Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pocaterra!

trailhead 7239 ft 1st mountain 8758 ft total 9.3km

Pocaterra ridge is the finest hike we've ever done. The trail meanders past golden larches into sculpted cirques, through meadows, to lofty vistas. This has it all including a fitness test of a mountain to ascend before carrying on tip-toes across a knife-blade ridge that finally cured my vertigo.



We chose to do this as a car shuttle with Nolah and Carrie parking one car at the foot of Gap Peak and the other car at Highwood pass where we started. At left is the west half of Pocaterra ridge including a rather hair-raising traverse below the crest of the mountain at center.







Here Suz and Nolah throw their backs into the first big ascent. We shared this slope with a few mountain sheep that were pretty casual about us. I enjoy the view of Gap Peak and El Poca seen behind me.



















Below is the view from the north peak. We scrambled atop the crest of this ridge trying not to look down either side too much.












Here, Suz reacts to her position in the world. This spot may be my favorite square foot to stand on in Canada. Nolah carefully negotiates a downclimb below the summit. This was a pretty intimidating spot owing to its position a thousand feet above the valley floor. As with many things in the mountains though, they look much scarier from afar and when you're right there, the way is more straightforward.





I'm still amazed at the ease that her dog Sophie made it through here!


















In this picture I've drawn our route in light blue, it probably needs to be clicked on to see the detail. Going at a fairly casual pace, it took us 6 and a half hours for the complete traverse. We give this trip our highest rating possible owing to its spectacular scenery and proud sense of accomplishment. We were constantly looking back where we had just come from and being very impressed with ourselves. Though not difficult, being perched atop very narrow sections and knifing along very high cliff faces does test the nerves.

2 comments:

CaptainOrange said...

Have you been GPSing all your trips? It would be so great to see all of these on a single page to put it all in perspective.

rainswept said...
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