Chris M. winter camping at Garibaldi Lake:
“We broke trail the entire way. Along the road, up the trail, in the meadows and up the ridge. Around 25 km round trip. Scott and Ian were in snowshoes. I skied. I was so tired I buried my heavy tent at the 4-km marker and decided to sleep in the shelter. We missed sunset. Exhausted, we played cards, went to sleep early and still we missed sunrise. We woke up to frozen ski boots and gaiters. After skinning up the ridge, just as the views opened up, along they came including Robert!? – a Wanderung member who decided our tracks looked better than breaking trail over to Panorama. Smart choice. After stopping with a beautiful view of Black Tusk another Wanderunger, Adrien showed up!! The morning had been a bright blue but the clouds now started to roll in. Skiing down in 2 feet of powder was dreamy.”
Rob M. at Elfin Lakes:
“We made it to the unploughed upper parking lot. One car had slid off the road into the forest – a bit of bumper and windshield visible – driver frantic on the cell phone. We seemed to be the first, breaking a snowshoe trail out to the hut. Progress was slow and draining. From the high stilted outhouse at Red Heather I could see that the poled winter route hadn’t been set. The narrow trail followed the summer route without any avi risk. We arrived quite late at the Elfin Lakes Hut feeling a little trashed. Sadly there were no tracks leading up Columnar Peak/Gargoyles saddle. Time worked against our intent of tenting out on the saddle, Columnar Peaks or ideally up on Little Diamond Head. The trump card was yet to be played.
With less than two hours of daylight a couple of skiers headed out towards the saddle but gave up breaking trail 1 km beyond the shelter. At the shelter I saw three grommets had broken loose from the metal frame of my MSR snowshoes. That and the oversized winter pack were probably the cause of some shooting pains in my hip. Three steps in 1.5 metre snow from the hut there was a collective feeling that we didn’t consume enough power gels to get us to the saddle.
A half hour later Glen tells us that his bivy setup probably wouldn’t work. The temperature was -15 and dropping – colder with the wind chill and worse at higher exposed elevations. We quickly found a spot in the meadows at the base of Columnar Peaks and began digging out a campsite and talked about what to do if the temperature went south of -20. Two of us ended up sharing a 4 season Hilleberg tent and with a bit of tweaking, everyone survived the night – woken once by the sound of snow drilling our tents; and once by the unmistakable sound of a woomph and a slide coming down the Gargoyles.
We took a mellow, get lost and smell the flowers pace back to the parking lot passing more than 50 skiers/snowboarders on Paul Ridge near Round Mountain. The trail was now a super highway. A pint and burger in town and we were home.”
Adib on a Wilderness First Aid course:
“Eight Wanderung members participated in the awesome Red Cross Wilderness Remote First Aid course. The course was 20 hours, on Friday night we were indoors and learned the basics of CPR, and got our training manuals. Saturday and Sunday we spent in Mundy Park doing hands on stuff in prefect conditions for a wilderness first aid course, cold, raining, and amazing instructors. Peter Ramsey, our instructor, was one of the people who collaborated on writing the red cross manual on remote wilderness first aid how cool is that, yes you can see his name in the Red Cross book!
We learned and practiced so many things other than basic CPR including how to deal with: hypothermia, broken bones, different types of wounds, possible head and spinal cord injuries and many more exciting things. I finally learned how to properly use a first aid kit.
The best part of course was the hands on scenarios our instructors set up, using theatrical make up that looked so real it made your heart beat fast. We dealt with scenarios involving bleeding people, all sorts of body parts, unconscious people hanging from trees, amputated thumbs, sucking chest wounds, pulling someone out of the lake and treating for hypothermia, dealing with shock, heart attacks, strokes, heat exhaustion. Most of the scenarios involved multiple causalities, and we had a very detailed night time scenario took about a couple of hours to get through.
We all walked away from the course with a much deeper appreciation for group dynamics and all the problems that can crop up when there is an emergency and many people involved. We are all much more confident in our ability to provide first aid. We also all felt that we would like everyone that we hike with to have this type of training.”
Marisa on Panorama Ridge:
“After the Wanderung party, I had to go to the infamous Panorama Ridge to see what the hype was. Unfortunately, Robert got sick and plans changed. Scott reorganized the trip and we opted for a “late” morning meeting time of 6 am. At 7:30 am, Scott, Vince, Paul and I were at Rubble Creek parking lot making our way to Panorama Ridge. The snow began at 2.5 km but we didn’t strap on snowshoes until Taylor Meadows. We followed existing snowshoe tracks but as our blue skies had changed to snow and low visibility, we meandered to the Black Tusk viewpoint. The snow and wind on the way back down made goggles a valuable essential. We took the long way back via the lake. By the time we got back to the parking lot, it was raining. It was a great day…. We had many moments of silence. Maybe another day we’ll make it to Panorama Ridge with Robert himself!!”