Mount Lipsett has been on our to-do list for awhile and with larches turning yellow in Highwood Pass, there was no better time to do it.
After the trailhead, we went left at the first fork to get onto the former highway. Here much of the trail was wet and muddy, something we didn't expect so late in the season. And this section of trail seemed interminably long. Just when we thought we'd fall off the edge of the earth, the trail folded back on itself and began climbing. Still, we had a long way to go before we even reached the treeline. Perhaps it was just as well that we spent most of the time in the trees, for it was blustery on the open ridge.
The hike to the summit was uneventful except for the grizzlies we spotted below us on the lower slopes of Mist Mountain. Not only was there a large silverback digging on the grassy slopes, but a few hundred metres away was a sow with her cub. We spent several minutes watching the bears. The sow and cub headed in the direction of the silverback, but apparently turned around and moved farther away when they spotted it.
It was too windy to stay long on the summit. On the way down, we noticed we could take a shortcut back that would be both quicker (cutting off 600 m) and take us through a grove of larches. The shortcut proved easier than we expected; we followed a narrow grassy strip that led back to the trail. No bushwhacking. There seemed no other easy shortcuts after this; we still had to contend with a long, winding trail back to the car.
Much of the lower trail was muddy.
Elk Range on our left
Mist Mountain comes into view.
On the return, our shortcut avoided this stretch of road.
The summit is far right, in the background.
Heading to the summit
Approaching the jagged summit
Dinah makes her way to the top of Mount Lipsett
The view northeast, Highwood Ridge in the foreground
Sow with her cub
Heading back. Odlum Ridge left
Larches on the shortcut
82 J/10 Mount Rae
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