A colleague and I headed up the Coquihalla area today to explore a new trail for me. We went up to Zupjok Peak and then walked the ridges to Llama Peak and then on to Alpaca Peak.
Zupjok Peak trail Jul 22, 2020 8:52 AM Traveling 10.30 km 539 Minutes All birds reported? Yes Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 2.0.13 Build 2.0.122
6 White-tailed Ptarmigan -- 1 male, 2 females one with one chick and one with two. 2 Rufous Hummingbird 6 Chestnut-backed Chickadee 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet 2 Pacific Wren 6 Varied Thrush 9 Hermit Thrush 5 American Pipit 4 Evening Grosbeak 1 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch 1 Chipping Sparrow 6 Dark-eyed Junco 2 Townsend's Warbler
Highlight of any day in the alpine for me is discovering ptarmigan, and we encountered White-tailed Ptarmigan three times. We had a lone male about 8kms in, a hen with 1 chick on the final push up Alpaca and then a hen and two chicks at the peak of Alpaca.
I didn't take my big camera on the hike so this cel phone shot will have to do. IMG_5403 (1) by Dave Beeke, on Flickr
Looking back towards the highway and the ridges we walked to get here. IMG_5385 by Dave Beeke, on Flickr
Yours truly scanning for wildlife from Alpaca Peak with Vicuna and Guanaco Peaks in the background. IMG_5369 by Dave Beeke, on Flickr
It was over 20 kms of hiking but this trail has got to be the most stunning mountain vistas of any hike in our area. It is not a short stroll up to Zupjok Peak but once you are there, it is mainly ridge walking although you keep losing and gaining some elevation as you go from peak to peak. A highly recommended walk and according to ebird, it looks like the first ptarmigan records from these mountains.