After last year’s fall climb up Bear Mountain, I thought it would be nice to get up there again and see what else I might find.
I got in touch with Matt Hunter to see if he was interested and available to go on the hike. He was, but neither of us had a vehicle, so we agreed to bicycle to the trailhead at Sawmill Creek campground.
The weather was partly cloudy trending to a marine layer/overcast, which was complete by the time we were biking back to town.
Our route took us from Sawmill Creek Campground, along Beaver Lake trail, and then up the ridge that rises above Beaver Lake. We went as far as the saddle at the top of that ridge, and explored a short distance on the ridge to the north.
On a snowfield near the upper end of the ridge, we found a mountain goat skeleton and hide – I’m guessing one that was harvested and boned out within the past month. (I later heard that someone who heard about the hide hiked up and collected it.)
Consistent with last year’s hike (followed by Bear Mountain plant specific posts part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4), I saw several interesting plant species that I’ve not found elsewhere in my explorations so far.
One of the highlights of this trip was a flock of 10 or so Rock Ptarmigan that offered good looks on the way down. Matt was patient with me, as I stopped to take pictures (if you look carefully in one of he ptarmigan pictures, you can see him sitting on rocks waiting for me further down the ridge).
I was a little concerned that the bicycle trip combined with the strenuous hike would make for a tough day, but was surprised to find there seems to be enough difference between the two activities that my legs didn’t feel any worse than usual. In fact, they seemed to be less fatigued/sore than I would have expected (especially in the following days) after the bike ride home – I’m guessing because the relatively gentle movement of the bicycling helped move blood through and flush out the muscles a bit.