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July 14, 2019 at 8:51 am #9954
Hanging and rainbow lake from Callaghan Valley.
After much discussions the night before, we decided to try a brand new approach to Rainbow lake to make it more interesting (rugged first growth forest is always best, right?)
10 hikers met at PR and we drove down the Callaghan road and then down the rough Madeley FSR to the trail head. Before we started, I said we had to stick closely together as there are six resident grizzly bears that live in this valley.
After 5 minutes of hiking, we encountered a big bear standing up about 30 m downhill. I couldn’t see it and asked if it was a grizzly or black bear? Someone said black bear. Phew! After much yelling to scare it away, it started to move towards us ( or was that our imagination?). I turned around to the group and said “thanks for coming out today. I hope you enjoyed the hike”. The problem was the bear was right on the trail and on our tail. We decided to carry on in our frightened state and climb over fallen logs ( imagine giant pick-up-sticks on the forest floor). In our haste, one hiker fall off a log onto their back. Another hiker said their must be cubs around as this bear was not leaving. As we got further away, I looked back and saw a tiny cub 60’ feet up in a tree. Yes, that momma bear was protecting her precious cub.
As we hiked we shared bear stories and enjoyed the beautiful alpine flowers. We saw a few new species, like a brown flower!
The trail is rough with rocks, mud, creek crossings, boulder fields, mosquitos and logs surrounded by wild flowers, large yellow cedar, hemlocks and firs. One new club member said this hike was “entertaining”.
After 3 hours and 50 minutes, we arrived at hanging lake and it was mosquito free! We had a lovely 30 minute lunch and a few of us waded in the lake. The new outhouse was pristine and smelled like a cedar sauna. Then we walked up to the ridge to admire Rainbow lake and mountains. The views were spectacular as we had high black clouds with streaks of sunshine. We were very lucky with the weather.
I estimated we would be back at the cars by 6 pm and we got back at 5:45 pm. Thanks to everyone for working to stick together. Excellent team work!
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