Despite the hardship of backpacking to Baker Lake and climbing Oyster Peak the previous day, the hot weather didn't permit us to sleep well. The following day when we did Skoki Mountain it would prove to be just as hot, 27°.
After a leisurely morning at the campsite we hiked up the Cotton Grass Pass Trail. In a short time we reached the turnoff for Jones Pass that would take us to Skoki Valley.
Much of the trip was in the open under the hot sun so we welcomed the shade of the trees on Jones Pass, although it didn't last long. Soon we were back under the sun as we neared Skoki Lodge. The lodge, incidentally, sits almost a hundred metres lower than the Baker Lake campsite.
Behind the lodge a signed trail leads to the base of Skoki Mountain. After breaking out of the trees, the mountain looked mostly like a scree pile, orange rock on the left and gray rock on the right. A trail went up in the orange slope but it seemed better left for the descent. We ascended the gray slope following sections of large rocks that were less likely to slide under our boots. The summit, however, sits atop of the orange slope.
We climbed slowly because of the heat. We passed a group of young people coming down the trail in the orange scree. They didn't have poles and were constantly falling and cursing, undoubtedly getting bruises and cuts.
After we reached the ridge right of the summit it was an easy scramble to the top. For a minor peak, it had exceptional views in all directions. After a half hour stay, we returned the same way.
The trip took seven hours although that includes time spent on the summit and chatting with people at the lodge, maybe an hour in all. Rather than pack up and leave that same day we decided to spend another night. For one thing, we were hot and tired. Also we could catch a lift with the lodge shuttle bus, a white van, at 10:30 the following morning, saving us the four kilometre walk down Temple Road to our car. The ride back was a fine finish to our stay in Skoki!
Dinah gets water at Baker Lake campsite
Hiking the trail on Cotton Grass Pass, Oyster mountain on our right
The sign reads: Jct. Skoki Valley/Deception Pass 3.7 km. Skoki Mountain ahead..
A closer look at Skoki Mountain's southeast slopes
Almost at the top of Jones Pass
Looking back at Oyster Peak
We cool off a bit in the shade on Jones Pass
Sign indicates the trail to Skoki Mountain
False summit of Skoki Mountain
Left to right: Mount Redoubt, Ptarmigan Peak and Wall of Jericho
Where's the summit? Later we learned that it's above me but hidden.
Heading up here and following the ridge to the summit would be more interesting.
The slog up. Behind are Merlin and Castilleja Lakes.
On the ridge
Zigadenus and Myosotis Lakes left of the Wall of Jericho
Red Deer Lakes, Mount Drummond (I think) in the background
Celebrating on the summit
Gem Trek Lake Louise and Yoho