Jaime A. at Rainbow Lake:
“Eight of us woke up early and braved the frozen fog morning to head out to Rainbow Lake. The trailhead is found along a residential back road in Whistler just off Alta Rd, very accessible. The icy wind at the trailhead had us and our hands frozen in seconds, but we left it behind as soon as we ducked into the trees. Thanks to the full week of perfect, blue-bird days the trail was hard packed and manageable with boots or micro-spikes up until around 5.5 km, where the trail split into a fork, the left side headed to Madely and the right to Rainbow. The trail thinned out after that and the accidental post-holing increased.
The meadows before the lake were stunning with hoar frost that was bigger and more dramatic than any of us had ever seen. It was also the first bit of sun that we had encountered the entire way so it felt great on our frozen faces. We had a very quick lunch on the sunny lake and had to leave the sun behind to try and make it back to the cars before dark, which we did.
It took us 6.5 hours to do the 16 km snowshoe. Impressive for a group of 8 but it was too cold to stop for breaks! The trail markers were few and far between along here, mostly buried under the snow, but we had a packed trail to guide us. Route-finding here would be straight-forward, but trickier in fresh pow. The lack of sun along this trail puts it onto an overcast hiking list for me but it was a great snowshoe with lots of exploring potential beyond and around Rainbow Lake.”