Alpine Adventure #6 – Diadem Mountain

Alpine Adventure #6 – Diadem Mountain
by Tom Koleszar
13 August 2023

Alpine Adventure #6 – Diadem Mountain

Once again, on our scheduled field trip day (August 12), the backcountry weather was questionable – so we had to move the trip to Sunday August 13, when we had an absolutely beautiful day!  We landed on a ridge near Mt Diadem, with splendid views of the peak itself.  We could also see sections of Jervis Inlet, Diadem Lake, many backcountry peaks, and out towards Georgia Strait.

After everyone was assembled at our destination, we spent more than an hour before lunch learning about the local environment (flora and fauna, geology and landforms, etc.).  The area was mixed sub-alpine forest and open areas of rock and shrubs.  Despite this being a dry year, there was an impressive display of alpine flowers – we identified well over a dozen different flowers and many other plants.  Sharon Shultz’s list of plants she found is included below. Flowers weren’t the only life we saw – we did not have the ridge to ourselves! A black bear was around most of the day and was spotted by many of the trip participants. Some intrepid hikers even spotted some goats up towards the peak. There were also Western Toads, and salamanders in the largest pond. We had more than our share of horseflies, but also many bees, dragonflies and a few butterflies. The geology of the area is also interesting as it is largely composed of sedimentary and volcanic rocks of the Bowen Island formation, rather than the granitic plutons common to this region.

After an enjoyable lunch in the sunshine, we had a couple of hours of free time to explore. Some explored near the landing area, while others hiked further afield. Several brave souls even swam in the large pond (it was cool but quite swimmable!). It was a great day, and I think everyone had a wonderful time.

Thanks again to our drivers who got everyone to the staging area safely and to Cal Smith for handling all the trip registration and communications, and especially to Ben, our Oceanview Helicopters pilot, who got everyone on and off the mountain safely – and added some nice sightseeing along the way!

Sharon’s plant list:

Alaska Saxifrage

Alpine Aster

Alpine Fireweed

Alpine Lady Fern

Black Alpine Sedge

Davidson’s Penstemon

False Pixie Cup

Ground Cedar

Leatherleaf Saxifrage

Mountain Arnica

Mountain Daisy

Mountain Hairgrass

Oak Fern

Oval Leaf Blueberry

Parsley Fern

Pink Mountain Heather

Red Columbine

Running Clubmoss

Spreading Stonecrop