Another trip to Joffre Lakes

Back in June 2014, I did another trip to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. The first trip was great fun and some of my best photos, and  I hadn’t been for a few years so why not.

For those of you looking for details and maps, here they are:

Now for the updates. Since I last went, the trail work has mostly been completed. The lower boulder hopping is now a smooth path. There is still a steep ascent through the trees requiring careful footwork. I had a broken radius and was in a cast at the time so gripping was tricky. As you get just past Middle Lake, you might find fallen trees that you need to duck under. The upper section has been rerouted East (to your left if ascending) and now there is a stairway and bridge as opposed to another boulder field. The approach to the campsite is still along a rocky shoreline and the outhouse door was broken when we were there.

Camp set up (quieter in June so no issues finding a spot) and dinner eaten. Jesse (dog who was with us) unearthed “human leavings” under a stone right by the campsite. If you’re thinking of doing this, please don’t. Walk to the outhouse like a civilized human-being.

This time, instead of doing Tzsil (snow was still too low), we headed for a lookout near the Glacier (see the map above). This was steep and you had to be careful of your footing and of falling rocks. However, seeing all three lakes at once was spectacular.

Now, onto food. We had decided to hike up a light frying pan, cutting board, spatula, tongs and the following:

Breakfast

That made pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfasts!

Dinner

  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Spices (Taco spice mix worked well)
  • Chorizo
  • Carrots
  • Courgette/Zucchini
  • Beansprouts
  • Noodles
  • Stock

That made an enormous amount of stirfry and soup (a very excellent soup Louis I must say). We were absolutely full and kind of happy not to eat dehydrated for a change.

I’ll be doing another, beginner focused, hike up there soon!

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Wendy Thompson Hut

I really need to keep up on the blog posts. This one should have been written closer to November 2013, when we actually did this winter hike.

The Wendy Thompson Hut is up near Pemberton, just off the Duffy Lake Road in the Marriott Basin. It’s run by the Alpine Club of Canada’s Whistler Section and, unlike most, is a fully reserved hut. $10 per person per night. Well worth it.

Since you will have seen my last (rather popular I must say) post about map making, I have a few maps for you:

The way up in early November was rather deep snow. Quite strange to be on snowshoes for the first time that year. The FSR wasn’t too bad, slight uphill incline. When you find the trail head marker (there is a photo below but it’s further away from the FSR than you think), you start more tricky footwork.

As you progress through the forest, there is more incline. The way is marked and not hard to follow. I found myself just pushing through here and minding my footing. Jesse (Hannah’s Dog) of course was having a great time.

Eventually you come out of the forest and onto what initially looks like a meadow, but you soon work out a lake it nearby. In winter people were crossing it (I wouldn’t, you don’t know how thick the ice is) but we went round the shoreline (as best we could work out). The areas around the lake are quite rocky and we found ourselves pushing through snowdrifts.

The final leg is an uphill to the hut. Traversing left and right and through some light trees. We didn’t really see the hut until it we were right on it.

The hut is well equipped. The paraffin/white gas heater is a welcome sight (bring your own fuel and read the instructions). Remember to take off your shoes in the entry way to keep snow out. The upstairs (ladder accessed) is very spacious so quite a few people could sleep there, but the downstairs is smaller, two tables and benches.

We had it completely to ourselves that night!

Many games of cards were played. Kind of wish we had brought a portable speaker for a bit of music. I would say you can haul up a bit of extra weight as it’s not an extremely far location. Do remember your warm coat and booties though.

Further reading:

And let’s not forget the photos:

I’ll be doing the Chilkoot Trail this year!

Last year me and a few friends decided that we wanted to do a hiking holiday and we decided that the Chilkoot Trail looked perfect for this.

The Chilkoot Trail is a National Park and National Historic Site/Landmark both in Canada and the USA, that connects across the border forming the old route of the Klondike Gold Rush which took place between 1896-1899. It’s a 33mi/53km route from Dyea, Alaska (close to Skagway) to Bennett, British Columbia (close to the border with the Yukon). The closest city (and airport where we fly into) is Whitehorse.

Maps of the route from Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service.

The history of this is that the trail is that it was a route that was used by Gold Miners, seeking fortune in the Klondike. They would take heavy packs of equipment and supplies expecting to stay up there a year (for that year, they were recommended to get all this stuff, but I’m not sure how they got all of it there). They would head to Skagway, where where they would start the 53km journey. On the second day, when they saw the 12.7km trip from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp, better known as The Pass… they might eject a lot of that equipment.

Elevation profile showing The Pass highlighted

Elevation profile showing The Pass highlighted

As shown by some of the research (done by Hannah, thanks Hannah) you can still see the items they threw out to lighten the load by the side of the trail route.

It’s a 5 night hike, about 12km each day, undulating. We’re then getting a train service back featuring a carriage to properly seal off all the unshowered hikers from the other tourists.

Will be posting more about it over the next few weeks. We leave at the end of July!