The next morning we got to see exactly where we camped. It was a gorgeous woodsy setting, the kind I’m always looking for. Nobody around for miles, just us and nature. We donned our bathing suits and hiked down the steep, steep canyon to the hot springs which were built into the raging river. I was giddy with excitement when I finally felt the hot water on my feet. The water comes through the mountain and collects in pools. Over the years someone cemented in a few different pools, and there is even a tube with flowing very hot water so you can adjust the temperature to your liking. We spent a few hours lounging in the pool, dipping our hands into the ice waters of the fast flowing river. We didn’t see another soul until we clamoured back up the hill, packed our camp and were on our way off the road. It was such an incredible experience.
After an hour and thirty minutes back on the logging road (it would have been so much faster with a truck) we drove on to Wedgemount Lake, just north of Whistler. We were shocked by the number of cars clogging the parking lot, there were so many! I’ve never seen such a popular trail. We donned our packs, minus wet clothing and any wet weather gear, the day was so clear and the forecast so nice. The trail was described as a very steep seven kilometre slog, but we went into it a little cocky. It was nothing we hadn’t done before, we reckoned. Little did we know what was in store for us.
The trail was a very consistent uphill battle. It gained 1300 meters in those seven kilometres and we were only making 30 minutes per kilometres. We passed lots of people coming back, and passed two groups with overnight packs on. Just when we thought we had to be close, the trees opened up into a canyon sided valley and I could see high-high up on the top of a very steep rock scree the tiny coloured dots of people making the decent. “It’s just over that ridge” people told us, encouraging us, “It’s worth every step!” The view was intimidating. I don’t know how to describe that scree other than as a wall of rock. Three dozen people were trying to make it down off the mountain as we tried to get up. It was chaotic and nerve racking, as some of the people coming down had no business being there. They were clearly people who hadn’t hiked before, and were on some sort of tour. When we finally got to the top the views were amazing. We could see forever.
As we turned around that what was ahead we caught our breathes. The lake…the glacier…the sound of the waterfalls echoing in the bowl. It was too much. It’s beauty was astounding. The craziness on trail melted away immediately. We found one of the last remaining tent pads. It was a long and hard 3.5 hour journey, but it was so. totally. worth it.
The sun was warm and the air was clean. We sat on our stools and marvelled. We stashed our beer in the cold streams that ran down the meadow, and washed our feet. The sunset was beautiful, but the cold set in with an icy grip. We huddled in our sleeping bags playing crazy eights until it was dark enough to see the stars. When it finally was there couldn’t have been a sight in the world more beautiful. We laid on our backs staring up at the Milky Way, the stars shining brighter and clearer than I’ve ever seen in my life. It seemed to go on forever. It was a sight to behold.
When I couldn’t stay awake a moment longer we moved to the tent, but not too long after the wind picked up. It howled and shook and blew us around. I was too cold to move, my feet were like ice cubes. Shane got up and moved our possessions into the tent. The wind didn’t let up all night. It woke me up with it’s vigour more than a few times. I made breakfast in my sleeping bag, after I watched the sun come slowly up. It was very cold until the moment the sun hit, and then it was hot. The layers came off quickly. The hike down was another three hours, and this time we were encouraging people to keep going, that it was worth every step.
All and all the weekend will go down as one of my favourite memories this summer. It was challenging, a bit stressful, but very rewarding. We had plenty of laughs, no tears and lots of good food. A best of all I got to experience everything with my very best friend in the world!
Oatmeal + Coffee
Trail Mix + Pretzels
Wasa Crackers + Salami + Hummus + Cheese
Rice Crispy Square
Spicy Onion Noodles + Hot Chocolate + Cookies