Chris N. at Joffre Lakes:
“About 3/4 of the main parking lot at Joffre is plowed but there’s still enough snow that you’ll lose traction with 2wd if you drive in too far. Parking close to the exit means you won’t need much of a push. There were about 10 cars in the lot when we were there – a far cry from the 200+ you’ll see on a summer’s day. The snow at the beginning was wet and sticky but improved with elevation. All the lakes are frozen but there is a layer of slush covered by another layer of snow on top of the ice on the first lake. The inlets and outlets of all the lakes are ice free so give these areas wide berths. If you follow the winter trail across the lake, you might prefer snowshoes but most of the route can be done in microspikes with minimal post-holing. Weather was changeable – a bit of cloud with the sun trying to peek out at times interspersed with snow showers. Temperatures varied from about 0 C in the parking lot to maybe -5 C with a bit of wind at our high point. We reached the third lake in under 2 hours, had lunch and spent a bit of time exploring.”
Jaime at Joffre Lakes:
“We headed out for the long drive past Pemberton and up to the Joffre Lakes trailhead. The day turned out to be gorgeous, sunny and frozen. The trail is very different now and most of the way up it’s a hard packed gravel path. The path has been filled in right over the boulder fields so the risk of injury is lowered. It is now a trail that is very accessible to people with all different levels of physical fitness. I think that it’s a good place to take someone on their first bigger hike, or a visiting friend, but I wouldn’t drive all the way there to do it again. It’s a very quick hike now. Snow started on the trail just before the second lake and the terrain was so stunning with the fresh layer of snow. The low, bright sun made it pretty tricky to get any good photos.
On a side note, we saw a guy propose to his partner at Upper Joffre and she said yes. If we hadn’t been there they would have had the whole place to themselves, so we felt a bit bad about that. It was an almost perfect proposal, except for us.
After the hike we headed into the Pemberton Meadows and along the Lillooet River for a dreamy soak in the springs. The fall colours were so super perfect. I always forget how pretty Pemberton is in the fall. It was a fantastic 2 days with a lovely group of women.”
Irina on Tszil and Taylor Peaks:
“Dan, Pavel, Stephan, Carlos and Evgeny joined me, and Saturday morning we started the hike from the Joffre Lakes parking lot. Once near the upper lake, we came across a sign post and followed the route to Tszil glacier. It’s a fairly well trodden trail when on the grass or in the trees, but some route-finding is required on the boulder field.
Spotting the moraine, we first went to the right of it but ran into abundant deadfall. Oh well, let’s see what the moraine is like from the top. It turned out to be quite wide except for a couple of more narrow, half-a-foot wide sections. Then it’s all boulders up to the Tszil-Taylor col. We crossed a couple of small icy snowfields where I would have liked to have and ice axe or traction aides, especially if we were to descend the same way.
While Tszil looked somewhat intimidating from the col, the scrambling turned out to be a lot of fun with no exposure and excellent sturdy rock. The views were spectacular! The whole Cayoosh range was up on display, and Slalok so close! We didn’t even notice how 40 minutes on the top passed, and if we wanted to get to Taylor, we should hurry! So Pavel, Evgeny and I packed quickly and hastened down. From the col, it was 30 min to the top of Taylor, zig-zagging between short cliffs at a good speed. A few quick pictures, and down we go. Back in the col at 5:10 pm, with two hours of daylight left. Dusk descended on us at the second lake, and we caught up with the rest of our group between the first and the second lakes. Huge thanks to Dan who courteously accepted the role of a guide for the other two in the group and descended straight from Tszil, allowing us to bag a second peak.
See full report with geo-tagged pictures on Livetrails: https://livetrails.com/report/1205/0/Tszil_Mountain-Mount_Taylor_loop“
Irina at Joffre Lakes:
“Beautiful winter hike albeit shorter than I expected: took us 1.5 h to get to the upper lake without even trying! Plenty of time to enjoy the views from both sides of the Upper Lake. Saw a group of skiers skinning up towards Tszil; looked temping but we weren’t prepared for travel in the avalanche country. Another group went towards Taylor.
There were several cars in the parking lot when we arrived, and despite abundant snowfall over the past two weeks, the tracks to were deep and well-packed, practically eliminating the need to trail-break. The two lower lakes have started thawing closer to the shore and parts of the trail across the lakes were slushy. With lots of time to spare, we dropped by Nairn Falls on our way back for the view of captivating rock structures eroded by water and finished the day with dinner at the Shady Tree. Thanks to our amazing drivers Cara and Stephen for making this trip happen!
My report with full photo album is on Live Trails.”
Ahmad on Tszil Peak:
“A nineteen-hour trip and 10:40 hours on the trail. I can tell you confidently it was a long day. My initial perception that the Joffre Lakes trail was a piece of cake but I found it fairly hard and it was not the quality that I thought – many roots, rocks, and boulders. We got to the bridge that leads to Joffre Campground after 2:20 hours where we had our 1/2 lunch break. All lakes were unfrozen. The trail was also clear from any snow. I was pleased to see Tszil has a trail. I also found it in a better conditions that the Lake trail although it is not well defined as the other one. I don’t think it goes all the way to the summit. The trail eventually climbs on a narrow ridge that was about 100 m high and in some portions was less than 1 foot wide. We got to Tszil-Taylor col at 4 pm. We still had 230 m of elevation gain to do. It was a whiteout. A large part of the slope was still covered by snow. We decided to give it a try. It was not easy. Some rocks were slippery and some of the snow was not in good conditions. We summitted at about 4:55 pm. On the way back, we chose the gully with the snowfield. It was quicker and more fun. This is my second time of taking my snowshoes on a tour without using them.”
Cara at Joffre Lakes:
“Chris, Donna and Scott joined me on an early morning trip to Joffre Lakes. The weather was sunny and crisp, above freezing at the lower elevations and at mid day, but below at the top lake. The snow was deep and varied with elevation but thankfully a path was somewhat packed down so we didn’t have to break trail. Snowshoes were definitely needed and the lakes were still crossable, though this won’t last long. Joffre was pretty quiet. A handful of backcountry skiers were in the area, and two snowshoers later in the day. We easily made it to the top lake and enjoyed the stunning panorama before heading back to extricate the car from the parking lot (this required a shovel, chains, and 3 people pushing) then headed to Squamish for a nice dinner to polish off the day.”