by Tom Koleszar, 9 Aug 2020
On Sunday, August 9 – one day later than planned due to inclement weather – twenty Malaspina Naturalists enjoyed a helicopter field trip to the alpine country of the South Powell Divide. Flying from the airport and from a staging area a few kilometers past the head of Goat Lake, we spent the day on a ridge by a small unnamed lake (elevation 1560m) above Carol Lake. It was good that we waited the extra day, as the weather turned out to be wonderful!
After everyone arrived on the ridge, we spent the rest of the morning exploring the area near the lake and learning about the geology and ecology of the alpine country. Due to the higher elevation, several kinds of wildflowers were still in evidence, and thought there wasn’t much wildlife (other than flies and mosquitoes!) some of the group did spot some Ptarmigan. The geology included Coast Plutonic Complex diorites along with Bowen Island Group volcanic and sedimentary rocks. There were few trees at that level – only stunted and twisted Mountain Hemlock and Yellow Cedar showing how hard life is for them up there!
After lunch, we had some free time to explore as we wished, or just relax and enjoy a beautiful alpine day. Some hiked a bit, and some just cooled their feet in the chilly lake waters.
Special thanks go to Nancy Pezel for helping with the trip, our drivers who took folks to the staging area over many kilometers of dusty roads (John Pezel, Clive Deary, Nancy Pezel, Cal Smith, David Bedry, and Simon Goede), and also to Pilot Matt Larocque of Oceanview Helicopters for safe flying and interesting tours!