Garibaldi Hike – Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge in Summer

Why do I point out this is happening in Summer? Because there’s every chance I’ll be going back in Winter!

A couple of weeks after the White Water Rafting fun, we decided more hiking was in order! Garibaldi Provincial Park it is! Organised by Christina and Stephen (both of whom also organised the Juan de Fuca trip) and attended by Hannah, Mark, Scott and I…. but the thing is, Hannah, Mark and I couldn’t make it until after work. We were going to have to start this hike at night.

Isn’t this about the time the serial killers come out?

Great time to find out the new rechargable batteries, that Duracell claimed were “precharged”, were actually not charged after all, and therefore my headlamp was out of action. Fortunately, I have a backup light.

I’m not kidding about this night thing!!! Thankfully it was a full moon!

It seems 8km uphill took longer than we thought, so we arrived about 90 minutes late arriving at Garibaldi Lake Campground. Stephen was on the sat phone to us and there was a very relieved look on Christina’s face. There was a slightly more bitter look on someone else’s face when I accidentally used his stove, thinking it was ours.

Sleep time.

Next morning, this is what we wake up to!

This was an awesome way to wake up!

This looks a lot better when the sun is up!

Our first day hike was to Black Tusk, which I’ve seen many times from the top of Whistler, but never been to it. I’d forgotten to bring a smaller backpack, so had to borrow the top of one of the backpacks, which handily converts into a bumbag!

Off we go!

Scott’s idea of directing us!

Did I mention how awesome the view is?

I repeat, awesome!

Yes, awesome (and I’m running out of caption ideas)

Stephen, admiring both the mighty Black Tusk, and the 1km of snow, scree and uphil between us and it!

This was pretty much the going for this bit, probably the hardest single section we did

However, we persevered and made to the top!

Looking out over the edge, long bloody way down!

So we were wondering back down again when we take a good look at the slope to the West… and quick as a flash, Mark and Scott decide bootskiing is in order!

And they were pretty good at it!

Of course, Stephen and I looked at each other and decided we had clearly missed a trick! We were both skiers, so we must be born to doing that!

This is the middle of summer! And yes it was tricky to walk up!

So there we were at the top of the cornice, looking down… I mean how hard can this be!?

Yeah, it wasn’t so easy, I’m that large spray of snow on the right! (note: Christina took this on Mark’s camera)

Complete with ice burns on the arms and numb hands, we headed back. As we neared the camp, we found this:

Can someone explain what this strange sit in bike thing is? It was going over the bridge and down the stairs at the time

In terms of the budding photographers among us, this evening was going to be great! We settled down to the bagged dinners, while enviously looking over at the folks who had brought up an entire stirfry with them! However, we were seeing scenes like this!

More salt with the bagged dinner sir?


Note to self: Buy reflective clothing for shots like this!

60 second exposure of Garibaldi Lake at night! By far my favourite shot!

Reminder, I’m using my Lumix TS3 for this! However, all of today’s fun had taken it’s toll on the battery. I was getting critically low and one more day to go.

The next day, we were heading to Panorama Ridge before we hiked down. Yep, 26km in one day! I had to be a little more frugal on the photos given the battery situation, and even borrowed Hannah’s camera (not that I have the photos from it yet missy!)

But this view made the grade!

As did this one of the Tusk!

After that, I was fully out of power, so the rest of the photos are from Mark’s camera.

Me, Scott and Mark in front of Garibaldi Lake!!

Then we caught sight of a nice downhill slope… and decided that it was time to try out bootskiing or just arse-sliding down!!!

I’m having fun!

Loads of fun!!

Thing is, in this situation I tend to bite off a little more than I could chew. After Christina had a great slide down the next slope, then deftly caught by Mark, I basically lept into the slide slope, which was a little more slippery than anticipated! It’s not on camera, I essentially flew (catching air a few times), down this. Mark pretty much decided that 87kg moving at speed was far too much to stop, so I flew down twice the distance of everyone else:


Me, with a load of snow melting off my face!

So back to camp, where Stephen and Hannah (who hadn’t come out that day) had squared everything away. We did however have a visitor:

Hannah thought this was great!

On the way down we passed The Barrier (that we can actually see now, because it’s light)! This huge lava dam, that creates Garibaldi Lake, is degrading. Have I mentioned there was an earthquake nearby recently? Might have shaken a few things, just in time for us to see it, and Mark to photograph it:

Impressive rock slide when you see it in person!

Anyway, 2 hours of wet boots downhill later, we were finally at the car. Great time! Well recommended!

Here’s some extra research links for everyone:


White Water Rafting in Lytton

Sorry this post took so bloody long to post! I was waiting for the photos from Hannah.

Firstly, I decided this was going to be the end of the trip and I would have a week off at home rather carry on on the road. As fun as it was, this was the best decision.

So, from Sun Peaks I headed for Lytton and to the camp site where I was meeting Hannah, Melissa and Mahal. We were camping, and rafting, with Hyak that weekend. We had gotten a deal through Zozi so we had it for half off (Zozi is similar to Groupon, but more focused on activities)!
Note: the link above is my referral link 

Once we arrived, it was clear that we were all in the mood for a lot of drinking, a lot of fun that weekend! We quickly befriended not one but TWO stag parties that weekend! That resulted in a lot of very fun drinking if I do say so myself! Thing is, we didn’t really have enough torches between us, so I ended up using my dive light… this is basically having a small sun in your hands!!

Anyway, next day we were joined by more friends, went up to Hyak to grab our lifejackets and helmets, then off we went!

Transported up there on old schoolbuses, half of us were paddle rafting, the rest (including us) were using power boats

Here is a giant advert for Hyak!

Quick safety briefing (essentially put your hands between your legs and hope for the best :P) and some more banter with the stag parties and away we go!

Me on the way (note: the black tshirt you can see is my rashy)

One of the boats we were using, the guides were awesome!

The Western Side of the river had a railway (YES, A RAILWAY IS WHAT I CALL IT!!), and we enjoyed getting the drivers to sound their horns!

Anyway, after the first set of rapids, we pulled into shore for lunch (sandwiches…. no not “gourmet lunch” as Zozi described). Was tasty though, and relaxing!

The rafts tied up at shore

After lunch it was on to the big stuff! You’re probably wondering why I’m able to take photos when my camera was being replaced… good thing I sold my old Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 to Hannah!

Off we go towards the bigger stuff so to speak!

We rotated through the boat, so everyone got a go at the front having water crash into their face!

Isn't this just a great country!

We kind of look like a flotilla going down here!

Yes, this is a good idea of what it was like. Great fun!

So, with that done we were all on a high! We promptly loaded up my cooler (great investment for this trip) with as much boose and ice as it could take! The party in the evening was insane! Not many photos I can share without someone slapping me, but I will put this one out:

This is in the middle of a valley in a predominantly desert part of BC! Huge blow-out party!!!! Best I've had for a while! Well worth it!

All in all, great way to end the road trip!

After this, I had a week at home chilling out and catching up on a few things. New website for Mum was made, and I caught up with as many friends as I could. New job started a week after!

Photos in this post were taken by Hannah and I, on Hannah’s camera