Summit Lake area (Day 8 & 9)

After a late start at 17:00 hours on Day 1, we quickly established a pattern of setting camp early-to-mid afternoon, resting, reading, & writing until supper around 17:30 then ETB. Mornings saw us underway by about 06:00 hours, earlier if we needed to cross a Significant River. By noon, the blazing sun had transformed the upper surface of the glaciers into melt-water rushes that turned meandering streams into raging torrents.

By Day 6, we were making great time and decided to make Day 8 a rest day at Summit Lake Camp. As our good fortune would have it, this rest day was the only day we had extensive precip—and even then only light drizzle. Still, I was glad to be at camp instead of clambering over the slippery and potentially unstable rocks of the steep moraines.

Around mid-summer, the leaves of the Bearberry plant (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) transform the landscape into crimson blaze.  Bearberry fruit is a rich source of food for  mammals (Caribou, Arctic Hare, and Lemmings) and birds (thrushes and wrens).