Elfin Lakes Snowshoe, Nov 28th, 2010 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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Default Elfin Lakes Snowshoe, Nov 28th, 2010

Road is in good condition. Chains on tires are mandatory according to a temporary sign (must be worn, not just carried) from the chain-up area. Lots of room in the parking lot when we arrived at around 8-8:30am.

The trail was well packed so travel was efficient. About 3.5 hours to the Elfin Lakes shelter. The winter route is now marked with poles from Red Heather to Elfin Lakes.

We met people coming down and they indicated that around 20 people had been in the shelter on Sat night. When we got there, it was completely empty. After lunch and a nap, we headed back the car and arrived shortly before dark.

I forgot to buy the winter baskets for my hiking poles so I improvised by stacking four garbage CDs together and taping the edges with duct-tape. I then held it in place with the summer baskets. Surprisingly, it held together for the entire day and worked well in the deep powder alongside the track.

Another great day in the area. I almost didn't recognize the Red Heather shelter because I've only seen it with much deeper snow. The trees looked much taller today.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 07:51 AM
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Nice work with the snow basket improvisation. Red Green would be proud. Looks like you had some fantastic weather.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 08:10 AM
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Your photos bring back great memories of our snowshoe trips. Thanks.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 09:58 AM
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Is the road in good condition for a car or a truck lol
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 09:59 AM
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We skied up on saturday under fresh snowy scenery and passed a lot of people along the way. We were met at the bottom of the road by a park guy who made us install chains as they had already removed 2 vehicles from the previous night one new red dodge ram 4X4 rolled over the edge and the owner had a chilly campout.The ski out was a blast and we are deffinatly going back.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-29-2010, 10:47 PM
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I would like to do this trail in a few weeks. I do not have any avalanche training. Is there any avalanche risk on the marked winter trail?

Cheers,

Jacob
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by stumptownrunner

I would like to do this trail in a few weeks. I do not have any avalanche training. Is there any avalanche risk on the marked winter trail?

Cheers,

Jacob
I dont think can say there is 0 risk, but having gone there a few times in winter i would say i felt safe on the trial. The road to the trial head however is another story, it gets icy and parts are steep. Snow tires with chains should almost be mandatory. It is a marked trail and avalanche risk is calculated and reduced, and the route (in parts) differs from the summer route.

Cheers,
Noman
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-30-2010, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by stumptownrunner

I would like to do this trail in a few weeks. I do not have any avalanche training. Is there any avalanche risk on the marked winter trail?

Cheers,

Jacob
There is always some risk. I also don't have any avalanche training so take this information with a grain of salt.

This a fairly safe trail. The ATES rating for the trail is simple. Be sure to check the bulletin before your trip and have a back-up plan ready if conditions are beyond your level of comfort/preparation.
http://www.avalanche.ca/avaluator/Default.aspx
*Of course, this tool is not a replacement for training, field observations, etc.

At the parking lot there is a map that shows one runout zone on the way up to the Red Heather warming hut (anyone have a picture of that map?) In my inexperienced opinion, there was one short slope to cross between Red Heather and Elfin Lakes on the winter route that could also support an avalanche.

If you get off track, it is reasonably easy to get into more risky territory so watch out for that.

All that said, this is probably one of the safer local ways to get up into the sub-alpine back country and the views from the ridge are excellent when the weather cooperates. Have a great trip.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-01-2010, 12:58 AM
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Here is my take on the same day

Avalanche forecast drove most people to seek safe terrain on Sunday. Expecting Read heather and Paul's Ridge to get busy we left early and started skinning up by 8:45. The plan was to keep ahead of the crowds moving along the ridge scooping the powder.

Road is plowed, there was a sign to put chains on at the lower parking lot (apparently someone rolled over a Dodge truck the day before). Parking for the day is $3.

Easy skinning right from the trailhead, excellent coverage all the way up to Red Heather. Excellent skiing all along the ridge, snow stability was good, saw one skier (boarder) released mini avy on steep but short slope. Did 9 runs off the ridge with some sluffing on the steep rolls but nothing running too far.

Slideshow:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/running...7625505220306/
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2010, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rocker_man1

Is the road in good condition for a car or a truck lol
Should be fine for either as long as you chain up at the right spot and the snow isn't deep on the day you go. There are lots of potholes so cars will have to go more slowly.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 10:38 PM
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Current road and trail report can be found at
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...pgs/garibaldi/

Note it says:
Elfin Lakes / Diamond Head Access road has snowy and slippery sections. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with good winter tires and tire chains. Chains are mandatory past the marked chain up area located 1.5km from the Main Parking Lot. Be prepared by bringing a shovel, blankets, and flashlight. The road is periodically plowed.

Last week a park ranger was making people without chains park in the lower parking lot.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 11:23 PM
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Don't want to be a baby...but does anyone know if the shelter is heated? I spent a couple of really cold nights up at Taylor Meadows cabin a few years ago and would rather not do that again (or at least be a lot better prepared!).
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by JulieBB

Don't want to be a baby...but does anyone know if the shelter is heated? I spent a couple of really cold nights up at Taylor Meadows cabin a few years ago and would rather not do that again (or at least be a lot better prepared!).
You do realize you can not camp in the Taylor Meadows shelter it is only for daytime shelter. You must use a Tent.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by JulieBB

Don't want to be a baby...but does anyone know if the shelter is heated? I spent a couple of really cold nights up at Taylor Meadows cabin a few years ago and would rather not do that again (or at least be a lot better prepared!).
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...i/diamond.html

But I've been there when the heater happened to be not working.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by rocker_man1

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by JulieBB

Don't want to be a baby...but does anyone know if the shelter is heated? I spent a couple of really cold nights up at Taylor Meadows cabin a few years ago and would rather not do that again (or at least be a lot better prepared!).
You do realize you can not camp in the Taylor Meadows shelter it is only for daytime shelter. You must use a Tent.
You're allowed to sleep in them in winter only . . . http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/exp...di/winter.html
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