Will B. on Mt Price:
“Four of us left Rubble Creek parking lot at about 9 am on Saturday to hike Mount Price. Up to Garibaldi Lake it was teeming, but after leaving the lake we saw a total of four other people. The trail winds through trees and over bouldery bits with occasional lovely views of the lake or the Tantalus mountains on the other side, until you reach the start of the real climb, which was steep, loose and very hot. At this point I was like a big sweaty snail. The views on top were amazing, especially of Mount Garibaldi itself. It took us 11 hours all in. Brilliant hike and a great group of hikers made it even better.”
Chris N. at Garibaldi Lake:
“Unlike the Cheakamus Lake trail, there were no blowdowns on the Garibaldi Lake trail at all! Snow patches started around 4.5 km and was largely continuous beyond the 6 km mark. It doesn’t look like many people had headed up to Taylor Meadows – hardly any tracks in that direction. Snow looked to be about 1-1.5 m deep at the lake. It was largely consolidated so snowshoes weren’t needed (and would have been a hazard in the narrower bits coming around the upper barrier lake). Microspikes will help but aren’t really necessary either. The snow gets a bit sloppy in the last 100m before the lake and around the lake edge. There are small pools of water around the lake edge and we ran into a few skiers coming off the Garibaldi traverse so I guess the lake is still crossable (though I wouldn’t risk it).”
Andy G. on the Great Garibaldi Glacier Lily Hunt:
“Glacier lilies! A familiar refrain to the ears of those who know me. It was a pleasure to introduce two Wanderung and Garibaldi Lake first-timers to those cheery yellow flowers. As expected, they were a little past their peak but we did see a few nice patches. We wandered up beyond Outhouse Junction, following the trail towards Black Tusk for a km or so where we found the best flower displays. Then we headed down to the lake to cool off our feet. The most surprising discovery of the trip was the water level in the lake: I’ve never seen it so low. Rubble Creek wasn’t flowing out of the lake at all, with nothing but old trees visible.
The trail is in excellent shape, if a little dusty right now. No snow and almost no mud. The campgrounds look to be snow-free. We encountered the crew working on upgrading the trail and rested awhile to chat with them. Bugs are mostly not a problem except at Taylor Meadows campground, where the bug rating was upgraded to irritating. I was hoping to see a bear, as that would have made for bear sightings on my last 3 callouts, but it was not to be. (I did the same trip a few days later and we saw a lone black bear grazing the meadows between Taylor Meadows and Outhouse Junction.)
Full flower update is on Live Trails and photos are on Flickr.
Many thanks to Jackie and Aaron for indulging my obsession and keeping me company on a long day of hiking.”
Andy at Garibaldi Lake:
“Andrea and John joined Maria and myself for a turkey-free long weekend of camping and hiking in perfect weather at Garibaldi Lake. Saturday morning, we bagged the last spot in the upper parking lot (at 8:15 am!) and were camped at the lake by 12 noon. Fortunately the majority of the vehicles were from day hikers – we had no trouble finding places to camp. Maria, Andrea and I headed for Panorama Ridge and its panoramic views while John soaked up the sun by the lake. Ear-plugs were very handy on Saturday night thanks to a couple of noisy groups who entertained everyone in earshot for a few hours. Did you know that if you howl like a wolf, the sound echoes around the lake…?
On Sunday morning the four of us headed for Mt Price. This isn’t a trail for novice hikers: part of the route involves crossing huge boulders with big dark gaps between them, and then there’s the steep ascent (and descent) of Clinker Peak on loose scree and dirt. But if you make your way through all that, the rewards are phenomenal with views even more panoramic than those from Panorama Ridge. The north face of Garibaldi looks close enough to touch, and both Clinker and Price are covered in volcanic rocks of all colours. At times it looked like we were on Mars. Sunday night was much quieter.
Monday we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before a speedy two-and-a-half hour descent to the car (where even the lower parking lot was now full!). We were back in Vancouver in time for Thanksgiving dinner.”
Steve on the Helm Creek cross-over:
“This was a manly trip. Five rugged men (Ben, Greg, John, Steve and Cam) with full packs dumped a car at Rubble Creek and then entered Garibaldi Park from the Cheakamus River end. We took snowshoes not being sure exactly what kind of conditions we’d be facing. We did really well on the ascent and as we lunched at the Helm Creek campsite we realized we were ahead of schedule and could afford to hike further before camping. There, as the sun beat down on us, I was convinced we wouldn’t need the snowshoes… but I was wrong. Another 200 m of gain and we hit the Cinder Flats completely covered by powdery snow. It was beautiful, and warm, ideal snowshoe conditions. We decided to go up Cinder Cone and take a look, the views of Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge etc. were great from there. Though we had prepared for “chilly” camping, some of us may have been a little under-prepared for a -15 C night on snow (at least I was). My feet have only just thawed as I type this. The exit via Garibaldi Lake (still snow free) was quite scenic as many of the leaves had turned. The Whisky Jacks were in full force and the photo weather of the lake itself as nice as I’ve ever seen it. A big thanks to Cam who shared his Winter camping tips with us!
