Elfin Lakes 18/12/10

Eric at Elfin Lakes:
“Saturday morning began as a cloudy, overcast day. It didn’t get better. Three of us met the fourth in Squamish and proceeded up to the Elfin Lakes parking lot. The road was exceptionally treacherous. The fourth member attempted to drive his Corolla on snow tires up. Unfortunately he became stuck halfway up. While getting unstuck, a large line of traffic got stuck behind us, blocking our retreat. After a car and a truck ended up in the ditch, the park rangers showed up. After the better part of 3 hours pushing cars, chaining tires, and trying to not get swept off the road, the three of us left the fourth to make his own way down. We carried on in a chained up 4×4 truck having no difficulty to reach the upper parking lot. The weather got worse. Lots of snow was hampering visibility. We reached Elfin Lakes hut just before dark. (total of approx. 4 hrs travel from upper parking lot). The hut is very nice and warm. It has propane heat, stoves and lanterns. It also has solar powered LED lights that sort of work. The next morning, we toured over to the Gargoyles and got a couple runs in. Amazing light powder snow, great terrain, but some avalanche risk. We were very thankful to the party that broke an excellent track up to the col through as safe terrain as possible. After lunch we headed back to the truck. The clouds opened up and exposed the beautiful surroundings. After 3 hours we reached the parking lot (on skis, about 4 hrs on snowshoes). Driving down was slow but uneventful. We had heard, and then saw, that a Jeep without chains slid and rolled over the edge of the road. It looked to have plunged 60 feet before coming to rest in some trees upside down. Its roof was caved in and it didn’t have any glass left in the windshield. Apparently a fire truck and an ambulance were necessary. The moral of the story: don’t attempt to drive up without chains. Even if you think you will try, it is likely that you will fail. Turning around is very difficult, and dangerous. Also, if you have chains, try to get up early, to lessen the chance of getting stuck behind a large group of vehicles pretending to be toboggans.

All in all, a great trip for the three of us that made it Elfin Lakes shelter.”

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