December 8-9, 2012
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October 19-21, 2012:
We hiked 7.5 kms. (3,500 ft. elevation gain) up into the alpine region of Garibaldi Provincial Park (Taylor Meadows Campground, 5,250 ft.) on Friday in the late autumn sunshine.
Just as we were getting ready to go to bed on Friday night the first snow flakes of the year began to fall.
We woke up to discover that over four inches of powder snow had accumulated on our tents.
Here’s the story of our weekend attempt to climb Black Tusk and practice glacial travel on Helm Glacier.
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On Saturday we did a snowshoe trip up to the Red Heather shelter in the Diamond Head area of Garibaldi Provincial Park.
We had two Scouts from the 5th West Van (plus a dad and younger sibling) and three Rovers from different PCC & FVC groups that we connected with on their excellent web forum: http://www.roversbc.com/forums/index.php
It was a real pleasure to hike with Andrew, Kim and Mark. Amazingly talented and impressive Rovers.
Once we arrived at the shelter we were immediately greeted by a contingent of Venturers from the 1st Coquitlam Scout group (the benefits of having readily identifiable head gear) that had arrived earlier in the afternoon. After we exchanged email addresses and got to know them (and woofed down some lunch), it was time to head back down the trail for home.
We’ll be back every weekend this month (except the weekend of our two night camp up at Joffre Lake).
If anyone wants to join us, just shout!
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: