Bernie's Report - June 25, 2003

Castle Mountain on Morrissey Ridge

Castle Mountain is one of my favourite short hikes. There are no technical challenges although there are a few steep sections that test your lung capacity. The goal is generally in sight throughout the hike and the views from clearing on top of the cliff band are excellent. The group for today�s jaunt up the Morrissey Ridge consisted of Helene & Annie, visitors from �la belle province, my daughter Jen and her boyfriend, Dave.

One accesses this trail from town by following Coal Creek road. Turn right over the bridge onto the River Road Extension and then left onto Branch Road �H� (marked by sign �BRH�). An all wheel drive vehicle with good clearance is required to drive to the trailhead. The trailhead is essentially the point at which you can no longer continue with the vehicle and there is space to park. Note: This route also makes for a excellent all-day combined mountain bike / hike. You can bike a bit farther up the old logging road than you are able to drive.

The hike continues up the old logging road for a kilometre or so. Watch for a brown shale rock band on your left as the trail curves to your left. (there is some blue flagging on a bush) At this point you leave the old logging road and head up the ridge (to your left) at the apex of this curve. The trail is vague from this point on but you just continue up the ridge until you reach the pine forest at the top. In the forest bear to the left and look for an opening to the clearing. From the clearing the views of the valley, the city and the ski hill are spectacular.

We encountered some interesting wild flowers and wild life on this hike. We almost stepped on a gaggle of partridge chicks and a big momma black bear ,with at least one cubs scampered away from us on the way down the logging road. After a few days of rain it sure was nice to see a bit of sunshine and get some exercise. We are planning to hike Mt. Fernie for Friday.

Bernie -

Destination: the top of the rock band.

Vague route up the ridge

Yellow flowers: Daisy? Sunflower?

"Excuse me, this is my log!"

A lonely purple daisy

Looking south down the valley

Resting on the way up the ridge

View of the ski hill & the Lizard Range