Marriott Meadows 01/08/09

Su-Laine at Marriott Meadows:
“Definitely a place to go back to… when it’s less buggy. On the other hand, if you like to jump into pristine mountain lakes on hot summer days, it would be hard to beat this place. Some of us swam in five lakes over three days, and we passed by several more.

Forest fires were on everyone’s mind but we made a conscious decision to go anyway, as we felt that this area would not be very dry, conducive to spreading fire, or particularly remote. A thunderstorm arrived quite suddenly in the hot afternoon, and we spent some time hunkered down in the forest to wait for it to pass. We sat on our packs while Michal explained how to perform CPR in case someone got struck by lightning, and I shared the previous night’s reading about how to survive a forest fire (Google it). The bugs were an inferno at the start of the trail and became merely horrible by the time we arrived at the Wendy Thompson Memorial Hut. We’d brought tents, but there was only one other nice couple at the hut, and lots of room.

On Sunday morning we spent the better part of an hour trying to find a trail to the ridge and summit. Several trails leave the hut but seem to vanish, and I don’t know to what extent we should have been on-trail higher up. We eventually found our way to an upper lake using a route resembling what’s in Matt Gunn’s Scrambles book. That was just the start of a stunning array of small lakes in the Marriott Basin, set amongst meadows, boulder fields, and 360 degree views of surrounding peaks. Scrambling was not too difficult, but helmets would have been a good idea. We spent many happy hours exploring, and returned to the hut very tired.

The next day we packed up, cleaned the hut, and swam in yet another lake down the trail before returning to the Marriott-Rohr junction and climbing up the muddy and buggy-as-hell trail to beautiful Rohr Lake. In total we saw only 7 other people in 3 days, and when we returned to Pemberton we heard that access to Duffey Lake Road was being restricted because of the fire situation. I haven’t seen anything on the web to confirm this, but if you’re planning a trip up there soon, a few phone calls to check would be a good idea.”

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