Malin at Elfin Lakes:
“Six adventurous Wanderung members braved wet weather and vehicle problems on Saturday morning and headed up to Elfin Lakes for the weekend. Light rain fell continuously on our way up to the Red Heather hut, but the showers got less frequent after that. By the time we arrived at Elfin Lakes the sun actually poked through the clouds and we had lunch by the lake. After lunch we left our heavy bags in the hut and headed towards the saddle between the Gargoyles and Columnar Peak. The trail was incredibly slippery, but the hike well worth it as the clouds started burning off when we reached the saddle. From the saddle we headed up to the Gargoyles, where we enjoyed great views of the Diamond Head, Diamond Glacier, Opal Cone and Elfin Lakes. Despite the wet weather the hut filled up completely and it was nice to retreat to the quiet tents. In the morning we headed towards the Opal Cone. Surprisingly we made it all the
way, despite some heavy rain and the washed out trail. We even had some nice views! The bridge over Ring Creek was in place, but people should always check: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/garibaldi/trail_report.pdf for the most current information. Thanks to Rob for the directions to the
Cone and to everyone else who joined me on this great adventure.”
Su-Laine hiking the Musical Bumps via Singing Pass:
“Do this trip soon! Eight of us headed up the steady gradient of the Singing Pass trail on Saturday, towards the meadows where a variety of alpine flowers were in bloom and more had yet to open. Russet Lake had plenty of excellent camping spots. It got cold: we measured minus 2 degrees at night while we were still awake! On Sunday six of us day-hiked to various altitudes on Fissile Peak in glorious sunshine. It’s a tricky scramble and only one of us got to the top, but even a partial ascent gave excellent views.
After waiting out a spell of bad weather at the Russet Lake hut, we hiked out in temporarily less-bad weather along the Musical Bumps trail. I discovered that a scrambling helmet is fun to wear in a hailstorm – you hear the clatter of hail while keeping dry and cozy. The fog cleared and the sun came out occasionally, enough to appreciate the beauty of the region, which included black bears and gregarious marmots. The (free) gondola to the village was scheduled to run until the late evening that day, so it was past 7pm by the time we got to the Dubh Linn Gate pub for dinner. The gondola is scheduled to run until late a few more times this summer (Sept 3, 4, and 5), but call Whistler Guest Services (1-800-766-0449) to confirm.
Thanks to everyone for making this such a fun trip with great company.”
Cam at Hector Ferguson Lake:
“A completed mission to Hector Ferguson Lake: need I say more? The plan was hatched for a quick over nighter for a short and easy hike to Hector. Three brave souls in attendance.
Thursday morning it was sprinkling a little bit but nothing out of the ordinary for Vancouver weather. Biked to 6.5 km mark, hiked to 9.5 km, forded Gold Creek twice and rejoined trail on east side. Forded again at 11 km to west side of Gold Creek, followed trail to bottom of drainage from 1502 and followed flags up. We missed the flags going to the NW out of 1502 creek towards drainage of HF lake. Bushwhacked up 1502 then turned west and joined up with HF lake. As many of the local hiking books describe the lake is pretty but the shore is far from inviting for overnighting. On Friday we followed the flagged route back to 1502 creek a much better route than what we took on Thursday.
Return distance 32-34 km, 650 m elevation gain, I measured 750 with my extra side trip.”
Robert D. at Brew Hut:
“The somewhat unusual timing of a snow shoe trip (Friday evening to Saturday afternoon) proved too good an opportunity for 10 of us to miss. So Paige, Jennifer, Mazy, Robert, Iain, Allan, Mike, Rebeka, Scott and Andrew drove to the trail head on the Roe Creek FSR to follow the winter route. Headlamps and rain gear were used almost from the outset and snow was underfoot pretty quickly too. The trail was surprisingly easy to follow at night in the forested section, the reflective markers easily visible with our headlamps. Once we got up to the alpine, however, a GPS was used (and well needed!) to find the hut. Despite there being plenty of snow underfoot the weather was surprisingly warm. We arrived at the hut about 2 am. Many thanks to those who provided some well-deserved night caps!
