Frosty Larches and Snow

October 2014 with Nancy, Daphne, Nellie, Cathy, Bengul, Sabina.

For the second consecutive year, plans for a Thanksgiving weekend backpacking trip were scrubbed due to a wet weather forecast. We decided instead to seek out drier weather and brightly coloured larches in Manning Park, and seven of us dragged ourselves out of bed to leave the city at 6:00am for a 9:00 start.

The weather at Lightning Lake was nice and clear when we started; other Thanksgivings when I’ve hiked this trail there was frost and ice, but not on this day. We made good time: two and a quarter hours to the Frosty Creek campsite and three hours to the meadows, looking like good time for at least some of us who had plans to continue to the summit.

About then, however, the clouds rolled in and brought flurries of snow with them. The snow wasn’t bad, but it was accompanied by a fierce wind that reminded us that summer was definitely over. We made it to the end of the larches, and with the summit obscured by clouds we decided this was not a good day to go further.

It was still a very enjoyable day, with good views (when the clouds parted) and good company. The larches were about a week past their peak, but many other shrubs were in good colour.


There were not many birds, apart from the ubiquitous Grey Jays, but we found an immature Bald Eagle at the lake at the end of the hike, and four grouse (dusky?) at one spot in the lower meadows. A few people were hiking with dogs (illegally) off leash; when we stopped for the grouse, I had to get one couple to call off their border collie who was fast approaching. It was a well-behaved dog, and one of the owners very co-operatively picked up the dog and walked around us and the grouse!

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Thanks to Sabina Harpe for this group photo