Saturday, November 09, 2019

A cleft in the rocks

The road down the west bank of Buttle Lake (there is no road on the east bank) runs along a ledge cut out of almost vertical cliffs, sometimes almost at water's edge, mostly well above the tops of trees on the banks, with more rocks looming overhead.

Rugged rock

The lake lies, glacier-scraped, in a deep valley, fed by the constant trickles of water from the peaks above. 30 kilometres long, 1.5 wide at its widest point, it's more of a slow river than a lake, a drainage canal at the foot of the mountains.

I couldn't get back far enough to take in the full height of the cliff. Not without a boat to take me out into the lake.

Google map. The white areas are mountain peaks.Golden Hinde is the highest mountain on Vancouver Island, at 2197 metres.

Terrain view. From the lake surface, at 211 m above sea level, within 5 kilometres, the land has risen to 2000 metres, on both sides of the lake.

The road winds along the cliff face. When it comes out from behind trees, there's a view over the water. But parking along the roadside is not permitted, probably because of the danger from falling rocks, and the instability (or lack) of the lake-side shoulder, so at these viewpoints, there will be a sign: PULLOUT 500 M. Half a kilometre along, there's the pullout; a safe parking spot where the shoulder widens and looks firm. Usually, it's surrounded by bush; to see that viewpoint, you have to walk back those 500 metres, a kilometre round trip for a photo or two. I did this three times.

At a couple of pullouts, though, there were gaps in the trees. One gave me a view of Mount McBride, 5 km away down the Wolf River valley.

Mount McBride, 2081 m. high.The little yellow trees are cottonwoods on the east shore of the lake.

These signs were helpful. I wish there were more like them.

Looking along another helpful sign, to Marblerock Canyon.


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