Andy G. at Wedgemount Lake:
“On a beautiful blue-sky day, our full group of eight made the steep climb up to the lake, where we enjoyed a well-earned lunch break before heading over to admire the glacier.
A decade since my first visit to the lake, and of all the hikes in my decade series, this one has perhaps shown the most obvious change. The glacier has receded over 100 metres in that time, with this last summer being especially devastating. It has to be seen to be believed. And yet it is still perhaps the most accessible glacier in the Lower Mainland, and still a ridiculously photogenic place.
In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new trailhead and parking lot, at the end of a new road that is signposted from the old parking lot. Be aware that there is active construction going on there too. The lower section of the trail is also new, and I have to say much improved over the old. After about a km the new and old trails merge and the hard work begins. The mud was negligible, and only one fallen tree to negotiate. A mere 3 hours of steady hiking saw us at the lake (only two and a half hours back to the car) leaving us nearly 3 hours to enjoy being up there.
Thanks to everyone for another great day out!”
Chris M. on Brandywine Mountain:
“The combination of easy access and nice alpine makes Brandywine a good last-minute weekend destination. My Xterra made it to the 4wd parking area with no problems. The trail through the meadows has been upgraded and now there is very little mud. We left the valley before the end went south up to the ridge where we scouted out camping locations. From our vantage it was fun to watch different groups take various routes up the mountain. They all looked like coloured ants. In the evening we made a good firepit and soaked in the superb star show.
We didn’t rush in the morning but we were still easily the first people up to the summit on Sunday. We didn’t have to cross any snow and the views were fabulous. When we returned to camp we took a siesta before packing up and taking a slightly different route back down. Our travel time between parking and camping was around 2 hours, both ways,
Paul, Amy & Liam all had a similar desire for a relaxing but satisfying alpine trip, which made for a perfect group experience. The warm sunny weather was fantastic; especially for October.”
Jaime at Brandywine Meadows:
“Well, I did this callout with the wrong date on it, which made me very upset when I realized it that morning. Luckily Alena K somehow made the same mistake and also thought the trip was for that day so we actually did get to go! I was surprised to discover that since I had been there last, there is a 4×4 road that takes you basically right to the meadows. If you don’t have a 4×4 you can park at the lower lot and make the 3 km hike up to the meadows.
We had a fantastic day at Brandywine. It was 34.5 degrees that day and we couldn’t have chosen a better location for a hike in a heat wave. There are streams EVERYWHERE! So much splashing! I even had a swim in the tiny, icy lake half way up to the ridge. Also, the mega bug situation that occurs up there was pretty mild on this day. Our first attempt to gain the ridge was on the talus slopes to the north side of the headwaters. We found a beautiful area overlooking the meadows and great views of Garibaldi but to get to the ridge there was a snowfield crossing that looked like a death trap that we quickly decided against. We descended again to the headwaters to cross over to the western side and finally made it up to the ridge. The view from even just the ridge is breathtaking. We chose not to go to the summit of Brandywine in order to avoid a darkening drive down the FSR. No regrets though. That view was fantastic. I am eager to go back and do more exploring along those ridges up there and hit the summit. I loved this hike!
Thanks to the new road, Brandywine is a very accessible and gorgeous location. Full cell service and internet too. I suspect it’ll be a hopping place for families and school groups soon if it isn’t already.”
Steve v. at Crater Rim Loop:
“We lucked out and didn’t have the expected rain until we are back at the car. For a 109 Walk book hike, this is was longer and tougher than I had expected and I seriously question the stats. It was a good trip, but mostly due to the fact we were out and had good company, more than the merits of the trail itself. Going to Purebread in Function Junction didn’t hurt either.
Though the notable feature of this trip is the suspension bridge, I think this one might put the route outlined in 109 Walks aside and simply park at the Logger’s Lake trailhead and do a quick 20 minute detour to see it. After that, then do a less than 1 hour part of the trail that overlooks Logger’s Lake. In the summer this could be both a nice place to find a breeze, and to swim in the lake itself. I doubt I’d return to do it any other way (we actually got a bit lost at one point with too many roads and trails criss-crossing). Erica, Harris, and Teresa joined me for this trip.”
Eugene Y. at Rainbow Lake:
“The winter trail to the Rainbow Lake is a scenic snowshoe route that gradually ascends through an old-growth forest to a sub-alpine country within the Whistler watershed.
Apparently, the route is somewhat underrated by snowshoers, as we haven’t met any other people on the trail besides a lone hiker coming back from Mount Sproatt. Thanks to the watershed regulation, the area is free from snowmobiles, although we did encounter a couple of vehicles passing by the lake.
Practically the whole trail is still covered by deep snow, except for the first 300 m where it gets a bit icy. The trail is well marked and easy to follow, except for a portion between the 2 km and 3 km marks.
Shortly before the 6 km mark, the trail enters an open area that offered a panoramic view to the surrounding peaks. The suspension bridge after the 6 km mark is removed for the winter, so that we had to cross the creek over a snow bridge about 100 m upstream. Finally, after a short but relatively steep ascent, we arrived to the picturesque Rainbow Lake area, which was still under several metres of snow.
Overall, we found this to be an excellent snowshoe route, on par with the one to the Elfin Lakes but more secluded and with a much easier access to the trailhead.”
Dennis K. in Singing Pass:
“After a long hiatus from Wanderung, but not hiking, I decided to post a callout for this day hike of Singing Pass & the Musical Bumps. I have to admit it’s quite an ambitious objective for all but those in great fitness. Seven other people signed up for this hike. Unfortunately, two of them dropped out, one due to a legitimate illness, the other due to inclement weather?
