A very peaceful and completely view-free hike on a cloudy day. No matter - the beauty of the forest and the flowers kept our attention from start to finish. We walked past Yew Lake to the HSCT as far as Strachan Meadows, then Christmas Gully up to the north summit (lunch). From there we went over to the south summit to pick up the trail back down. We took the shortcut near the Hollyburn Giant to save a bit of time. 5.5 hours car-to-car including nearly an hour for lunch.
The trail is snow-free and mostly mud-free, apart from the section between the Baden-Powell trail and the north-side turnoff to Hollyburn. Rocks and roots were slippery after the recent rain, and all the bushes were sopping wet with dew. As were my shorts after a few minutes of this...
Flower report: lots. Sundew, deer cabbage, purple asters, pink heather, white heather, northern starflower, sitka valerian, some very early queen's cup near Yew Lake (otherwise lots in bud), bunchberry, twistedstalk, coralroot, partridgefoot, lupine, Indian hellebore (just in leaf right now), alaska violets, yellow violets, various berry bushes. I think that covers it :-)
Wildlife report: a few Douglas fir squirrels, whisky jacks, varied thrushes, mountain chickadees, nuthatches, a red-headed sapsucker, juncos, and others I can't identify by sound. Black flies were annoying once on Strachan summit and down through the marshy meadows, mosquitoes mostly not a problem - just a few here and there. I picked up a few bites, but they weren't murderous today.
This was another Wanderung hike to celebrate 10 years since I first hiked this trail, the fourth so far this year. All in all a glorious day out in the mountains!