Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sparrowhawk Tarns

trailhead 5642 ft. upper tarns 7872 ft. total elevation gain 2230 ft 10 km return

Our tried and true hiking bible proclaimed that "surely there are Orcs hiding in the rocks here" and we can testify that this valley is the most Tolkeinesque we've seen. The trail begins on the Smith-Dorien road on the shore of Spray Lake and climbs between Mt Bogart and Mt Sparrowhawk which I attempted last fall. The trail follows a babbling brook then disappears into a huge rockslide. One navigates through boulders ranging from house to car to appliance sized all under the eaves of heavily castelleated cliffs that look almost like eroded palaces.

In the upper bowl, a colony of marmots sunned themselves and pawed at the rubble looking for grubs and other yummies. They pay little attention to us and so we got within a fluffy tail length of them.

At the top of the cirque above the trees, at Mt Bogart's side are the glacial fed tarns or small lakes. Each one the size of a large swimming pool, and all on different grassy terraces flowing into one another as though we were in the back yard of a wealthy giant. Lichen covered rocks split the scenery up into flowing rooms that are wonderful to roam through allowing a different tableau at every turn.
In the picture, Suz makes her way through the rockslide with Spray Lake in the background. I'm pausing with part of Mt Sparrowhawk rising behind me to the right. Having it loom over us all day made me want to return to have a successful summit there to make up for last years retreat.

All told we loved this hike and give our highest rating to date: 9 out of 10

1 comment:

CaptainOrange said...

Thanks for all the updates. As usual, they make a city-bound boy extremely jealous. I really wish I could have taken you up on your previous offer to come out for a weekend and do some hiking. Late summer with all it's harvesting and building of my greenhouse just got the better of me. These great pics and your rich description will have to do for now.