Tuesday, 20 September 2016

25km Round-Trip Hike to Mt. Frosty

On September 10, 2016, I visited E.C. Manning Provincial Park with Mike Kintgen, Curator of Alpine Collections at the Denver Botanic Gardens. The original plan was to follow directions given to us that should have directed us to a population of Lewisia tweedyi. If one discounts a single plant that appears to have been planted near Manning Park's Cascade Lookout, this is Canada's only native population of this stunning species. We did follow the directions, as best we could. Alas, it appears we strayed... Anyway, in addition to the Lewisia, we also hoped to see Larix lyallii (Alpine Larch) on that day. There came a point along the trail where we knew we were too high to see the Lewisia, but in hindsight it was the right decision to keep on climbing because eventually we reached the elevations required to find the Larix (about 1800m). Along with the Larix came the spectacular views of the Cascades pictured below. And we managed to make a few seed collections.

Mike taking in the incredible scenery looking Southeast towards the Pasayten Wilderness and the U.S border.

I am getting used to seeing Mike "at home" near to or above the treeline.

Beautiful Castilleja parviflora v. albida

Castilleja rhexifolia? And Valeriana sitchensis.

Mike and an outstanding view.

Finally, something we were really hoping to see: Larix lyallii or Alpine Larch.

Larix lyallii. I did not manage to collect seed :(

Not a bad spot for lunch!

Lupinus arcticus? I did manage to find seed.

Oh yeah, that view again.

Lots of little creeks and early Fall mushrooms closer to the Manning Park Resort.

Earlier in the day, we visited Sumallo Grove,near the West Gate of Manning Park, where Mike saw gigantic specimens of Thuja plicata, Tsuga mertensiana and Pseudotsuga menziesii.

Rhododendron macrophyllum just a couple of kilometres East of Sumallo Grove.

Morning on the Sumallo River.

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