Category Archives: Snowshoe Trip
Well, we had time for one last trip back to the ‘Joff before the winter snow begins slowly disappearing from the Mountains.
This time we had guests from Pemberton joining us: Jason Gadd and his son Ben. They had such a good time that we’ll have to find a way of creating a Pemberton branch of the 5th West Van Mountaineer Scouts!
We also had 19-year-old Sam Lotzkar and his friend David join us. They also had an excellent time winter camping for the first time in their lives. Maybe we’ve got our first Rovers for our group?
Saturday morning we saddled up and snowshoed into the mountains. We ate lunch in the sun at Middle Joffre Lake and then continued on to Upper Joffre Lake.
After five camping trips to the park since November, it was the perfect end of a perfect season to finally put our snowshoe prints into the snow on Upper Joffre Lake below the towering Joffre and Matier Peaks and the stunning Matier Glacier!
We took the opportunity to do a leader investiture ceremony on the lake under the glacier for our new leader, Scouter Alan! What a spot for that ceremony! It was like being in a cathedral with the rocks and ice towering all around us.
The weather began socking in and it starting snowing so…with heavy hearts after only a short visit to the “Joffre Cathedral”…we had to turn around and head back to basecamp.
But you can be sure we’ll be back and next time…let’s camp at the Upper Lake!
With all the Scouts in bed on Saturday night, the adults sat in our carved out snow living room and chatted about the day’s adventures.
At 11pm our conversation was interrupted by a sound from high up in the mountains that crackled like rolling thunder for over 5 seconds…something very large, heavy and hard broke loose up there and crashed down the mountain…this was no mere avalanche…it sounded as if half the glacier had broken off.
A good reminder for us to be ever vigilant out there and to take the mountains seriously every time we go out.
UPDATE – 04/16/12: I just got this wonderful message from Jason Gadd regarding this weekend’s trip up in the mountains:
“HI Jody – Thanks for having us. Ben said that Saturday was one of the best days of his life! It was pretty great.”
We did a trip up to Garibaldi Provincial Park and checked out the road conditions up to the trail head. The road up from Brackendale (just north of Squamish) was well packed and mostly sanded. Four-wheel drive was all we needed until we got to a section where a sign indicated that chains were mandatory (steeper and unsanded). Not having chains, we parked at the chain-up area along with quite a few other cars and walked the last 3 kilometres of road to the trail head. Note to self: buy chains before next weekend’s trip!
Once at the trail head (where all the clever ones with chains had parked), we put on our snowshoes and headed up the mountain. The trail was great and plenty of backcountry AT skiers, splitboarders and snowshoers were coming and going – all having a great time .
We didn’t have time to get too high up before having to turn around and head back down the mountain.
Next Saturday we will get up to Red Heather shelter and maybe even Elfin Lake!
BTW…we found that Valhalla Pure Outfitters (right near the main intersection into Squamish) rents
MSR Evo Ascent showshoes for only $10 a day!
Anyone that wants to come next time…just give a holler.
We’re looking at going out tomorrow and again on February 4, 11 & 25.
We’ll probably hit the trail into the Diamond Head area tomorrow. Nothing too aggressive, just a recon and conditioning trip.
We’ll probably leave around 9 or 10 am and be back by dinner time at the latest.
For the moment, you will need your own gear.
FYI: Vertical Reality Sports in Squamish rents snowshoes for $13/day
(604-982-8248 – ask for Pat or Donna).
Here’s the latest copy of the trail report for this area: