The grade tends to ease now as it works its way up over solid rock and through open air. The route gradually makes its way up to a subalpine forest of stunted trees, and another 20 minutes from where the path broke out of the forest, look for a viewpoint on the left. This is a great spot for a bit of a rest; it is open and the horizon directly across Rogers Pass is filled with the mammoth sight of Mount Macdonald. This is just such a great way to spend a day.
Fifteen minutes up from the lookout, the trail becomes a structure of stone steps and bridges. Someone with, I presume, incredible strength and talent has committed much time and effort to design and manufacture such a wonderful creation. Flat, hard stones have been moved into place to produce a stairway upward through the alpine, crossing streams and small fissures, and they are solid and unyielding. At the first stepping stone, there is 140 m of elevation gain remaining.
Some 15 minutes later and 80 m up, you’ll come upon a rope anchored in stone, likely set by the same people who built the stairway. The rope seems to be more practical on the way back down, to help navigate some awkward stones. Although it is only a few metres long, it proves to be very useful. More flat rock stairs and a short, narrow ravine bring an end to this incredible journey.
Exposed rock, moraines, a creek and meadows greet you at the top of the stairs. The wide open Hermit Meadows present views of the Selkirk Range, with Mount Macdonald in the forefront. Amazing.