By now, we were getting a nice routine - wake up, stuff face, hike and gambol in the alpine, take lots of pictures, come back and stuff face again. Today however, wasn’t quite as bluebird. In fact the sky even looked a bit threatening. We decided to head over to the southern flank of WhiteMan Peak on the Ptarmigan Plateau to see if we could get to Cirque Lakes – some small alpine lakes at the toe of that mountain.
That hike had the advantage of being close to the lodge in case the weather broke and we had to get back quickly. It was also to another part of the area that we hadn’t seen and was relatively flat so that parents and Kor Kor would not get too tired.
Big pit dug by big bears – Ptarmigan Plateau
Making our way over to Cirque Lakes – Royal Ridge in the background
As it turned out, it never did rain on us. The hike was a bit longer than we thought as we took Kor Kor, Mum and Dad around on quite the little exploration. First, we hiked as planned over Ptarmigan Plateau retracing our route of the previous day. Then we headed north towards Cirque Lake. The terrain there got a bit complex with dips and knolls - the oldsters got a little worked and we made them sit down and rest.
Didn’t quite make it to Cirque Lakes – the terrain got a bit rough and we want to keep parents and Kor Kor motivated!
Views looking north west down the Cross River drainage on the edge of Ptarmigan Plateau
Chai on the edge of Ptarmigan Plateau
We then traced a path close to the northern rim of Ptarmigan Plateau before it dropped off towards the Cross River drainage some 800m below. We intended to then make our way in the alpine meadows to the lodge to complete a big circle route. However, we then came up against a network of gullies. There was no way our aged parents and aunt were going to haul up and down that!
So we retraced our steps back to the plateau and found our way back to the lodge. This was the longest hike of the trip and the oldsters were well and truly worked after this expedition.
We tried to hike the edge of the Plateau back to the hut but there were quite a few gullies blocking the way. This one had a lot of snow!
Friendly visitor in the snowy gully watched us cross.
The last (but not least) thing we had to do was then to celebrate Dad’s 70th birthday – which was actually yesterday. Joanne was sweet enough to make him a cake. Happily beaming and surrounded by his wife, sister and his kids, my Dad looked pretty stoked!
Talus Lodge views
Parents and Chai soaking up the sun at Talus Lodge
Mum and Dad really had a good time
Dad’s birthday cake!
Yes – I do think Mum and Dad had a good time
The family mug shot!
Sunrise on the mountains the next morning