Ridge walk (Forgetmenot Ridge, Kananaskis P. P., Alberta)

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Ridge walk (Forgetmenot Ridge, Kananaskis P. P., Alberta)

Finally, the rainy weather let up long enough for us to get a hike in! First hike of the year, yesterday, was Forgetmenot Ridge in Kananaskis - an unrelenting, uphill grind on a very steep, rough trail, yet still a favourite as it is close by, and, despite (or thanks to) the heart-pounding effort, you do get up there fast!

1) View from a brief rest spot about 1/3 of the way up... Nihahi Ridge in the distance, with the Elbow River in the foreground. The Little Elbow was reasonably tame this time - surprising after all the rain - while the Elbow had many more flowing (shallow) channels than usual - and both as bone-numbingly cold as ever. (NB. There is a bridge a ways further down.... but what fun is that?! ???)
2, 3, 4) And further up, tucked in crevices and between slabs in the exposed limestone cliff face, Saxifraga oppositifolia ooops, that should be bronchialis!

Booker
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Sorry, Lori ... certainly not Saxifraga oppositifolia!

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Acckk, no, of course not!  It's Saxifraga bronchialis.  Thanks for bringing me to my senses, Cliff!  (Saxifraga oppositifolia does come along later, but don't hold your breath... we missed the bloom as usual!)

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

A nice walk, anyway, and much steeper than anything around here!

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Skulski wrote:

Thanks for bringing me to my senses, Cliff!  (Saxifraga oppositifolia does come along later, but don't hold your breath... we missed the bloom as usual!)

Please don't ever bring me to my senses, Lori ... the world is in a big enough mess already!  ;D ;D

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

;D

Perhaps so, from your previous descriptions, Trond?  In this area, river level is at about 1600m, and the ridges are at 2200 to 2300m+ elevation.  The highest point of Forgetmenot Mountain (a very minor height of land, to be sure, though a very interesting area of conglomerate slabs and boulders), which we did not visit yesterday, is at 2300m+.

1) And continuing along, once most of the climb is over, there is one little band of firs and spruce before gaining the ridge...
And the flowers begin!  
2, 3, 4) Silene acaulis in limestone rubble
5) Heading out to the ridge tops... now it is a nice walk, the hard climb is over!
6 - 10) The next sight... the most glorious mounds of alpine potentillas!  Potentilla uniflora, I suppose...  

We hike here frequently, and every time it is different but equally fascinating - we have never seen the potentillas in such splendour before!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Toole
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-07-02

Brilliant Lori  8)

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Thanks for looking.  :)
1) Androsace chamaejasme
2, 3) Campanula uniflora
4) Scenery - turfy areas
5) Oxytropis sericea
6) ... and gravelly stretches
Most abundant were the mat-forming Dryas, the white flowers thickly dotting the scenery photos
7) Dryas octopetala
8 ) And when I took the time to look, I was surprised to find that there are vast tracts of Dryas integrifolia as well, possibly even more abundant
9) Lunch break ahead, behind the band of kruppelholz firs, and out of the very strong wind
10) Willow catkins, in this area where the snow has only recently melted off

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

1) Old snow, on this north-facing slope
2, 3) A bank of Phyllodoce glanduliflora behind the kruppelholz
4) Anemone parviflora
5) Zigadenus elegans, very common on the ridges, will not be in bloom for some time yet
6) Same for Castilleja
Back into the rocks...
7) Myosotis alpestris
8 ) I always enjoy seeing this - I think I've figured out what it is - Minuartia austromontana
9) And more gorgeous potentillas!
10) Physaria didymocarpa

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

And, despite this being the middle of July, it is a rather late spring up there...
1) Saussurea nuda, as close as we saw to blooming...
2) And another, with a serrated-leaved Rhodiola integrifolia (which is slightly unusual - the leaves are usually entire)
3) And a more normal one...
4, 5, 6) Claytonia megarhiza, always a curiosity to see such succulent foliage amidst the dry, sharp-edged rocks
7, 8, 9) Townsendia parryi(?)... ridiculously-oversized, 5cm-wide flowers on such tiny plants!  Charming!
10) And across the edge of the ridge, down the steep south-facing slope, there is respite again from the wind and a rich garden in bloom!

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

On the warm, south-facing slope, there are a few different plants than on the ridge...
1) Pulsatilla patens grow here and are mostly in seed.... the odd one is still in bloom
2, 3) Polemonium pulcherrimum
4) Phacelia sericea
5) Sedum lanceolatum
6) The purple patches on the slope are Delphinium bicolor, which are up to about 15cm tall here.  (These also occur on the ridge, where they are a bit shorter yet.)
7) Anemone multifida

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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