Another Favourite Bugaboo Hike: Rooftop Ridge to Rocky Point
This is a guest post by CMH Summer Adventures Guide, Lyle Grisedale
One of the truly great hikes in the Bugaboos is to start on Rooftop Ridge, a short 8 minute flight from the lodge. From the landing at 2600 meters (8500 ft) we can see the Septet Range, the Bugaboo Group and the Vowell Group, some of the best scenery anywhere. The Septets are composed of metamorphic rock, the Bugaboo and Vowell groups' granitic spires are part of the Bugaboo Intrusion. A jaw dropping view in all directions.
Rooftop Ridge can be windy so the wildflowers up there do not get very tall but are equally as impressive as they are in the lower meadows. We hike north along the ridge until we get to a low point. If we're up for it, we can take a diversion up Warren Peak for even more impressive views and the chance of observing mountain goats in the basins to the north and west. We then retrace our steps to the low point on the ridge.
The next part of this hike is a highlight for everyone! We run down a steep scree slope slushing and mushing our way through the soft, forgiving rock and dirt. For first timers this is an exhilarating experience (lessons available from Lyle’s Scee School!) and for those who have done it before it is pure pleasure and excitement. The scree here is of the highest quality and a real gas to run down. This is also a great way to loose some elevation in a hurry. Once down the scree we are set to explore Copper Butte Basin.
Copper Butte Basin has a number of great attractions and we can actually find some exposed copper ore known as Malachite. I like to stay high in the basin and traverse north and then west, passing behind a rock formation known as the Guardian. This route takes us past several mossy wet areas, the green color of the moss is unbelievable, and then we descend a natural rocky stairway beside a tumbling creek, passing a beautiful tarn and then onto a large flat boggy area, flowers are amazing here.
We will follow a goat trail up a steep slope to Copper Butte Ridge which separates Copper Butte from Rocky Point Basin. We attain the ridge crest and it is time to sit and enjoy the view. Both the Bugaboo Group and the Vowell Group are much closer and seem to be looming out of nowhere from behind Rocky Point Ridge. Cameras are clicking. A steep decent takes us down into the rolling meadow terrain of Rocky Point Basin. We cross several flower lined creeks as we make our way to Rocky Point Ridge. There is an old mining site there that we'll spend some time exploring. In early spring the basin is full of Alpine Buttercups and later in the summer it is filled with brilliant yellow Ragwort and a huge array of many colored Indian Paintbrush.
Once on Rocky Point ridge we may head North towards Warren Saddle where we have another opportunity to see mountain goats or maybe we'll head south, over Powder Pig Peak (named by some Bugaboo skiers) or through the forest on a game trail lined with spectacular flowers. Both routes converge at Powder Pig Bump which we must traverse ending up at Tauck Lake. Time to take the boots off and soak our weary feet but be careful don’t step on the Smooth Alpine Gentian that grow in abundance around the lake.
From here if everyone still has some gas left in the tank we will tackle the long climb up to Black Forest Ridge for more rewarding views of the Bugaboo Group, and the spectacular Cobalt Lake. We are now out of time and ready for a return flight to the lodge. A great day of amazing scenery, incredible wild flowers, and many miles of spectacular alpine terrain. Now its time to think about what epicurean delight our chef has planned for this group of tired, happy, and hungry hikers? Look out Tea Goodie! Here we come!
To find out where Lyle has been wandering this summer, checkout CMH Summer Adventures on-line photo gallery!
What's your favourite Bugaboo hike? Have you had the chance to explore Rooftop and Rocky Point with Lyle?