Nuk Tessli: Gentian Valley Part 2

a second bid for the upper Gentian ValleyWe made a second bid to reach the bluffs with the rare alpine plants in the upper Gentian Valley.  The morning had a bit of promise at first.  The wind was still very wild, but we had a little sun.  The heathers were wonderful.  Little creeks seeped over lovely rock gardens.

2b seepGold-crowned sparrows defied the wind and sang to us.

perched goldcrowned sparrowWe were headed for the steep valley side below the saddle in the following photo.  There I would hope to find dozens of species, including mist maiden, alp lily, a so-far unidentified potentilla, snow saxifrage, nodding saxifrage and several other species of that genus, pygmy buttercup, and several old friends like moss campion, roseroot, silky phacelia, alpine harebells and so on.

upper Gentian ValleyBird’s beak louswort was common.

pedicularis ornithorinchaWe startled a white-tailed ptarmigan with chicks.

ptarmigan, white-tailedNear the lake at the top, a small pond still retained a bit of ice.

6 bit of ice

As we grew closer to the bluffs, the weather deteriorated again.  Soon we were fighting gusts of rain as well as the wild wind.  Very regretfully, we decided it would be too dangerous to try and negotiate the steep bluffs.  We managed to find a few plants on an easier slope:

Moss campion.

8 moss campionMountain harebell

alpine harebell

Arnica mollis.

lambs'ears arnica

But the weather was too uncomfortable to linger.

dry slopeAfter 2 weeks of scorching, dry weather, we had to time our camping trip for the storms.  We beat an ignominious retreat back to camp.

11 wet retreatThe next day, we arrived back at Nuk Tessli.

canoeing on Nuk Tessli

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