It was a good plan. We were going to hike Jumbo Pass and Monica Meadows over the Thanksgiving long weekend, ending the hiking season in a blaze of glorious, golden larches. Sadly, Air Canada had other ideas.
With my flight home delayed by nearly 20 hours, I flew back to Castlegar and wistfully looked down at the pockets of larches glowing in the Purcell Mountains. Having lost the majority of the long weekend, we assessed the snow levels and picked something with easy access: Lightning Strike Ridge on Kootenay Pass.
There are no larches to be found on Kootenay Pass, but we enjoyed a brisk hike on a snow-crusted trail. The snow line was starting to build up in the shadows of the mountains, creating patches of a black-and-white world.
With cool temperatures and rain in the forecast, it’s sad to think that the alpine is slowly closing under snow. Despite the wildfire smoke and the endless hot days, 2017 was a great hiking season!