June 09, 2011

Crow Mountain Revisited

I first walked up Crow Mountain in May 2009. It was a great hike and I have long wanted to repeat the trip. As luck would have it, I'm in Old Crow again for work and had a little time in the evening for a hike. This time I was joined by Heather, who also wanted to hike up the mountain.

Most of the trip takes place along a gravel road that leads up to a quarry on the side of the mountain. The road is popular with Old Crow residents and it's not unusual to run into someone heading up or down the mountain.  On our walk, we were passed by a 4-wheeler.  They were taking their dog for a walk.  And by "walk", I mean that the dog was full-out sprinting up the mountain and loving every minute of it.  At the top, they turned around to head back down and the dog was still sprinting.  When the 4-wheeler stopped to talk with us, the dog ran around excitedly, never flagging for an instant.

Any idea what this verdant little plant is?

Old Crow is a fly-in community.  It is tremendously expensive to build a winter road, so it only gets built every so many years.  It has been seven years now since the last winter road.  The equipment in the quarry is rented.  Believe it or not, so I'm told, it makes more financial sense to pay the daily rental rate on the equipment and have it sitting there for several years than it does to purchase it outright or pay for the cost of the winter road.

It's a short growing season above the tree line and many of the plants are in bloom.  I was really impressed with the blueberry plants, which are already flowering even though the leaves are barely out (not pictured below).

Crow Mountain is on one of the migration routes of the porcupine caribou herd. Caribou antlers litter the slopes.

The scale of the land is difficult to take in. Distant mountains are over a hundred kilometres away. In the picture below, you can see my hiking companion off in the distance.

The wind was powerful on top of the mountain. It wasn't the kind of powerful wind that would allow you to stand at a 45o angle or the kind of wind that would blow you right over, but it was powerful enough to blow my face into a smiling position.

The problem that I have with hiking in a place like this is that I always want to keep going. I look at Second Mountain and I want to go there in the worst way. Maybe one of these days I will. We'll just have to see.

There's something special about being able to see a panorama that goes on for hundreds of kilometres and knowing that, aside from a few, small, scattered camps, there is nothing but wilderness.  I don't know how to describe it, but it's invigorating.  It's exciting.  It's good for my soul.


Trudie said...

I love your pictures from Old Crow.

Jennoit said...

Such gorgeous landscapes indeed. I have never been to Old Crow but hopefully, one day, I'll get up there.

Nancy said...

Such beautiful scenery! I'm so jealous:( I was going to say that you must publish a travelogue, but this is IT:)