Almost as if a dream was lifting the terrible images of this area at war seem to disappear. I am once more in the moment with breath, bone and muscle slowing moving me towards the top. There is no hurry.
We come to a lookout and see the Fraser River snaking through the canyon below. Vantage points like this one were used by the Yale First Nation people to keep a watchful eye against marauding tribes travelling up the river looking for slaves.
The trail is narrow and steep changing quickly from soft forest trail to rock, sand and pebble. It is the later material that requires the most attention as it tends to give way at critical times. Poles are recommended for additional support and stability.
Below are a couple of odd looking plants, unfortunately I have no idea of what they are. An excellent book in this regard is "Plants of Coastal British Columbia including Washington, Oregon & Alaska" by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon.
There must have been quite a windstorm as fallen trees block the trail in a number of locations requiring our group to either clamber over top or duck under them. After about 2 hours we come to a forested peak and here we have our lunch. Looking around you can see how the forest is changing - it is here that the coastal and interior forests meet.
The Spirit caves are best seen on the slopes furthest from the trail and vary in size, there are openings large enough to provide easy access inside. I am content to remain in the light.
We find some snow in one cave even this late in May. Fortunately, the air is still - no ghostly voices arise from the toothless mouths of the Spirit Caves on this day.