After a prolonged stay at the summit of the east hill, we reluctantly descended back to the col and then climbed up the shorter west hill. The summit of the west hill barely rose above the prevailing mist, and as a result, the views from this summit were not nearly as far-reaching as that of the east hill. From there, we opted for completing a loop by descending the southeast ridge but deviated slightly from the route described by Daffern. We picked up a trail slightly to the east of the ridge crest, but this trail eventually peters out above a steep, grassy slope. At this point, the sky had cleared enough for us to see where we were headed, and we simply made a beeline for the valley bottom. Snow made the grassy slope treacherously slippery, but we managed to work our way down to the forest below where we finally intersected Picklejar Creek trail. The easy hike back to the highway was only interrupted when we had to do a bit of route-finding where the trail and its namesake trailhead had been washed away by the 2013 floods. The walk back along the highway to Zora's car was very pleasant under sunny skies.
Despite the inauspicious start, this turned out to
be a memorable hike which I will always think about every time I fire up
Clash of Clans on my computer! Be sure to check out Bob's trip
report. Sonny, Zora and Bob bask in the sunshine on top of
the east hill (2457 metres). Mist Mountain anchors the Misty Range to the
A spruce grouse perches warily on a
tree branch (this photo is remarkably similar to
one that I
took in 2012 near Bluerock Mountain).
Bob and Zora hike up the snow-covered
These trees are tilted across the road
at uncannily the same angle.
Bob stands at the col between the west
and east hills.
Zora and Bob climb up the slope of the
Mist fills the valleys surrounding
Lineham Peak (centre).
The mist lifts to reveal the west
hill. The approach road can also be seen at bottom right.
Zora enjoys the far-reaching views on
this day from the top of the east hill.
Unofficially-named Highwood Peak
(centre) is the highest point in the Highwood Range.
Mist Mountain is barely visible from
the top of the west hill (2397 metres).
Bob and Zora make their way down the
southeast ridge of the west hill.
Zora carefully descends a steep slope
en route to Picklejar Creek.
Zora stands on what used to be the
parking lot for the Picklejar Creek trailhead. The trailhead
was obliterated by the epic floods of 2013.
Zora and Bob hike out the damaged
access road for the Picklejar Creek trailhead.
Zora and Bob solemnly stand in front
of a memorial for a hunter who was killed by a grizzly bear in the
area in 2014.
Zora and Bob hike back along the
highway to their starting point. The west hill is still
partially shrouded in clouds at right.
Distance: 11.4 kilometres
Round-Trip Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Total Elevation Gain: ~829 metres
Sonny, Zora and Bob bask in the sunshine on top of the east hill (2457 metres).
Mist Mountain anchors the Misty Range to the northwest.