For anyone planing a trip next weekend into Garibaldi, I’d say your window is closing. Any crossing like we did will be a winter trip for sure. Skis or snowshoes mandatory. And if you are planning going to the lake, I suspect ice and snow are coming soon.”
Stuart at Garibaldi Lake:
“Four of us set off heading up the 6+ km of switchbacks in 1½ hours. After a brief rest at the junction the group headed left and 20 minutes later arrived at Taylor Meadows. The sides of the trails are covered with alpine flowers and definitely worth adding the additional 2 km. Shortly later you have your first glimpse of Black Tusk, don’t forget to check the view behind you once in a while. Continuing along the path you eventually come to the junction for Garibaldi Lake, take a right heading down the switchbacks until you cross the bridge. The trail becomes fun and interesting as at some points you tip toe across rocks breaking the water’s surface to continue around the lake. You should explore the entire trail around the lake as besides the views of the glacier there are some interesting points. Firstly there is a small island accessible from the trail where there are some Indian Paintbrush plants. At the trail end by the ranger’s dock is not the best place to have lunch. The Whisky Jacks create a scene reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, it was quite bizarre. We headed back the direct route returning 9 hours later.”
Chris M. winter camping at Garibaldi Lake:
“We broke trail the entire way. Along the road, up the trail, in the meadows and up the ridge. Around 25 km round trip. Scott and Ian were in snowshoes. I skied. I was so tired I buried my heavy tent at the 4-km marker and decided to sleep in the shelter. We missed sunset. Exhausted, we played cards, went to sleep early and still we missed sunrise. We woke up to frozen ski boots and gaiters. After skinning up the ridge, just as the views opened up, along they came including Robert!? – a Wanderung member who decided our tracks looked better than breaking trail over to Panorama. Smart choice. After stopping with a beautiful view of Black Tusk another Wanderunger, Adrien showed up!! The morning had been a bright blue but the clouds now started to roll in. Skiing down in 2 feet of powder was dreamy.”
Andrew R. on Mt Price:
“Mike, Dan, Ellie, Ivana and myself left Park Royal at 8:30 am on our way to the Rubble Creek trailhead. We were met at the trailhead at 10:20 by Sharon. The six of us made our way up to the lake on an absolutely perfect blue-sky day. The Rubble Creek trail is now dry and almost completely snow-free all the way to the lake. We made our way past the Garibaldi Lake campground towards the Ranger Station where we would pick up the route to Mount Price. There is still a metre or two of snow on the ground beyond the lake, but it was very soft and melting quickly. The route to Price is tricky to follow (especially with snow on the ground) but fortunately the treed ridge is just open enough that we could see our objective and keep our bearing the whole way. On our ascent we found and lost the flagged trail repeatedly, but the group did a great job of route-finding as we slowly progressed up the ridge. A little before 4:00 pm we popped out of the trees on the ridge leading up to Clinker Peak and were greeted with seemingly endless views in all directions. Some of the group decided to make this their final destination and had lunch and soaked in the gorgeous views for the next hour. The others continued the ascent up the snow slopes with two of us reaching the peak of Clinker and one making the summit of Mount Price. We started down from the ridge at 5:00 pm. After a wet, post-holey slog back to the lake and a very long 9 km down the Rubble Creek trail, we made it back to the cars a little after 9:00 pm. The route described in Matt Gunn’s Scrambles guide is accurate and is the one we used. All in all, a fantastic, adventurous day with a great group!”
Chris M. on Panorama Ridge:
“Starting out, the clouds (and rain!) didn’t look promising. But having an Alex sunshine guarantee, we didn’t worry. The first 5 km of the Rubble Creek trail are snow free. The meadows, lake & mountains are still covered. With help from Evgeny’s GPS we made our way to the west end of Panorama Ridge. It was a little steep but the snow was good. Valerie used her micro spikes, while the rest of us used an ice axe. Snowshoes were not needed all day. About 2/3 of the way up the clouds and wind increased. We couldn’t see anything. However, Irina said the weather report called for sun in the afternoon so we continued. Sure enough, around 12:15 the clouds started to break and view opened up. Everyone was happier! We took the standard route down with some shortcut-fun downhill glissading. Then made our way across the meadow and back down the trail. Finished up with dinner at the Watershed Grill in Squamish.”
Ben on Mt Price:
“Four hikers began from the parking area at 8:30 am. The lower lakes were beginning to thaw but we still managed to make use of the winter route by staying along the shores. Three hours from the car we arrived at the lake and took a short break to snap some pictures, eat some lunch, and trade crampons for snowshoes. Beyond the lake the snow was in good condition and the GPS kept us right on track. The final 300+ metres were gained on a steep snow slope leading up a rib between Price and Clinker. Once atop, the grand views south to Garibaldi opened up before us. We paused here before crossing a small col and to reach the summit of Mount Price at 3:00 pm. With great weather and views in all directions, the group spent nearly an hour enjoying the broad summit. The return trip to the lake took only half the time, but then we had the long descent back to the car.”