Three Brothers MountainThis is one of those hikes where most of the ascent is done in a vehicle on a road, and I don't think is cheating having in mind the length of this hike. With the wildflower bloom already gone, the bugs -- no-see-ums, blackflies and deer flies -- were manageable.
I followed Heather Trail into a timbered valley. Very soon I reached Buckhorn Camp where I noticed some regeneration projects in process. The subalpine environment is fragile and can take decades to recover from such simple damage as hikers going off trail.
Heading out of the camp, I passed through coniferous groves and open burned sites, gaining in elevation to the open subalpine meadows of Big Buck Mountain (and the junction with the Bonnevier Trail).
It was in this area that the first non-Native -- Paul Johnson -- set up a trapline in the early 1900s. In 1906, Johnson sold his trapping rights to a couple of Americans now known only as Levitt and Ryder. They trapped the Three Brothers area for two years pretty much depleting the fur-bearing population.
After having trapped out the line, the duo sold their interests to brothers Harry and Bill Gordon, who trapped the area in a more civilized way for three decades. In 1931, the Three Brothers Mountain Reserve was set aside, primarily to save the alpine meadows from overgrazing by domestic sheep.
In 1941, the Ernest C. Manning Provincial Park was created, named after the province's chief forester who had recently died in a plane accident.
Back to my hike, I reached a junction with the route to the top of the first Brother. This summit is the first of the three that make up Three Brothers Mountain.
The way is steep and rocky, at one point traversing a skinny ridge where both sides sheer dramatically away to the valleys below.
A vast ice sheet during the last glaciation, between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, scraped over the Three Brothers and rounded its summits.
Well, I made it to the top. I was expecting cold winds, but not this time. I took a rest to enjoy the views and grab pictures, unfortunately good things never last and it was time to retrace my steps back to the parking lot.
Roundtrip: 20 km (12.5 km)
Driving distance from Vancouver: 235 km