When we stepped onto Merlin Pass Trail my only thought was to get this trip over with. It was raining and clouds obscured the mountains. Fortunately, the route unfolded just like in the book. When we came to the clearing we could see the notch that we needed to get to. Better yet, a side trail took us in the right direction. The trail disappeared at a meadow only to reappear when we reached the base of the notch. After ascending it, we plunged into a low cloud.
On a nice day, this would have been a pleasant climb, but this morning we could see little beyond our feet. The rain turned to drizzle and followed us all the way to the summit. There was no point in lounging at the top as Alan Kane suggests: we were cold and wet. Because of the weather, I could only point my camera west. After taking a partial panorama, we started back down.
Soon after starting our descent, however, the rain ceased and the bad weather began to ease. We did the last half of the descent in sunshine, but the surrounding mountain peaks remained shrouded in low clouds.
Dense undergrowth crowded the trail and we quickly became soaked. The notch is on the left.
Coming up to the base of the notch
Climbing up the notch
Mist rolls in when we reach the ridge
A chilly pause for a summit shot. The blue thermos is the register.
Jasper and Talbot Lakes on the descent as the clouds began to lift
This golden-mantled ground squirrel kept an eye on us
We were tempted to turn around when the sun came out but the peak was still in cloud
83 E/1 Snaring River & 84 F/4 Miette