Buller Pass is rated as a difficult 13km hike with 650m elevation gain. I’ve done it once before many years ago and at the time thought it was pretty badass. Now years later having traversed many much higher and more difficult climbs, was thankful and inspired by the less than ideal weather we had during this hike.
Hiking through falling snow over half the hike and having a much deeper snow pack in the higher elevations made me feel like a real adventurer, worthy of the beard I’ve been growing. I love winter scenery and am only beginning to make it into the backcountry during the winter months (with snowshoes) so this was a good first taste of the type of things I want to accomplish this winter.
The first picture at the top is me looking back through the valley we had just hiked through, with the trail to the pass being right behind me. This next picture is of Paddy, Leah and Bowser on a small cliff right before the ascent to the top of the pass, which can kind of be seen in the background to the right.
The short but steep hike up to the top of the pass wasn’t as grueling as I remember it from years ago. Partly because i’m more experienced now, and partly because I think the snow actually made the scramble up the loose scree a lot easier. This next photo is a shot from the top of the pass looking down to the east towards Ribbon Lake. There’s a nice backcountry campground located there that I’ve been meaning to stay at for quite some time, but haven’t yet had the chance.
This next group of shots are just me, Paddy, Leah and Bowser enjoying the views from the top of the pass before we started out ascent. As we were walking up the valley to the West looked beautiful, but with my camera tucked away in my bag I didn’t get any shots of it on the way up. Upon starting our decent, within the time we were at the top the snow cloud had moved into the valley and I wasn’t able to get a good shot from above of the valley we had hiked through, and would be hiking through on our way back to the Smith Dorrien.