Joffre Lakes is a beautiful hike that passes three lakes with turquoise blue water. The colour is caused by ‘rockflour’ or glacial silt that is suspended in the water and reflects blue and green wavelengths of sunlight. At the upper lake you get an impressive view of the Matier glacier and Slalok mountain which is 8704 feet high. Hikers need to obtain a day use pass and will be turned away if they don’t have one. Click on each of the photos below to see a larger version. If you click on the square in the top right hand corner of the image, the photo is displayed on a dark black background.
Today I hiked to the top of the 2nd Peak of the Stawamus Chief in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. All hikers must obtain a day use pass, which is an attempt by BC Parks to manage visitation levels in the more popular parks. The granite cliffs are world famous for their climbing and also a nesting area for Peregrine Falcons. After climbing a steep trail, chains and a ladder, which felt like two hours on a StairMaster, I was rewarded with incredible views of Howe Sound, the Squamish area, and Garibaldi Provincial Park. I shared my lunch with a chipmunk and a Steller’s Jay. On the top of the peak pine trees grow on the granite and it’s a very fragile ecosystem. Due to the fact that we’ve received very little rainfall for the last forty days the pine trees didn’t look very healthy. Thankfully, there is some rain in the weather forecast for this weekend. Click on a photo in the gallery to see a larger version.
It was very warm and smoky, but I enjoyed camping for a week in Banff National Park. At Lake Louise I hiked up to the Plain of Six Glaciers viewpoint, which is past the tea house and a great place to eat your lunch. In my photo below you can see Mount Lefroy on the left and Mount Victoria on the right. In the middle is Abbot Pass which was named after Philip Stanley Abbot who was an experienced climber who died in 1896 trying to be the first climber to ascend Mount Lefroy. He was the first climbing fatality in North America. It’s hard to see in the photo, but at the top of Abbot Pass is the Abbot Pass hut which was built in 1922 by Swiss guides working for the Canadian Pacific Railway as a base for mountaineers. The route up the pass is known as the Deathtrap because of its exposure to avalanches and crevasses.
Lawren S. Harris was a painter and a member of the Group of Seven. He did abstract work of Lake Superior, the Rocky Mountains, and the Arctic. One of my favourite paintings is one he did of Mount Lefroy in 1930 which is part of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
” When I first saw the mountains, travelled through them, I was most discouraged. Nowhere did they measure up to the advertising folders, or to the conception these had formed in my mind’s eye. But, after I became better acquainted with the mountains, camped and tramped and lived among them, I found a power and majesty and a wealth of experience at nature’s summit which no travel-folder ever expressed.” Lawren S. Harris
On Saturday it was a beautiful sunny day with a blue sky. I hiked to the top of the third summit or peak of the Stawamus Chief. It’s a steep climb, with an elevation gain of 627 metres. The Stawamus Chief is the second largest granite monolith in the world. At the top, I enjoyed the breeze, my lunch and the company of a few chipmunks. There is wonderful views of Howe Sound, the Squamish estuary, Mount Garibaldi and Sky Pilot mountain, which many hikers mistakenly refer to as ‘one of the Lions’. It was getting late, so I started my descent. After hiking down and stepping from rock to rock and over roots for two hours my legs are still sore.
Three beautiful days of sunshine in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I really enjoyed hiking through the rainforest, walking on the beach and listening to the relaxing sound of the surf. Ate my fill of fish tacos and salmon burgers. To see the images click on the first image and then use the right and left keys to scroll through the gallery.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is one of my favourite places to camp. The kilometres of rugged shoreline, dramatic old-growth forest, tide pools and sprawling beaches make it an ideal place to explore with my camera. Although there was a wolf advisory in effect and I was sleeping in a tent, I didn’t see or hear any of these animals. After eating my fair share of salmon burgers and fish tacos I returned to the hectic pace and traffic noise of Vancouver. Even though I’ve only been home for a couple of days I already miss the relaxing sound of the surf…
On Family Day here in British Columbia the weather was sunny with a mild temperature and thin wispy clouds. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunset, so I thought this location would make for a nice photo. When I returned to my vehicle I experienced a huge amount of traffic volume which resulted in me taking several hours to get home. Note to self, in the future, don’t try to drive anywhere in the lower mainland on the Monday of a long weekend. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Stawamus Chief is located next to Howe Sound and it’s the second largest granite monolith in the world. Last weekend I spent an evening and a morning on the summit of the third peak. At sunrise, the light was amazing as the fog burned off. The third peak is 702 metres high and it was a tough grind climbing it with my photography equipment, however, the images I got made the effort worthwhile. Click on the first image in the gallery to see a larger version of each photo.
I just returned from camping overnight at Garibaldi Lake. This allowed me to take images at sunset and sunrise, something you can’t do during a day hike. The 900 metres of elevation gain was quite challenging carrying a multi-day pack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tripod, DSLR camera, lens, polarizer, remote shutter release, extra battery, down jacket, fleece pants, food, water, keys, wallet, Petzl headlamp, bug repellent, glasses and toilet paper. What many hikers on the trail incorrectly referred to as a ‘big bee’ were actually large horseflies which can give you a nasty bite.
There wasn’t any interesting cloud formations when I arrived, but the stillness of the water was good for reflections. Just after sunset a spectacular full moon rose behind the Sphinx glacier. I was up at 5:30 a.m. taking pictures along the shore of the lake and I had it all to myself. It was hard to leave such a beautiful place, I wish I could have stayed longer. Click on an image and then use the left and right keys on your computer keyboard.