HIke #2 - eastern slope Rockies, July 25/11

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Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

Of all the times I've been in Peter Lougheed I've never heard of this trail.  I tried the Ptarmigan cirque this past July 2 but the snow in the forest was still 5 feet deep!  meanwhile, Drywood Mountain in southern Alberta was perfect, having most of the same species in bloom 3 weeks before your trip.  Mine you, I have never seen Anemone lithophila and the S. oppositifolia I found were long gone.

Todd Boland St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada Zone 5b 1800 mm precipitation per year

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Todd wrote:

Of all the times I've been in Peter Lougheed I've never heard of this trail.  

It's not a maintained or signed trail.  If 20km of very dusty washboard dirt road (Spray Lakes Road, up behind Canmore) doesn't dissuade one, it's just on the other side of the road from the Sparrowhawk picnic site.   (NB. Mind you, I sure as h**ll wouldn't drive up there just for a picnic!!)  Beyond the big rockfall, there is no trail... though one is rapidly being trod down.  (There was no discernible path at all when we started hiking there.  Someone has recently marked the incipient trail with rock cairns, as well.)  

It's a late spring this year up there, due to the heavy snowfall, but nowhere near so late as last year (which was astounding... many plants only managing in bloom in late August)!

Yeah, I'm too big a wimp to get up there when the Saxifraga oppositifolia are really in bloom... the snow seems too recent still at that time!  We rarely manage to catch the tail end of flowering.

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Looks like a beautiful hike, Lori.  Just the sight of all that snow makes me feel cooler here in the sweltering northeast.  The Anemone lithophila is a new one for me.  Do you ever see Chionophila jamesii?  Or perhaps it doesn't grow that far north?

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

It is a fabulous area, Anne - always fascinating for me regardless of the stage of bloom.  Glad the snow was cooling for you!  ;)

No, Chionophila jamesii doesn't get this far north.  Apparently, it's only found in Wyoming and Colorado:http://www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/White%20Enlarged%20Photo%20Pages/ch...The plants in my tufa garden have come through another winter, and look fine, but didn't bloom this year.

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I have just raided Stuart's photo collection for a final couple of shots to round off this account...Climbing the hump... the start of the interesting part:  

The big scree slope at the end of the trail (for our usual route, anyway):

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

We did this hike again on August 9th/11 to see the changes a couple of weeks can bring...Here are some of the highlights.Coming out of the trees...

Penstemon ellipticus in fabulous bloom:      

Silene acaulis, in a joint in the rock; coral; Erigeron aureus; in the talus, 3 different Salix; scenery:    

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Minuartia austromontana (I think); lichen; alpine sedges(?); scene; Tonestus (Haplopappus) lyallii (x2):          

Drainhole; Saxifraga lyallii; Salix; Crepis nana, none yet in bloom here:      

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Mistmaiden, Romanzoffia sitchensis (thanks for the ID, Mark!); Smelowskia calycina; pika; Parnassia fimbriata (x2):       

Lori Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3 -30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I'm sure you've guessed that the parnassia has my attention again.  Same floral parts, but shaped differently.  Love the five yellow hands.  A few extra fingers, though  ;D

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I grew Romanzoffia once - untill the slugs found it :(

Trond Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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