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.”
Stuart on Panorama Ridge:
“It is amazing the difference 9 days makes, most of the alpine flowers in Taylor Meadows have wilted since our last visit. They are however abundant as you head closer towards Panorama Ridge. There is still plenty of snow on the back of the ridge so I would recommend taking hiking poles to assist in the climb. The snow provides a benefit later on as you can bum slide down between the two peaks to avoid the steep descent back down the trail. Just try to stay in the chute created by earlier sliders to avoid the snow speed bumps but be warned it does take a little while before feelings return again. You need to hit the brakes (heels) before passing over the second ridge to control your speed and you probably want to come to a complete stop before deciding to go further as this is the fastest section. The six of us returned via Taylor Meadows 9½ hours later with 1½ hours on top of the ridge. The rest certainly helps recharge the batteries for the return trip. Again, we had perfect weather and amazing views.”
Marisa on Panorama Ridge:
“After the Wanderung party, I had to go to the infamous Panorama Ridge to see what the hype was. Unfortunately, Robert got sick and plans changed. Scott reorganized the trip and we opted for a “late” morning meeting time of 6 am. At 7:30 am, Scott, Vince, Paul and I were at Rubble Creek parking lot making our way to Panorama Ridge. The snow began at 2.5 km but we didn’t strap on snowshoes until Taylor Meadows. We followed existing snowshoe tracks but as our blue skies had changed to snow and low visibility, we meandered to the Black Tusk viewpoint. The snow and wind on the way back down made goggles a valuable essential. We took the long way back via the lake. By the time we got back to the parking lot, it was raining. It was a great day…. We had many moments of silence. Maybe another day we’ll make it to Panorama Ridge with Robert himself!!”
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.”
Robert C. on Panorama Ridge:
“Four of us were determined to reach Panorama Peak, a destination that I thought might just be too much for this time of year, especially after seeing Rob’s photos from Garibaldi a few weeks ago. However, with low-moderate avalanche warnings and the prospect of sunny skies, we headed out starting at the trail head at 7:30 am. The road to Rubble Creek parking lot is quite passable with a 4X4 and high clearance. The trail from Rubble Creek to the top of Taylor Meadows was quite easy and typical. A set of ski tracks at about the 8 km mark set us on a fork and diversion to the campground instead of the typical summer route. We managed to break trail through Taylor Meadows with occasional ski tracks. Without markers on the trees it was difficult to find the junction for Black Tusk/Panorama Ridge so we ended up traversing the trail to Black Tusk. However the much steeper terrain provided views that I never saw on the regular summer trail to Panorama Ridge. As a result, we almost did two hikes, one to the ridge of Black Tusk and the other to Panorama Peak. It was a steep descent back to the bowl between Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge but well worth it. Then we started the ascent up to the peak of Panorama. Through the whole trip we experienced deep blue skies to cloud that provided for a variety of great photos. The climb to the peak was the exact opposite of what I expected. I was expecting that we would be waist deep in snow but because it’s so windy up there, it makes it hard packed for the most part. For those that have hiked with me before, you know how much I love this hike. I get goose bumps just thinking about the entire trip. I also thank everyone for taking turns breaking snow and route scouting. This was made possible only because of this teamwork! See you all again. Hopefully our tracks will stay for the next hike :)”
Heather in and around Helm Creek:
“Tyler, Ted, Bob and Heather did an overnight trip in Garibaldi park. We took Saturday to hike into Cheakamus Lake, have lunch and a quick dip, and then start the ascent up the slopes toward Helm Valley. As we had some extra time, we decided it might be nice to try and find Corrie Lake, which was estimated at 1/2 km off the trail (a beautiful blue lake that can be seen from the peak of Whistler). We made it, but the hour and a half of bushwhacking and the unbelievable mosquito clouds would not convince us to do it again! (We decided we were training for Chris Nott’s call-outs…) Camping at Helm Creek was beautiful but another incredible battle with mosquitos – full-on Goretex and mosquito nets only slightly delayed our escape into the safety of the tents. Sunday was a scenic 25 km hike up the scenic Helm Valley to Panorama Ridge – incredible views of Black Tusk, interesting cinder cones & valley floor, stunning colours of Garibaldi Lake and all the surrounding glaciers and mountains, and the most vibrant wildflowers blooming everywhere. A quick dip in Helm Lake was a refreshing stop on the long hike back to the car.”
Heather at Garibaldi Provincial Park:
Tyler, Ted, Bob and Heather did an overnight trip in Garibaldi park. We took Saturday to hike into Cheakamus Lake, have lunch and a quick dip, and then start the ascent up the slopes toward Helm Valley. As we had some extra time, we decided it might be nice to try and find Corrie Lake, which was estimated at 1/2 km off the trail (a beautiful blue lake that can be seen from the peak of Whistler). We made it, but the hour and a half of bushwhacking and the unbelievable mosquito clouds would not convince us to do it again! (We decided we were training for Chris Nott’s call-outs…) Camping at Helm Creek was beautiful but another incredible battle with mosquitos – full-on gore-tex and mosquito nets only slightly delayed our escape into the safety of the tents. Sunday was a scenic 25 km hike up the scenic Helm Valley to Panorama Ridge – incredible views of Black Tusk, interesting cinder cones & valley floor, stunning colours of Garibaldi Lake and all the surrounding glaciers and mountains, and the most vibrant wildflowers blooming everywhere. A quick dip in Helm Lake was a refreshing stop on the long hike back to the car.
Pablo on Panorama Ridge:
“Last weekend 6 of us did Panorama Ridge in one shot. It’s a long hike (30 km) with a lot of elevation gain, but it can be done starting early and keeping a good pace. This is a hike to do on a not-too-hot clear day, as we had; the view from the ridge is impressive. Not recommended for people with fear of heights. The trail is in good condition, but we had to do a little light scrambling at the top, because there are still snow patches covering the trail. The flowers are starting to appear at the meadows. I would say that probably in the next few weeks will be the best time for flowers.”
Ahmad on Panorama Ridge:
“Our small group of Ian and I had plenty of luck. The luck of 2 weeks was squeezed into one day. The weather turned clear in the afternoon. The snow was fairly packed. There was a sort of track that we could follow most of the way. So we extended our initial plan and got to the official viewpoint of Panorama Ridge. We estimated the snow to be 0.4-0.5 m in Taylor Meadows, where we started to use snowshoes, and just over 1 m on the Ridge. The snowline started at 1100 m. The park was almost empty except for several students doing their research on the Barrier. Our whole trip took about 10 hours.”