Heinz's Report - June 08, 2003

Following Part of Heiko�s Trail

This is the sixth installment of our summer adventures. It occurred on June 7 and our reporter today is Mike � his first.

The trail is the Lake-to-Lake Trail. The lakes are Hartley Lake and Island Lake. The route is behind the Three Sisters. Officially that mountain is probably not the Three Sister�s and officially it�s not Heiko�s Trail.

Our group met at the Chamber of Commerce and, carpooled into pickup trucks for the ride up Hartley Lake Road. We passed both the trailhead to Mount Hosmer and Hartley Lake. A left turn off Hartley Lake Road brought us into a meadow. From the meadow it was evident why we were in four wheel drive trucks. Despite the work from Heiko and his crew the road was somewhat less than a proper gravel road. The trucks were parked in the second meadow and the hiking began.

What was an old trail now has signs and ladders and steps and railings to follow. We climbed up through a temperate rainforest with snow and spongy soil underfoot and waterfalls cascading beside the trail. The first objective of the hike was to look inside the cave. That was easily achieved because the volume of water coming out prevented our entering very far into the cave. September would be a better time for a spelunking adventure.

The second objective of the trip was to have lunch with a view. The trail continued up from the cave.

Ok, ok, I know this is a pretty dispassionate account of things. At this point in our journey the snow was the only thing underfoot and evidence of Heiko�s trail building was not so evident. Steve and I had been up in the area before. Kaz, his husky, seemed to know where he was going so we followed him. �Up, just go up and keep Mount Bisaro on your right�. It was glorified bushwhacking but easy (no underbrush). Steve, Dave and Heinz had done some boot skiing on Hosmer last week and we were looking forward to sliding a bit on the way back down. As it turned out the best boot skiing tracks of the day were paw-skiing tracks laid down by a bear that had previously bisected our trek up Shady Lane (a Heiko sign). The neatest thing of the day was watching a cornice fall off Mt. Bisaro (three stars - worth a trip). Eventually we broke out of the forest, just above the meadow below Mt. Bisaro, with a view of the north side of the Three Sisters, and with a dry rock with my name on it. Lunch!

Just like this narrative, the rest of the story was downhill. Slipsliding away. The snow was a little too rotten for bootskiing but it was cold and kept the feet from swelling.

Heinz and Dave say that I have to rate the hike. Here goes: It was a hike not a walk. Because of the snow it was necessary to have people who knew generally where they were going. Steve had been up looking for lost souls and I had been on one of Janet and Steve�s guided hikes. Heiko�s trail is not finished and care is needed. It is not at the Parks Canada standard�.yet. Duration: Seven hours from the Chamber of Commerce, round trip. Elevation Gain: Almost the same as going up to Polar Peak (Heinz�s note � I�m not sure about that, it seemed much easier than that). A steady climb. Technically: Because so much of the trip was on snow, route finding was necessary as were gaiters and sun screen. The trail will be changing constantly as the snow melts and we will probably never find our lunch site again. Evaluation: Best hike yet.

Heinz - heinzr@far.redtree.com

The trailhead at the meadow. Mt Bisaro in the background.

Waterfalls about 20 min into the trail.

The RCMP investigating Watergate. (the name of this waterfall coming right out of the rocks.

The cave opening. About 30 min into the trail.

Another hiker � the grizzly kind � across our trail. The paw is about twice the size of my hand.

There was plenty of snow on the hike. It started just after the cave.

Mt Bisaro panorama. Email me if you want the hi res version (2 mb in size)

An avalanche starting off the top of Mt. Bisaro while we were catching our breath. Real cool.

The view from our lunch spot. The back of the Three Sisters on the left and the start of Mt. Bisaro on the right. Email me if you want the hi res version (2 mb in size)

The troupe for today�s adventure. What a beautiful day!