the back before ascending the ridge on Pinnacle.

Pinnacle Lake which is 1 valley west of Monashee Lake.

An ice bound lake below Pinnacle Peak

Thats the ridge we will be heading up in a few hours.

Monashee Lake from the ridge.

Time for a little boot skiing. Whoo Hoo.

Ice cold water is as good as ice cold beer says Ruudie.

Back at the lake we pack up and head down the steep gruelling trail to the valley below.

Pretty lush growth along the avalanche paths. There are not a lot of grizzlies here but we have encountered them and it does scare you a bit.

Ruudie getting that cool refreshing bath in before heading into the trees.

The trip back to the trail head was pretty uneventful. There are cedars 5 feet at the butt. And this is at 4000". Lots of moisture in the interior wetland. On the 5 km trip to the truck along the road, a noise turns my head and 50' from me is a sow grizz and cub chewing on avalanche slope vegetation. I whipped out my bear spray and headed down the road backwards. She took off into the thick bush with great crashing and snorting. I guess we were both pretty scared. They say that there has never been an instance of grizzly attack on groups of 4 or more. Ruudie and I had slightly less numbers.

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