Waterfalls Plateau, 31 Aug 2013

Chris N. on Waterfalls Plateau:
“The lack of 4wds on Wanderung showed as I couldn’t scare up another driver and the ensuing logistical complications meant that only 2 of us left Vancouver at 7 am on our way to adventure and discovery. The Hurley was pretty awful – really in need of a grading. There was a huge pack of cars at the Semaphore Lakes trailhead as we passed – almost as many as you see at the Keith’s Hut parking area. The first 7 km of the Hope Creek FSR were in pretty good condition with some minor rutting left over from a recent wet spell. The east branch was definitely 4wd with frequent short but sharp waterbars needing good clearance and a 1 km stretch of close alder. We parked at the Beaujolais / Mystery scrambling parking area. The bushwhacking was moderate and short and we would encounter the odd flagging but didn’t find any specific trail except animal routes. Most of the route to Noel Pass was in narrow, heathery meadows. A tarn at the pass yielded almost-frog tadpoles, a newt and a multitude of water boatman bugs. We also encountered signs of winter sled traffic – shredded beer cans. We side-hilled into Noel encountering much krummholz and steep forest. Climbing the first side valley on the west brought us onto the rocky plateau that I had hoped would be more vegetated. But we found good camping spots near a tarn that was still melting out. On the middle day, we rambled west and found even better camping spots as we went and plentiful tarns. We interrupted a ptarmigan party, watched raptors hunt and eavesdropped on pika conversations. At one point, we spotted what may have been a wolverine! Returning to the car on the Monday, we descended due south through meadows and an old burn encountering some old flagging tape on the way back to the road. Along the way, we swashbuckled moptops and discussed the prevalence of walrus-mounted alpine mammals.”

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