Nuk Tessli – North Pass Lake

1 nplk from aboveA cool day and quite buggy when I went to North Pass Lake west of Nuk Tessli, and the meadows above it for the first time.  We had a large party of 10 people, many of them teenagers, and 3 guides.  The quicker ones soon forged ahead.

Doron took us to the trailhead by boat and we walked up beside Beach Creek.  One-sided pyrolas enjoyed the rocks along the trail.

1a onesided pyrolaPaintbrushes were noticeably scarce, but valerian made a good show.  The meadows I was heading for show in green patches on the ridge behind.

2 valerian and meadowsThere were also plenty of white bog orchids.

3 orchid and paintbrushSavannah sparrows “chipped” at us constantly, warning their babies of monsters.

3b savannah sparrowThe trail goes along the edge of North Pass Lake.  Leather-leafed saxifrage seeds made a nice contrast with the grey, windy water.

3a nth pass lk and ll saxWe left the lake by one of the few patches of lupins still blooming  (Normally they are prime at this time of year.)

4 lupinsUp a little creek (now dry) was a nice group of alpine speedwell.

5 alpine speedwell 2We had a lunch break up top, but it was very buggy.

4a  girlsValerian was common up here as well

6 valerian and wild.And in a hollow, where the snow must have lain late, was one tiny patch of lupins and paintbrush together.  What a contrast to my hike at the same time in this area last year.

7 lupin and paintbrushHarry looks cute wherever he is.

7a harryOn the way down we encountered a mother barrow’s goldeneye with 7 half-grown young.

8 goldeneyes

On the second hike I made up to north pass lake I had only two people to worry about, and they were keen naturalists, so we enjoyed everything, bugs, mushrooms, salamanders, birds and flowers.  We took a different route to the lake, going up a little-used trail to what I call Panorama Meadow.

11 panorama meadowWe hiked via the Lookout where there are a number of sculptural trees.  This whitebark pine has made three attempts to grow and, courtesy of a strip of bark that spirals around the trunk, it is still alive.

13 tough treeThe upturned whitebark roots often have a pinkish cast

14 rootOne hollow tree has the remains of intricate carpenter ant galleries in it.

15 flute tree detailBut most dramatic of all is the monster tree.  A burned out snag, it has stood for probably well over 100 years.

16 monster treeA view inside.

17 mons tree insideIt was another stormy, windy day.  Here is the view of the cabin area from the Lookout.

18 cabins from lookoutBut the high point of this hike was as we were coming home.  First, all we saw were horns like sticks poking above the vegetation of a wet area.

9 moose horns

Then up reared a magnificent bull moose.

10 moose 2If you look closely, you can see the dampness on his fur almost to the top of his back.  He had been standing in a tiny hole full of water, eating the roots of water plants.

One thought on “Nuk Tessli – North Pass Lake”

  1. Great post! Good to see Harry again. Is Badger still in the picture?
    I still wish I could enlarge your great photos by clicking on them.

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