The trail was in great condition. All the way to Singing Pass it was generally firm snow, but still had a bit of cushion underfoot which was ideal for snowshoes and skis (unlike the hard-packed concrete conditions you sometimes get on Seymour/Hollyburn). Although the BC Parks websites posts warnings for creek crossings, these have long been covered by snow.
I was lucky to get a really good group that was in great fitness and we were making great time as we approached Singing Pass. Unfortunately, one of our group was not feeling well and had to turn back. Two others joined her. Myself and two others continued to Singing Pass but since visibility was poor it was judged not worthwhile to continue over the Musical Bumps. Instead, we turned back and joined the others in the Village for a well deserved beer and a meal. All in all I was happy I got out. Rain or shine I never regret getting out for a hike. Thanks for all who joined me and made this a fun day.”
Andy G. at Rainbow Lake:
“Perfect conditions for our group of 8 to hike up to Rainbow Lake. The trail is dry and in good condition, though the boardwalks require some care as there are many loose or missing planks. Bugs were much less of a nuisance than I expected, except at Hanging Lake where the mosquitoes were annoying enough for me to spray on some Deet. Woodland flowers are just past peak, but the peak for the marsh and meadow flowers is still a couple of weeks away. We extended this hike to Hanging Lake, which I didn’t really think about at the time, but later I realized it added an extra 4 km and 150 m elevation gain! With the warm temperatures and extra distance, two litres of water was not enough for me and I was glad of the still partly-frozen Nalgene back at the car.
Most of us cooled our feet (and more) in Hanging Lake where the water was pretty chilly (swimming is not permitted in Rainbow Lake). It took us 9 hours in total, a bit more than I expected but a good portion of that extra time was lounging around and cooling off at the lake. A great day out that started with a bear running across the road in front of us just past Squamish, ended with the ever-excellent burger and fries at Splitz Grill.”
Su-Laine hiking the Musical Bumps via Singing Pass:
“Do this trip soon! Eight of us headed up the steady gradient of the Singing Pass trail on Saturday, towards the meadows where a variety of alpine flowers were in bloom and more had yet to open. Russet Lake had plenty of excellent camping spots. It got cold: we measured minus 2 degrees at night while we were still awake! On Sunday six of us day-hiked to various altitudes on Fissile Peak in glorious sunshine. It’s a tricky scramble and only one of us got to the top, but even a partial ascent gave excellent views.
After waiting out a spell of bad weather at the Russet Lake hut, we hiked out in temporarily less-bad weather along the Musical Bumps trail. I discovered that a scrambling helmet is fun to wear in a hailstorm – you hear the clatter of hail while keeping dry and cozy. The fog cleared and the sun came out occasionally, enough to appreciate the beauty of the region, which included black bears and gregarious marmots. The (free) gondola to the village was scheduled to run until the late evening that day, so it was past 7pm by the time we got to the Dubh Linn Gate pub for dinner. The gondola is scheduled to run until late a few more times this summer (Sept 3, 4, and 5), but call Whistler Guest Services (1-800-766-0449) to confirm.
Thanks to everyone for making this such a fun trip with great company.”
Esther on Brandywine Mountain:
“We had a hard time driving to the trailhead. Shortly after turning left off Hwy 99, vehicles should make a sharp left turn on to an unpaved road towards “Brandywine Valley” upon reaching the junction where the paved road continues on the right to Callaghan Valley Ski Area. On the unpaved road, we passed a factory and then a big dusty parking lot before reaching a billboard. After that, the road branches were usually blocked off. We could have followed the main road until the junctions that 103 Hikes and Scrambles of SW BC mention, if the road hadn’t been so bumpy and steep in parts that we thought we had to be lost. One of the vehicles had to park half-way up. Our other vehicle (4WD) relayed the stranded half of the group to the trailhead. 2WD vehicles will need good clearance to make it almost to the trailhead.
We hiked from noon to 8:30pm. The approach to the meadows was steep, muddy, and well-marked. There was no snow in the meadows, but there was way more mud and mosquitoes then the wildflowers that were just starting to bloom. Hello gaiters!
After crossing the meadows and small streams, we hiked up a big snow patch over the scree below the ridge leading to Brandywine Mountain. The route was probably further left of this snow patch. We then followed the ridge to the top of Brandywine Mountain, over a little scree, a nice dirt path, a little snow, and big boulders. Amazing views when clouds moved aside briefly.
We returned along the ridge to the big snow face and slid down it for 30 minutes. Then we hiked back fast because the mosquito army was bombarding us full on.
Out at 8:30 pm, then we relayed people to the stranded car, and finally rolled into the Watershed Cafe for dinner at 9:40 pm. Long day, but what a great group!”
Robert D. at Brew Hut:
“The somewhat unusual timing of a snow shoe trip (Friday evening to Saturday afternoon) proved too good an opportunity for 10 of us to miss. So Paige, Jennifer, Mazy, Robert, Iain, Allan, Mike, Rebeka, Scott and Andrew drove to the trail head on the Roe Creek FSR to follow the winter route. Headlamps and rain gear were used almost from the outset and snow was underfoot pretty quickly too. The trail was surprisingly easy to follow at night in the forested section, the reflective markers easily visible with our headlamps. Once we got up to the alpine, however, a GPS was used (and well needed!) to find the hut. Despite there being plenty of snow underfoot the weather was surprisingly warm. We arrived at the hut about 2 am. Many thanks to those who provided some well-deserved night caps!
Saturday morning was spent exploring around the hut. Most of us hiked back to the cars in as little as 2 hours. The hut itself is small but bright and well built. All in all it was a pleasure to stay there. Always best to check the availability first on