This is my fourth trip to Maroon Mountain that lies just north of Terrace. Previous trips with friends had all been dogged by dodgy weather and time constraints. This TR is for Jeff and Jenn and Keefer.
We took advantage of the stable high pressure system perched over BC over July 25th 26th and planned for an overnight.
Access is simple and the road is good for any vehicle.
The hike starts at Hall Creek. There was vehicle bridge at one time but that has since been removed which adds about 20 extra minutes to get to the former trailhead.
Kalum Lake from early on in the trail.
The Maroon Mountain trail has been in existence for many years and had been the access point for mineral exploration in the area at least 80 years ago.
. Once again, mining and exploration in this area precedes much of the recreational use.
Getting through the woods to alpine is typical switchback, even graded, packtrail. The trail ends just below the alpine at an old minesite.
Today we took the SW fork to get onto a broad ridge that pulls you up to slopes of the mountain itself.
(TRails to Timberline, Einar Blix)
Mt. Wesach to the north is always there.
So we gain some good elevation on this tack and the ridge ends abruptly with a 15-20m cliff but an easy walk out on its north side.
From this cliff Maroon Mountain is right in front.
We pitched our tents and decided to approach the peak from the North side.
I'd heard about some guy who thought about putting a rope-tow on the mountain although I cant imagine why. The only access in winter by AT or snowmobile. There it was though, an abandoned generator, a whole bunch of braided cable going up the slope and a culvert full of safety equipment. Very strange.
So up we go, a steep snowslope but not a huge challenge. Then a few scrambles to the final pitch to the cairn.
That part took about 1.5 hours and we reached the cairn at 4:15pm.
Down below, our tents looked like gum on the sidewalk.
Over yonder are the Seven Sisters; right down to their ankles.
We could pick out just about every major peak in this area from the top.
Fiddler Lake? somewhere.... not visible from here.
The headwaters of Hall Creek with Kalum lake behind
There was a lot to see but we had to eventually leave.
We took the express elevator. Yipee!!
We moved camp to a little tarn just around the corner.
and spent some time with the sunset and looking around.
I was bagged and barely stayed awake for sunset.
The moon stayed by for a while.
Maroon watched another day turn into night as it always has for thousands of years.
It probably didn't notice or even care about the two of us .
Dawn. Day two
So I wake up at 7:00 to find Mr. D quite happy about something. "Hey, I just went on a hike since 5:30and saw about 30 goats."
He'd popped around to the westerly side of our bit of the alpine and got these great shots. Mostly Nannies and Kids.
They had pulled their vanishing act by the time I got there.
The wormless notearly-bird
THE OLD MINE
We packed up and head x-country to the North to intercept the lower trail.
Lots of runoff and interesting microtopgraphy.
We found the corner of an old mining claim and used it to spike us to the map.
From there it was an easy find to the lake by the trail. Instead of heading down,we kept our elevation and worked our way above the old mine at the end of this trail.
I later found out that it was part of a group of claims that were worked in the 20s and 30s by up to 30 workers. This mine had a cable car set up to get the ore out to small Ball Mill set up onsite to reduce the ore.
One of 3 shafts
An old forge
I couldn't figure out why someone left some nice footwear in the collpsed cabin.
Other stuff was strewn about; old shovels, a pickaxe, steel balls from the mill.
They took out only 25 tons worth about $200/t.
Im always amazed by these old hardrock miners and what they did with such basic equipment.
A beautiful lake further down the trail with an old dig in the cliff above it and more relics.
Maroon Mountain quietly watched us as we faded into the trees and resumed its meditation on timelessness.