Beautiful BC

After a computer crash and losing some of my pictures (only the ones that I didn't back up since my trip to BC...) I'm back on track with my new macbook pro! My friend's motto for the macbook: "it just works", so hopefully no more blue screens...

I revisited some of my posts about my trip to France and I think there might be too many of them... thoughts? Maybe I'll cut back on the BC stories.

I definitely need to share about the craziest part of my trip: our camping trip to Garabaldi Provincial Park where we wanted to climb The Black Tusk.

Let me paint the picture. The Black Tusk is visible from the highway between Vancouver and Whistler. Dustin wants to climb it. Although it's late June, the temperatures up there drop to single digits and maybe even below zero at night. We're going to hike about 5 hours to where we set up our tent and then spend the next day hiking up to the Tusk (another 4 hours?). We might visit some glaciers, maybe Lake Garabaldi. But our focus is the Tusk: at 2316m elevation. Campfires are prohibited in Garabaldi Provincial Park.

The trip started off pretty well. Not terribly hot or cold, although there was a really light drizzle. Here we are in the parking lot all happy and ready to climb!

The rain gets really bad, and I have lost all interested in pretty trees and waterfalls.
After about 4 of 5 kms the road splits and I see some snow!!! There was still some snow up there! In late June! And then I see more snow. and more snow. and I realize, that the entire rest of our hike up is going to be in snow. I've lost all interest in snow.
We get to our campgrounds and are not really sure we're in the right spot. There are supposed to be 40+ tent spots, but all we see is snow. The sign assures us we're in the right spot. (The sign is supposed to say "Taylor Campgrounds")
We explore the area and find a shelter (thank God!) and we find a couple tent spots that have been previously cleared of snow.
I had one small meltdown (haha, if only it actually melt something...) but that was it! Dustin was beyond surprised. A couple laugh attacks at how ridiculous our situation was, but we carried on. "Who is this girl? Why isn't she freaking out? No yelling? No crying?" Dustin kept all of his thoughts to himself.

The hike to the Black Tusk was insane. Usually, trails are marked with orange or yellow ribbons so you know that you're still going the right way and when you reach a fork in the road, you go in the direction of the ribbons. Because we had no "road" or trail of any kind, these ribbons were all we had to tell us where we should go. They are space about 20-30 feet apart and several of them had fallen off the trees. We got lost several times and had to split up and yell when we found a ribbon. It felt a lot like the Amazing Race but with no other competitors...
We got about an hour into the hike and thought we had to turn back, until Dustin saw a plank of wood off in the distance. Perhaps it was a bench? Nope! It was a map! The top portion of the 7 foot tall map was sticking out of the snow! And where there's a map, there should be a wooden post with arrows telling us which direction to head. We eventually dug up the post, figured out where to go next, and then took a break with the Canada Jays. The map did turn into a very handy bench. If you ever visit this area of BC, the Canada Jays are incredible. They eat right out of your hand!

Our hike up to Black Tusk was probably the hardest thing I've ever done. And we were pretty darn close to making it to the top. Here are some videos and picture of the rest of the hike up.

The third day we packed up our gear and made a detour to Garabaldi Lake on our way out of the park. The hike to the Lake was treacherous. We were never quite sure where the bridges were to cross the streams of water. One wrong step and it would be a soaking wet boot for the 6 km hike back to the car.
The lake turned out to be frozen. (We had to break the bad news to the hikers that we passed on the way back to the parking lot: they were all geared up for some fishing.)

We didn't even get to see the whole lake. The boardwalk was not entirely visible, and we didn't want to finish our trip with a swim in the water. We sat by the edge of an inlet to the lake, and enjoyed the company of more Jays; we watched a Mommy Jay fill her beak with pita bread to fly back to her nest of babies. Amazing.
Dustin wants to come back and do the trip again (when there is no snow). You'd think that June 28th was late enough in the year that the snow would be melted. Apparently not. We even woke up to new snowfall on the last morning. Next time we come back, I think we're waiting until late August. Maybe bring some friends to help carry some of the weight. A couple friends of mine made this trip only a couple weeks ago. The snow was melted enough that they followed the real path up to Black Tusk. Apparently we took the wrong way up (highly likely...) and hence had a much steeper climb to the base of the Tusk.

I tried to make this story concise. (I swear!) So here are some more beautiful pictures of the camping trip. Those who live in BC are so lucky to have this right in their backyard!

Helen  – (August 20, 2010 at 6:15 AM)  

For the record, you did not post too much about France at all!!! If you didn't split it up, it would have been a huuuuuuuuge post. Don't change a thing!

wubecca –   – (August 29, 2010 at 6:04 PM)  

i LOVE it when there's new posts up! and kel...AMAZEBALLS on the hike! can't believe all that snow - at first, i thought the tent looked like it was on top a picnic table, lol. good job and love the pics. and you def didn't post too much on Paris! xxx

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