Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Kwai & Hairtrigger Lakes


Castlecrag & Mt. Frink approaching Hairtrigger Lake
Trying to take advantage of every moment of autumn colour & sunshine, it was time for a hike to Kwai Lake & Hairtrigger Lake! Both offer great views of some of the key peaks of this area of Strathcona Park: Mt. Albert Edward, Mt. Regan, Mt. Frink, Castlecrag, and the Comox Glacier.
The Comox Glacier is visible from several of the campsites at Kwai Lake.
Part of the hike was a quest to match photos taken many years ago.   At one time a log cabin stood at Kwai Lake,  one of the cabins along the ‘Strathcona Trail’ of the 1930’s.
Today only the clearing remains, but the backdrop is still the same, with Castlecrag visible beyond the trees.
Hairtrigger Lake is one of the most photogenic places on the Plateau – the lake seems to be an infinity pool reflecting the panorama of mountains on calm days. This photo from years ago is a beautiful arrangement with a series of triangular shapes & relationships. A key element in the composition is the pyamidal rock near the shoreline.
Today the sky was not as blue, but the water was totally calm. This time I tried composing with the rock centred between the peaks of Mt. Albert Edward & Mt. Regan.
Around Croteau Lake, the gray jays must have learned over many generations to visit hikers & campers.

Along the trail through Murray Meadows, between Croteau & Kwai Lake, were more than a dozen amanita muscaria – one of the most poisonous mushrooms and familiar as the ‘toadstool’ of childrens’ tales.

 At this time of year the huckleberry, blueberry & mountain ash leaves appear in every colour of the rainbow.
Back in the meadows near the trailhead, the dark red leaves against the green moss are dwarf blueberry, while the carpets of paler red are bog blueberry.

At the end of the day, tufted club rush almost glows in the meadows. Mt. Regan & Mt. Jutland are visible in the background.

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