Saturday morning was spent exploring around the hut. Most of us hiked back to the cars in as little as 2 hours. The hut itself is small but bright and well built. All in all it was a pleasure to stay there. Always best to check the availability first on
Steve in the Lower Stein Valley:
“A well matched and fun team of 6 hikers went up to Skihist provincial park for a night and embarked up the Stein trail (to the suspension bridge) the next day. The roaring Stein River was at our side for most of the trip and the trail was not too challenging to be carrying an overnight pack (even the Devil’s Staircase was short enough to present no problems). It felt like an August hike! What a treat to get 25 C+, dry weather in mid-May.
We stayed at the Earl’s Cabin campsite but I have to say that the build-up over the years I’d heard about Stein was not fully warranted. It was nice, but nothing to put it on the world stage like it seems to be (similar to the WCT). However, there are three reasons that you might want to add this to your list:
- Native pictographs – I’ve never seen these on any trail before (very cool!)
- extend your season – when nothing else is doable, you can hike this trail in warmth much earlier (sometimes April)
- warm up to backpack season
Erez at Hector Ferguson Lake:
“This was a 2-day camping trip. Michele and I started hiking around 10:30. The first ~11 km of the trail are very well marked and we had no trouble getting to the Gold creek crossing. There are a few places where one needs to cross very minor creeks, but that is easily doable with no need to take the boots off. We set up camp at the sandy patches on the east side of Gold Creek, had lunch, and by 15:00 we continued to the lake. Gold Creek is now passable, with two branches to cross. The first crossing is wider but shallower and with no strong current. The second one is deeper and has a pretty strong current but with a stick and some careful stepping is not a problem. The level of the water was thigh-deep at the deepest place. After the creek the trail is more overgrown, but still pretty easy to follow. Very close to the lake there is a land slide and the trail is harder to find. You need to hike through the dry creek bed-rock a little up the slide and then veer left following the orange markers into the forest (thanks to Michele we added markers so this should be pretty obvious now). From other trip reports I read, I believe this is the place other people left the trail and got stuck. The marked trail does lead all the way to the lake. We stayed there for 1/2 an hour and hiked back to the camp for some nice dinner. This was an awesome trip.”
Malin at Elfin Lakes:
“The weekend started out with a blizzard, but ended with beautiful sunshine, warm temperatures and magnificent views. Danette, Brandon, Dennis and I left Vancouver early on Saturday morning and headed towards Squamish. The logging road up to the trailhead was in much better condition than three weeks earlier and no chains were needed. There was however lots of snow on the trail. Around lunchtime the sun teased us by letting a bit of light through the heavy clouds, but after lunch in Red Heather Hut the snow was coming down quite heavily and the wind picked up. The hike along Paul Ridge offered no views and we were quite happy to reach the Elfin Lakes shelter in the late afternoon. The shelter was half covered in snow and had to be entered through the balcony door. The first task after having reserved a bunk bed was to dig out the outhouse, which was completely covered. The shelter filled slowly, but by the time we finished supper every bunk bed was filled. The next morning the fog and clouds had all unexpectedly blown away and the Gargoyles and surrounding peaks were clearly visible against a blue sky. This area is so full of surprises and every visit is a new experience. Due to the gloomy hike up the previous day, we took our time and appreciated every minute of our trip back.”
Chris M. camping at Garibaldi Lake:
“Originally 5 but we joined with another 3 doing the same trip and caught a beautiful first day. We were able to drive to the parking lot. The trail up was icy in spots. For Saturday afternoon Jana & Peter explored and found a snow cave to sleep in, Andrew & Virginia watched sunset from Clinker Peak, Tracy (& Brenda?) went for a walk across the lake while Jon & myself played frisbee on Mount Price. Dinner, wine and chat in the shelter. Peter/Jana dominated at Uno. It was overcast and lightly snowing when we left the next day.”