Leader Lynn Grant.
Trip report by Laura Cottle
It was a misty, nine am start for our hike to Blue Gentian Lake and the clouds that covered Cypress suggested that we could expect more than mist on our hike. But the weather though damp was mild on our hike – a good temperature for exploring!
We rendezvoused at the corner of Millstream Road and Eyremont Drive in West Vancouver. We were nine of us: Lynn plus Marion, Bengul, Azarm, Kate, Ness, Carol, Jorma and myself. The first part of the hike was up an old road – one that was used in past for taking out logs from the Lawson Creek forestry operation (in the days when two people hand-sawed the trees using two-handled “Swede” saws. A portion of the trail was on the Baden Powel trail. The forest on either side of road was dense with western hemlock – certainly to be a potential fire hazard later in summer.
Once we got onto the smaller trail we started to see a number of white flowers – in particular carpets of Lynn’s favourite: bunchberry. We remarked on the soft curls of deer ferns that looked a bit like seahorses and compared those with another fern (I think it was lady fern…?). The forest contained Amabilis fir, western red cedar and mountain hemlock.
As we neared our destination, we first passed by a very small lake and then we saw sign for Blue Gentian lake. Along the boggy lakeshore we enjoyed the blossoms of Labrador tea, bog laurel and marsh violet. Unfortunately we were too early to see any blue gentians!
We ate our lunch in the drizzle at the Blue Gentian lake picnic site and then started to return. On the way back we hiked close to the Hollyburn cross country ski trails and up on one open spot, Azarm introduced us to the citrusy taste of mountain sorrel stems. We also hiked over to see the Hollyburn fir – a 3 metre diameter, over thousand-year old tree that wasn’t logged in the time when western red cedar was being harvested for shingles.
Thanks very much to Lynn our hike leader, and everybody else in the group!