After summiting Oyster Peak
it was time to work our way through Jones Pass and down into the Skoki Valley and Skoki Lodge so that we could climb Skoki Mountain. Jones Pass was a wonderful hike, mostly above tree line, along the east and north slopes of Fossil Mountain into the Skoki Valley area. There was lots of bear sign as usual, but no sightings again. My constant 'bear-yelling' probably accounted for the fact that we never actually saw any bruins on this trip!
Here's where I made my second big gaff of the trip. (The first was when I was practicing my knife throwing skills and punctured our white gas bottle - don't ask!). Kane mentions that the best place to tackle Skoki Mountain from is the backcountry campsite at Merlin Meadows. This had me thinking that the way to bag the peak was from the campground. Silly me! We hiked right past the lodge and tramped on down another kilometer to the Merlin campground. (Literally down) That's when I read the description in detail and realized that the scramble trail starts at the outhouses behind Skoki Lodge!!
The hike back up to the lodge was silent and swift! Rod stayed at the lodge (he got free soup and tea) while Jon and I went up to the summit of Skoki Mountain. This is a fast little mountain and it only took us 1:52 minutes to go from the Merlin Meadows campground to the summit of Skoki and back down to the lodge!
Not too many people climb this little mountain, probably because of how hard it is to access. It's really only a hike and is not anything special - other than the area that it sits in which is gorgeous of course!
[Gorgeous summit views from Skoki! Looking over Oyster Peak at Douglas and St. Bride
[My favorite pano from the trip shows (L to R) Redoubt, Zigadenus Lake, Myosotis Lake, Ptarmigan, Pika, Silver Tip Mountain (Wall of Jericho), Lake Merlin, Castilleja Lake, Merlin Castle and Mount Hector. ++
[Vern and Jon on the summit of Skoki
[The largest Red Deer Lake right under the summit
[The other two Red Deer Lakes show up. Red Deer Lakes camp site is down there somewhere and the Red Deer River starts here too. The trail alongside the river is on the left side of the valley and is used in part to access the Drummond Icefield and Mount Drummond itself.
Next we 'had' to climb Fossil Mountain
on our way up and over Deception Pass before staying one more night at the Baker Lake camp.