Trail up Mt. Edith Cavell

July 28 , 2008

When we reached the parking area at the end of the road at about 9am there were already probably 20 cars there. We headed up the nice trail and traveled beside wonderful steams cascading down the mountain.

The streams were accented by colorful fireweed.

What I'm calling fireweed here has much larger blooms and is more luxuriant than the fireweed we are accustomed to seeing, so it may be a different species of plant altogether. It surely does give a nice accent to the streams.

From the streams we could get views of the glacier up on the side of the sheer rock mountain.

Moving up from the streams, the trail got steeper and rockier over the morraine. We had the glacier above us and the icefield below us.

The ice field at the base was covered with soil and certainly not a thing of beauty. But the ice wall which dropped into the glacial pool at the base of the mountain was awesome with its massive size and subtle blue color. For scale, note the people on the near edge of the pool at the lower left of the picture.

The multistranded melt streams coming down the bare rock from the toe of the glacier had an unusual and austere beauty.

You could see the streams' origins at the toe of the glacier.

From this high on the trail you could look down the valley and see the small green lake far below us.

We came to a small moist basin where water was trapped by a section of the morraine. It was aplace moist enough to support some nice flowers, and up popped the head of a marmot who lived there.

This marmot checked us over carefully. He must have thought we were strange-looking enough to run off and tell his friends.

The next thing we knew, there were a pair of marmots up on a high rock, and then marmots everwhere!

This marmot even interrupted his bath to come check us out!

All this scrambling around by the marmots must have aroused the attention of the elusive pika. I was delighted to see him come out of his rocky fortress for a few moments. I haven't seen a pika since Rocky Mountain National Park!

Brenda was now way ahead of me on the trail since I had spent time chasing marmots and pikas.

We were reaching up into the snow region now and were puffing a bit from the steepness and altitude.

Higher on the trail, this fine specimen of a ground squirrel came out to meet us. She really used this rock as a stage - playing around with this little white rock that looked like a piece of bread. It was as if she was saying "All I've got is just this little rock. Can't you give me a little piece of bread?"

Aw! Maybe I judged her too hastily. I didn't know she had a little one to take care of.

As we climbed, we got more direct views of the glacier. It was not really a thing of beauty, but very interesting. It was like a large bird with its head hanging down the mountain. The melt stream ran from the bottom to the pool below, which was bordered by this impressive ice wall.

The melt stream that fed the glacial pool ran out of the end of the glacier.

From higher up the trail we could see the icebergs in the glacial lake below.

We saw another small furry animal that turned out to be a round-eared mouse of some kind.
As we reached our highest point on the trail, we could see another hanging glacier high on the mountain. I found the structure of these glaciers intriguing. Above left is a closer detail of the central part of the glacier show in the wide view at right. Above right is the right side of the lower glacier, showing another melt stream coming out of its flank.

Trail down Mt. Edith Cavell

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