July 3, 2023
June 18, 2023
June 13, 2023
There are numerous ways to access this ridge. We decided to make a loop from Powderface Creek. We've been down the Powderface Creek Trail on a previous hike. It's well defined and easy to follow - shown here.
This trail shows up on the AllTrails app but it's marked on FATMAP as a route, not a trail. That should have been my first clue.
This trail was supposed to lead us up onto the ridge. At first, it was a pretty good trail.
We made good time, moving up this trail but it seemed to stay low in the valley and traverse the side of the ridge rather than going up on top of the ridge.
But hey, that's ok, we've done a bit of route finding on past hikes. Three Little Summits was all route finding.
Was this where we were supposed to turn off the traversing trail and start up hill? I decided to go for it.
I took out my phone and began to follow the route shown on FATMAP. Unlike Three Little Summits, where the bushwacking was fairly easy, this forest was more dense and progress was more difficult.
I was also a bit alarmed to see that my phone was low on power. No matter if I found the trail on the ridge quickly, I could put the phone away.
But most of the time, I was navigating using the map on my phone. Power was dwindling.
It is not a nice feeling to be off trail and your only navigational tool is a phone that is about to die.
I occasionally called out "Hey Bear!" which I like to do when I'm by myself in bear country. After one of these calls, I got the strangest, creepiest response. An animal down in the valley made a loud, aggressive noise that I can only describe as a deer or elk either giving birth or dying painfully. Peaches and I looked at each other, her eyes were big and scared as mine probably were too. We moved quickly away from the noise and kept a bit quieter until I was sure we were well past.
This was actually a lower section or ramp leading up to the true ridge which starts at the back of the photo.
I looked around before my phone died and tried to spot the route down to Powderface Creek where I knew there was a trail.
I was very relieved to see a trail in the distance. I knew I could hike this down to the creek and then out to the highway.
Because my phone died, there is no FATMAP recording to show you. I'm not sure how far we went that day. AllTrails shows the "trail" as 15.1 km. It sure felt like more.
There is no actual trail on the right and bottom sides of the loop shown here.
It wasn't a bad hike, I just wasn't up for a bushwhack that day. I wanted an easier stroll along a well defined trail. Had I known it was going to be so much route finding, I certainly would have made sure my phone was fully powered.
I hiked from our campsite at Beaver Flats and ended up going a total of 14.6 km. My total elevation gain was 421 meters.