May 4: Hike - Three Blind Mice North

An even larger group this week - 29 people - a record, perhaps, in recent years.  This hike, led by Nick Pitt, started from the turning circle on Winifred Road, just below the KVR in Naramata, and zigzagged upwards via some of the many bicycle trails that form the "Three Blind Mice" area.

We climbed initially through open parkland of grass and ponderosa pine.  The middle section of the hike was a more gentle climb through mixed ponderosa / fir woodland that offered easy going and welcome shade, while frequent rocky clearings allowed views of the lake, valley and distant, snow-covered peaks.  After stopping for "elevenses" we made a short detour to see one of the largest ponderosa trees we have yet found on our hikes, before embarking on the upper, most strenuous section of the hike.  Here woodland gave way to steeper, open, bouldery slopes with fine views up and down the Okanagan Valley.  We reached the peak of the "Jose" trail, about 800 m above the lake, where we had lunch, before heading back down via a (mainly) different route that tracks a little further north.

Trailhead elevation:  525 m

Maximum elevation:   1140 m

Elevation gain:  615 m  (2,030 ft)

Duration:  approx. 5 hours 

click on photo to enlarge . . .

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