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April 14, 2010
Up on a bluebird day to Arethusa Cirque for a larch pilgrimage. And yes, they are completely peaking.
Crossed the creek & went up the Larch Trail. Topped out at the scree and never saw any split rock, but no matter, because wandering the meadow towards the North Cirque trail is easy and obvious. Dropped back down to the creek via the North Cirque access trail, then explored the meadow and watched pikas a bit.
Freeze/thaw conditions on the trails; all are frozen hard as nails with ice on the ponds and creek edges in the morning, and slippery/greasy in the afternoon as they melt off. Coming down the North Cirque trail in the afternoon sun was particularly nasty. All of last week's snow is gone save for small patches in the forest. LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of very recent grizzly bear digs, plus tracks frozen in the mud. The heaviest concentrations were in the upper half of the Larch Trail and the traverse to the North Cirque trail.
You can make the creek crossing easy by turning right and following the trail that leads around the marsh area towards a big scree slope 200 m directly opposite you when you get to the creek. There are several places to easily hop the creek back there. Way easier than trying to manage the frozen slippery rocks or bank edges (and it takes you past the pikas!)
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