Perkins Peak Fall 2022.

I mentioned in an earlier post that my efforts to get into the alpine were thwarted by a large washout on the road to Perkins Peak. Here is an article from the Williams Lake Tribune that shows the size of the washout. It was supposed to have been fixed by mid August but other damaged areas took priority and it was finally completed after the middle of September. Jade and I had both been suffering withdrawal symptoms from a lack of alpine experience so we grabbed a potentially fine day and went up there. I can no longer walk any distance so I left her at the end of the ATV road below the peak and we arranged to meet up later.

The weather was as beautiful as promised over the Chilcotin, but cloud clung stubbornly to the mountains.

I was going to ride around to the mine as I always like to do, and Jade would find a way there over the ridges in between.

There is not a lot of vegetation of interest to me along the road to the peak, but the trip to the mine has all kinds of good stuff. Despite the lateness of the season, we had managed to time the fall colours at their best.

Once I get onto the ATV, Pepita hates to get off it. If we are walking, as soon as I head back to the machine, she runs ahead and jumps aboard.

Soon we hit the colour display. Mostly deep red and orange dwarf birch, and yellow arctic willow.

Alpine blueberry is another plant that turns very red. (The berries were delicious!)

Kinnikinick was also well covered in berries. Mice and ptarmigan will have plenty of nibbles this winter.

The colour faded somewhat as the road continued. An area of dead white bark pines shows the efforts these plants have to make to grow in this climate. The area in the background was where I saw the helicopter dropping stuff for mine exploration last fall. I was pleased to see that every scrap of material had been taken away.

Among these dead trees (which show evidence of n ancient fire) grows an intriguing sedge that looks just like a little hedgehog.

I figured it was time for lunch. Pepita refused to leave the ATV while I was there – she was so tired after all her riding around, she had a little snooze.

I continued to the “Martian” landscape around the mine.

Jade had called me on her radiophone when she had reached the summit of Perkins Peak, which was not long after I had left her. But I had heard nothing for some time. I kept calling but to no avail. Someone at Tatla called back at one point and said he could hear me perfectly. I just had to hope that the fault was with Jade’s radiophone and not her. I waited a while near the mine but an unpleasant cold wind had started so I bumped and lurched back along the trail, hoping I would run into her. Still sunny at home.

And there, not far from the junction of the two trails, was something that might have been a spindly tree. Closer, it appeared to be wearing green pants. I was sure pleased to see Jade intact. She had been climbing down a tricky bit and had put her radiophone down on a rock, then forgot it. When she realized she climbed back up with some difficulty, but a small black object among the jumble of black rocks was going to stay hidden. All’s well that ends well and we both managed to get our alpine fix. We ATVed back to the truck. (The light brown hills in the middle distance on this last photo were burned in the 2017 fire and have since been logged.)

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