Golden larches, crisp alpine air, amazing views of mountain tops and valleys, all surrounded by vegetation turned golden by diminishing daylight and changing temperatures. Alpine residents scurrying about when the sun is out collecting food for winter before snow falls.
A perfect time to hike to the Continental Divide, through the meadows and alpine forests climbing higher and higher to enjoy the views. Pristine, inviting clear water flowing in creeks; filtered by nature quenches our thirst.Grizzly bear diggings fresh and old, evidence of the large mammals looking for food. Large ground disturbances include large boulders or shallow diggings. Surface dwellers: marmots, ground squirrels give them the energy to survive. Any bulbs, roots or insects will do to ensure a comfortable winter sleep.
Resting and pausing to soak up the surroundings. We look back and see the Talon towering above the Jewell Lakes basin and the lodge. Ahead we can now see “Rendezvous” point, our destination between Whiteman and Mount Leval, not quite there yet.. More meadows, a broad gulley, a trail on the side hill and water flowing over the rocks. The Divide.. all we need now is to reach our high point for the day. Alpine flowers now in the seed phase: phacellias, snow potentillas, rock-jasmine, woolly fleabanes growing in the scree.
Before we know it we are on top: Assiniboine, the Royal Group, the Spray Valley, Sir Douglas and Birdwood all visible in the horizon!! Vivid bands and patches of golden larches everywhere!!
Time to find a soft spot, lay back and enjoy the respite knowing as we contemplate, the snowy days to come.