It’s winter – so lump it.

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Like it or not, winter is here.  I like it because there are NO bugs.  I hate bugs.  These pics are from my first snowshoeing attempt ever.  I’m not a fan of snowshoes, but if they get me into the hills,  I’ll wear the dumb things.  They have a mind of their own.  Read that, I’m a noobie and it shows.

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It was a perfect day for it.  Cold and clear.  This is a very popular spot that used to be a ski hill.  We stopped for a snack and started to feel the chill.  So back down the hill we go.

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Nice overhang.  There is about 7 feet of snow up here.  My snowshoes were too small, so I sank in a lot.  My companion had an older pair of wooden shoes with evil bindings.  I started out with them, but the ‘bindings’ (loosings is more accurate) soon defeated me so we traded.  What is neat is that 1/2 an hour away there is no snow at all.  My kind of winter.

I’m beat and only halfway there (back).

A few posts ago I showed the hike into Cruikshank Canyon viewpoint.  This is the viewpoint from the other side of the valley.  I didn’t look over the edge at the time and my suspicions prove true.  It was straight down!  Good grief but I  hate (love) heights.

The excellent trail to Moat lake.  I love this kind, where the trail is a mix and not all trippy-rooty-yuk.  I don’t have to pay quite as much attention here, except to be sure not to walk over the edge.

Cruikshank Canyon.  Nuff said.

Castlecraig mountain in the background and Moat lake in the middle.  As usual, pics do not capture reality.  This is  stunning.

Fall colors are evident.  Just back down the trail there was frozen ponds and frost by the trail.  This is 3:30 pm, Oct. 2.  Some misguided souls (read ‘hardier than me’) are camping at Circlet lake tonight.  Brrrrrrrr.

There are many little jewels up here.  Don’t know if I’d drink it, and it’s definitely too cold for a bath.  I’ll have to settle for looking at it.

Well, there it is.  Moat lake and wasn’t I surprised to see cabins there.  They are on an island that is privately owned.  Very nice, what?  Strictly a helicopter show.  It was sort of like going to Moscow and seeing a McDonald’s restaurant sign, though.  Sigh.

Ah yes, the bridge.  To the other side.  High tech.  Where, I ask, are the handrails?????

The bridge goes over this creek.  You can see the waterfall this leads to from the viewpoint on the other side of the canyon.  More to the point, it’s really loud over there.  Certainly is a different perspective close up.

Part of Moat – south side.  This part of the lake is actually the bigger part.

Well, time to head back.  It was at this point that I realized that I’m really tired, but there’s a long way to go back.  Such is hiking.  I’ll be sore and achy tomorrow, and raring to go again soon.  I sure hope you don’t get tired of these.

Circlet lake – almost missed it.

The usual ‘here’s the rotten trail – aren’t I epic’ photo.    This part is actually quite nice for forest views, you just can’t look at them and walk at the same time.  Tripping hazards as far as the eye can see!  You know what I mean.  This is near Helen-McKenzie lake.

Castlecraig mountain, on the left.  Part of Mount Albert-Edward.  I want to go there next year.  I need to get in better shape for that one.

That’s Albert-Edward on the right – the pointy one.  The usual approach is to camp at Circlet lake and do a day trip to the top.  it’s only 5 km, but it’s all UP.  As it is, this hike to Circlet will probably kill me.

I didn’t take this pic.  I included it to show that THIS is epic.  I think so, anyways.  And me with a queasy tummy for heights!

Circlet lake.  This is taken from my lunch spot.  Very quiet, fresh, peaceful.  Well worth the 10km hike in.  I almost went right passed it.  The signage was funky, and I found myself heading up to Albert-Edward.  After turning around and doing a little bushwhacking (in shorts) there it was.  That water is unbelievably clean.  A waterfall on the other side of the lake provided beautiful background music.

This little jewel was next to my lunch spot.  I love waterfalls of ANY size.  The tinkle from this one was so delicate.

Meadows everywhere.  I never get tired of rock / tree / grass / water arrangements.

Graffiti on stone near the road on the way back down.  Appropriate if not laudable.  In the weeks following, before the snow flies or I expire,  I hope to go to Moat lake and Amphitheater lake.  There’s more but my memory has deserted me.  Again.

Thoughful spot.

End of the road for us.  That rocky bit is wide enough for my 4runner, but there’s no room for error.

A bit of a washout, I’d say.  Quads, bikes, and wildlife can make it through, but I’m not interested.  Here’s why.

The truck wouldn’t stop until the bottom, which isn’t that bit there.  The bottom is 300′ farther down, ending in a river.  No thanks, we’ll walk.  My hiking buddy is good with a map.  He has backroad maps that are ‘fairly’ accurate.  Passable on a map is not necessarily passable on the ground.  I’m sure you’ve all found that out a time or two.  So we walked up, around,under, etc. and almost walked by the lake we were looking for.

I couldn’t believe how peaceful this spot was.  I could only hear a small, musical, twittering and the gentlest breeze.  My hiking buddy went looking for caves, so I had this to myself for a bit.  A little earlier I heard a weird warbling that turned out to be geese way up, heading south.  All the effort is sure worth it.  Kind of a life-metaphor thing, I guess.  I wonder why the walk back is always shorter than the walk in?  Cheers.