Prior to winter, Sonny had suggested snowshoeing up Mount Dyson, a small mountain in the foothills. One advantage for doing it offseason was crossing Sheep River when it was frozen over, rather than trying to ford it when water is flowing. But when winter arrived, it turned out to be unusually balmy, and there was no need for snowshoes. For us this would be a hike, albeit on an icy trail.
From the parking lot, we made our way down (40 m of down in fact) to Sheep River. After crossing the river, we picked up Wolf Creek trail on the other side. Ice covered much of the path, but travel was often easier on the hard-packed snow lining it. We followed the trail, deviating only to take a shortcut across a frozen marsh. The trail eventually runs beneath the grassy southeast slopes of Mount Dyson where we began our ascent.
This was the steepest part of our trip, but the effort put us on an open ridge where we could plan our next move. We faced open slopes topped with trees; even the summit was treed. We followed the boundary between the grass and the trees which traced a curve around to the backside. There we paused to take in the view west before diving into the trees to snag the uninspiring summit. There was no reason to stick around on top, so we backtracked to our viewpoint. Over lunch, we tried to identify the distant snow-covered peaks scintillating under the sun, but failed to get them all. Then we headed back, thankful that the afternoon sun hadn't softened the snow. There would be no post-holing on this trip.
Mount Dyson is unlikely to garner much interest in any season, but it's probably better suited as a winter objective if there is little snow. And it would be nice if there was plenty of sunshine!
Crossing Sheep River
Slick ice covered much of the path
Frozen now, the trail must be horrendously muddy in early season
We'll soon leave the road to take a shortcut across the frozen marsh. Blue Ridge ahead.
Hiking across the marsh
After getting back on the road we can see Mount Dyson on the right
The trail drops down to Wolf Creek only to climb up the other side
Wolf Creek trail merges with a cutline
After hiking 1.3 km on the cutline we left it to ascend a grassy slope
It's a steep climb up
From here, we'll work our way along the treeline before heading to the summit on the right
(click for a larger image)
We caught an animal trail although it soon petered out
Not much of a summit
Sonny and I posed by our own cairn
The long ridge of Junction Mountain dominates the skyline (mouse over to view the summit)
Gibraltar Mountain is easily recognized
Going back down the cutline
One of the iciest trail sections we encountered
82 J/10 Mount Rae
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