Zoltan at Semaphore Lakes:
“Ciaran, Will, Amy, and myself hiked to Semaphore Lakes on a clear, sunny day. The drive was long but beautiful. Passing Whistler Village we continued to Pemberton and beyond through the country side. We finally approached a long drive up Hurley River FSR, and eventually reached the trail head just 3 hours after leaving Vancouver. The hike up to the lakes was relatively easy. After an hour or so up through the woods we reached the meadows. The colours of fall were everywhere, even in the alpine. With only a few other hikers up there, we had a nice, quiet lunch, enjoying the views, with no distractions. Then we hiked around the meadows seeing the lower and upper lakes. Locomotive and Face Mountains were a dramatic backdrop at every step we took. We all agreed that this place is stunning and it would be well worth it to come back to summit one of the mountains. Driving back down, we got a close encounter with a black bear, as it crossed the road and then stopped for us as we passed it to snap a few pictures. Also, a bit further down the road, we had the same experience with a deer. Overall, this hike is very nice and I encourage everyone to try it once.
A side note about the FSR. It’s not that bad, considering my Honda Civic made it up. Your driving time (on the FSR) will be cut in half, however, if you drive a 4×4. I personally would not recommend going up there with any car if there is snow.
More pictures of the hike are on Flickr“
Andy at Garibaldi Lake:
“Andrea and John joined Maria and myself for a turkey-free long weekend of camping and hiking in perfect weather at Garibaldi Lake. Saturday morning, we bagged the last spot in the upper parking lot (at 8:15 am!) and were camped at the lake by 12 noon. Fortunately the majority of the vehicles were from day hikers – we had no trouble finding places to camp. Maria, Andrea and I headed for Panorama Ridge and its panoramic views while John soaked up the sun by the lake. Ear-plugs were very handy on Saturday night thanks to a couple of noisy groups who entertained everyone in earshot for a few hours. Did you know that if you howl like a wolf, the sound echoes around the lake…?
On Sunday morning the four of us headed for Mt Price. This isn’t a trail for novice hikers: part of the route involves crossing huge boulders with big dark gaps between them, and then there’s the steep ascent (and descent) of Clinker Peak on loose scree and dirt. But if you make your way through all that, the rewards are phenomenal with views even more panoramic than those from Panorama Ridge. The north face of Garibaldi looks close enough to touch, and both Clinker and Price are covered in volcanic rocks of all colours. At times it looked like we were on Mars. Sunday night was much quieter.
Monday we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before a speedy two-and-a-half hour descent to the car (where even the lower parking lot was now full!). We were back in Vancouver in time for Thanksgiving dinner.”
Nicky C. hiking Hanes Valley:
“I couldn’t have wished for a more excited, motivated & friendly bunch who decided to take on this hike with me – particularly good at encouraging those of us who were perhaps getting tired or pushing past our comfort zones.
This was a transit hike, so the seven of us bussed to Lynn Headwaters Park and after a 1 km walk started from the trailhead at 9.30 am. We reached Norvan Falls after almost 2 hours and took a 15 minute detour to see them. More flat walking, two very easy creek crossings (one because of a new bridge the other because at this time of year water levels are low), a bit of easy incline and we arrived at the helicopter pad after 3-1/2 hours on the trail. Then the boulder field… one hour of steady, quite steep uphill scrambling, arriving at Crown Pass earlier than expected. Still having some energy we decide to do Crown Mountain too (after making sure one member of our party who was not comfortable with this had a safe way on to the end of trail, with two lovely gentlemen going the same way) – that took us about 2 hours (return) of very steep rough trail with a bit of scrambling, but the views were amazing! Once back down it was another 1 hour 20 minutes of up then downhill to the top of the Grouse Mountain gondola by sunset at 6.30 pm. Altogether, with breaks, 9 hours on the trail!”