Third (Unfinished Business) Brother, Manning Park
July 2014 with Daryl, Daphne, Kitty, Judith, Elena, Len B, Fred H, Louise B, Judy R, Anne, Helen G
Having hiked to the First and Second Brothers (above) in 2013, some of us arrived at the Nature Vancouver summer camp in Manning Park with an agenda to get up there and complete the trilogy. The First and Second work well as a pair, but the Third is a bit further away and requires a loss of elevation before climbing back up again. So naturally we picked the hottest day of the camp to go up there and hike the 25 kilometre return trip.
This was the second week of July. I’ve been on this trail in mid June, beginning of July, beginning of August and middle of August, but never in the middle of July. Each time the flowers are different. On this trip, the big show was the Cusick’s speedwell (Veronica cusickii) which I don’t recall ever noticing there before, but was widespread and abundant.
We spent some time botanising on the way to Big Buck but probably should have moved it on a bit more. On the way up we realised that we’d better pick it up a bit if we were going to make the Third Brother. A couple of people decided that Big Buck was enough for the day and hung back to enjoy the meadows, and the rest of us pushed on.
Yes it was hot, too hot for us to really move fast, still giving some time enjoying the meadows. We got past the First and Second Brothers and found a reasonably good route up to the Third. It was a mostly straightforward walk up through the meadows but slow (did I mention that it was hot?) with just a short steep gully just below the summit which made it a bit more difficult than the First and Second Brothers.
Helen was the only one who spotted the mountain goat, and only for a brief moment. It was the best mammalian sighting of the camp (apart from the lynx we saw on the Friday Creek Forest Service Road, which was out of the park so doesn’t really count).
Some people are never satisfied. Daphne, younger and fitter than the rest of us, who was there the year before when we did the First and Second, decided that now that she’d done the Third that she also wanted to bag the First and Second again. While the rest of us made our way slowly back on the trail, she headed down and up again. She made the Second but decided in this heat that that was more than enough for a day.
Looking to Fat Dog Ridge:
The hike back through the meadows and past Big Buck and Buckhorn to the Blackwall may have been one of the hottest afternoons I’ve ever hiked in. More than anything I think it was the sun. But it was a great day for flowers and scenery. One thing about camp hiking is that you need to be back for dinner, and while we did our best we still didn’t get back to the Lone Duck campground until 6:30. Surprisingly, they actually waited for us, though with about a quarter of the camp being on this hike they didn’t really have much choice.
The forgotten Fourth Brother. Maybe one day…