First Spring Flowers

Hill East of Marston Col

View from the hill east of Marston Col of the SE ridge of the Bull Creek Hills.

And now for something on the lighter side.

Before the last snowfall,  on the last day of April when the temperature reached the 20s, we hot-footed it down to the Highwood. As an appetizer before hiking up Fir Creek, we  walked the Marsden Creek trail to the col — a distance of only 900 m from the Highwood River group camp access road. On dry grassy slopes the Crocus was out.

Usually we carry  on up the southeast ridge onto the Bull Creek Hills or descend into Marston Creek and head up the easternmost hill. But on this day we turned east onto a small hilltop and descended the ridge above the rockband back to the highway. It’s a Limber pine hot-spot and I wanted more pics. (You can never have too many pics of Limber pines.). Unexpected were the flowers growing in sheltered crannies in the rocks: Yellow draba (Draba paysonii), Dwarf buttercups (Ranunculus pygmaeus) and a Cinquefoil (Potentilla diversifolia? concinna more likely ). Also found prayer flags.

Yellow Draba

Yellow Draba

Dwarf Buttercup

Dwarf Buttercup






Rockband below the hilltop.

Fir Creek trail? Snow under the spruce; clear in the meadows. The slopes to the east were completely bare, opening up the possibility of a loop with the southeast ridge.

4 comments… add one
  • GMJ Mar 17, 2016, 9:43 am

    Yes, it’s definitely the earliest I’ve ever seen them.

  • Gillean Daffern Mar 16, 2016, 8:32 pm

    That’s awfully early GMJ, even for the Highwood. I’ve been looking at the south-facing slopes off the Sheep Road, but so far nothing.

  • GMJ Mar 16, 2016, 6:51 pm

    Today I saw a crocus on the Marston Col trail!

  • Gerard Lachapelle May 15, 2014, 8:16 pm

    Three of us went up Grass Pass today. The trail is mostly free of snow and in decent shape, although wet in places. We first went to the limber pine (described in Gillian’s 2nd Ed of K-Country hikes) and then up another 100 m to examine the possibility of hiking the upper hills and return via Bull Ck. We turned around though as the hill tops were still covered with much snow. We had done the entire snow-free circuit on 17 April 2010, one month earlier!

    Gérard L

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