Larch Time in Pocaterra Cirque

After crossing the first ridge you get a view of the larch forest from the avalanche slope.

During weeks of rain, mist and snow, the larches had been gradually turning orange. With seemingly only one good day — well, a reasonably good day — in the forecast, we hurried out to Highwood Pass parking lot to find it full. People were not heading into Ptarmigan Cirque on this day, but into Pocaterra Cirque where there is a great forest of larches.

Entering the larches.

Larches and Pocaterra Ridge

Pocaterra Tarn. Shows the ongoing trail.

Looking back down to Pocaterra Tarn.

Sun and gloom.

We counted about 40 people and many, like ourselves, were continuing on to the highest summit of Pocaterra Ridge. Snow lay deep on Grizzly Pass and on the north side of Little Highwood Pass and along the highest tops of the ridge, but the south ridge trail was clear with a steady stream of people moving up and down it.

Higher up between the larches and the scree slope

At the flat meadow where the trail divides at a cairn. Left climbs through larches towards Grizzly Col. Right is the route to Little Highwood Pass, and the south and highest summit of Pocaterra Ridge seen in the background. The route follows the south ridge at lefthand skyline.

Telephoto of hikers plying up and down the south ridge!

Easy section of the south ridge. On the steeper slope higher up, the twisting trail is a real calf burner. Little Highwood Pass to left.

View from the south ridge of the treversing game trail to Little Highwood Pass.

People out early reported a hurricane strength wind on the summit, but by the time us late comers arrived there was a dead calm and there was time to enjoy the views and to ascertain that of the twin tops, the second one was actually 2 m lower.

Summit view of Mount Tyrwhitt, Grizzly Col, Grizzly Peak and Highwood Ridge. The larch forest you walk through to get here is seen down below.

Looking down from the twin top into Rockfall valley and the lower peaks of Pocaterra Ridge.

Returning from the twin top to the highest point.

Return to Pocaterra Tarn.

1 comment… add one
  • Northern Beadle Dec 10, 2018, 3:34 pm

    Absolutely loved the photos. This has been on my list for years and it seems every year, come September, there is some event (wedding, etc) that seems to stop me from getting out there. Next year, right? Have a safe winter!

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