S2S = Sea to Sky Wedgemount Lake & Glacier Aug.06/17 - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 08-10-2017, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default Wedgemount Lake & Glacier Aug.06/17

This trip was driven by the desire to see the Wedgemount Glacier up close, take photos and video and compare with my previous trip(s) to compare the glacier's status of today with my last summer visit (Sept.09/12). Paul and I met at the Taylor Way Church meeting spot, just after 6 am, and took the long drive up the Sea to Sky non stop; more than 1-1/2 hours driving. After being unsure if we were on the right track, took a stop, and then found the trailhead and parking. By the time we geared up and ready we set out shortly after 8 am..... There have been changes; parking lot revamped; crossing the large creek with a plank road. ..the original bridge gone and where was it? There are signs saying new trail; one spot shows old trail closed due to construction.

It was smokey, just as bad as any where else. The steep ascent together with heat, smoke, and exertion made me dizzy, it took a while before the light-headiness disappeared. The slower pace and a cooler breeze springing up further up the trail helped me to overcome that. Took 2 hours and 50 minutes to get to view the Wedgemount Lake; Paul was waiting for me, being there 1/2 hour ahead.

Many people camping the area, and the smoke almost hid the views of the mountains, unless you got close. We made our way through the rock and boulders, and walked along the shore admiring numerous flowers, flowing streams, and the people camping out. Made it to the glacier and was stunned to see the extent of the retreat; 100 to perhaps 140 meters since our visit in September 2012. Took some photos and a few videos, then had lunch and returned. Stopped to check out the lower trail for Mt. Cook, next time.

PHOTOS:

Parking Lot & Trailhead
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Trail Path....heads north/north east from parking lot.
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First major scree slope, walk to right along a stream briefly.
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Then cross over stream into forest and follow trail...
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After climbing up a steep section, lots of opportunity to bend your legs clambering off, watch out for loose rocks.
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.........Tent pad...
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.....Shelter
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......Info Board
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...Flowers with good foothold among the rocks.
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....inshuk
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Stream courses and attractive wildflowers

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Rock Bluff, our lunch area on top. Place where video taken Sept.09/12
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Video: From September 09, 2012.


Current Video: August 6, 2017.



Start with hiking up left of the rocky knoll; view the smaller forming upper lake , mini icebergs, collapsed ice cave.........small lake level dropped compared to 2012, due to new outflow creek eroding down into the gravel and rocks...

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....mini bergs
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...collapsed ice cave
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....rocks embedded in ice, melting out.
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...bottom lip of the glacier, air gap below...
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more views.of glacier..
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Heading back, pass the wildflowers on an uphill traverse towards the shelter
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Heading down the steep trail, down below the lake area
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Statistics:

8 hours return including 1 hour lunch break, drink and photo ops.
1250 - 1300 meters net elevation gain, about 19 to 21 km return (estimated since GPS was cutting out).

K
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 01:06 PM
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Amazing how fast the glacier retreats... The last (and only) time I was there was in 2005 when the glacier came up to the rock bluff.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 08-11-2017, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting that awesome picture, Martin. That rock bluff has been my reference point in my 2012 and 2017 visits. The retreat seems to have accelerated more after my June visit in 2014, i.e. additional increase in size of that new small lake.

K

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 08-14-2017, 10:59 PM
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Stunning views, it doesn't look as busy as I would expect it to be. I agree, I remember seeing pictures of Wedgemount before I ever completed the hike, and in person the glacier seems so much smaller. Damn climate change! Thanks for the trip report!


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 08-16-2017, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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You are welcome Chris, and thank you for your comments.

This glacier is one we can all watch and see climate change first hand, reasonably accessible.

K

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 11:26 AM
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Smoke sucks for sure. Way to prevail!

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 08-17-2017, 01:02 PM
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Great pics. Thanks for sharing. How many People were camped up there? Seems sometimes there are 10 tents up there. Sometimes there are 60!
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 08-18-2017, 01:43 PM
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Planning on doing this hike next weekend and this report is getting me excited. What was the bug situation like? I can deal with bugs just wondering if spray would be necessary, thanks!
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your comments and compliments; The camel, trail_snail, and Stro52.

The day we went up there we arrived early, around 8 am; and saw around perhaps 10 to 15 tents there. Smoke likely kept the numbers lower, but with fresh and cooler air I would expect now the numbers would be higher.

The bugs were not bad on most of the trail through the forest; The flies were bad higher up; i.e. deer flies and horseflies were worst by Wedgemount Lake.

K

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