2010-12-19 49 -123
Only a few kilometers from the shores of Garibaldi lake! How could we not try this!
December, you say? Snow, you say? We'll see about that!
Given that there was only slightly more than 8 hours of daylight, time would definitely be a factor, so the daring duo of alpine adventurers set off in the wee hours of the morning. Several hours of driving later, they exited their vehicle, donned their winter boots, hoisted their packs and set off down the trail!
They first walked 2km to the snowed-in parking lot where the trail actually began. From there they began an endless (read: 6km) series of painful switchbacks that would carry them up the mountain. thepiguy quickly decided he was tired of carrying his snowshoes on his back and opted to put them on his feet. Whether this actually made walking easier, or just made his pack lighter, Jafo decided to follow suit. At this point the trees were dense and the snow compact, making for easy going. As they progressed upward the snow began to accumulate but thankfully there was a deep track worn in the trail by other recent hikers.
At the 6km marker the trail split in two with the left branch leading off to a camp ground and the right branch leading to the lake. Sadly, there had been little recent traffic to the lake and the trail was left untouched and buried under several feet of fresh snow. *sigh*
For the most part, the trail was still easy to follow, so they trudged on enjoying the untouched powder and the beautiful terrain. The path rolled up and down through the trees, over small bridges and next to a few smaller lakes. Occasionally they found themselves following animal tracks in the snow and figured that a small rabbit probably knew the trail better than they did anyway. Nearing the lake, the path made a few sharp turns and managed to free itself of the pair of persistent hikers. They were able to find the path again, but not before unknowingly crossing a large stream on a bridge made of snow, rather than the bridge made of wood and steel.
They found their way to a wooden shelter on the edge of the lake and collapsed onto a wooden bench in order to have a rest. thepiguy hopefully turned on his GPS in order to check the remaining distance to the hashpoint. He winced and let out a small cry of pain when a rather large number appeared on the display.
It was now almost 2:00pm, meaning only about 2 hours of daylight left, and seeing as they had started at 8:00am they would already be returning by dark. Fortunately for therpiguy, it was Jafo who was responsible for the sanity checks on this trip: Having traveled 11km thus far (and with their combined snowshoeing experience totaling a little over 22km --No, I didn't mess up the math--) it was probably for the best that they chose not to wander over 2km off the trail into the wilderness.
With the stresses of reaching the hash point now lifted, they were left with nothing else to do but rest, eat some lunch and admire the spectacular view!
Oh, they had to get back to their car too. But that only took another 5 hours.