In mid-winter we head up into the Lac du Bois Grasslands to snowshoe a moderate 5 km route in the middle grasslands. There is a small parking area (at N50° 46.584′ W 120° 25.923′) about 2.5 km past the big left curve at the 7km sign. We park there and follow the signs into the grasslands. Snowshoers can go in any direction they choose to. and there will also be tracks already set. We chose to aim northeast to Island Lake, then to the Grasslands Esker.
We followed existing tracks if they headed in the direction we wanted to go and made our own when when they did not.
Island Lake is a pothole created by glaciation, the low spots where chunks of ice accumulated. In spring it is a grasslands shallow pond frequented by ducks.
Our route took us on top of the esker, the largest in the Lac du Bois Grasslands. It extends from the road all the way down to Long Lake, in a sinuous and curving line.
We chose not to follow it all the way down which we did last year (see Long Lake Snowshoe below) and instead we stopped to admire the view, and then we turned south climbing along to the top of the ridge.
All of the features in this area are shaped by glaciers – moraines, kames, potholes, eskers, erratics, and terraces. A few trees cast dark shadows on the white slopes of the grasslands hills.
Tthe viewpoint is the highest point on the ridge (right next to a single tree). There are fine views of the length of Long Lake (the north end shown below) and the north end of the Batchelor Range.
The upper end of the Batchelor Range is also called Hadley Ridge with open grasslands on the western slopes rising above the middle part of Long Lake.
From the viewpoint we can also see down to the south end of Long Lake and the Thompson River Valley beyond.
We wound our way back using existing tracks to complete the 2 hour loop. This is always a special route in winter, especially on a sunny day.
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