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.
Parking Lot & Trailhead
Trail Path....heads north/north east from parking lot.
First major scree slope, walk to right along a stream briefly.
Then cross over stream into forest and follow trail...
After climbing up a steep section, lots of opportunity to bend your legs clambering off, watch out for loose rocks.
...Flowers with good foothold among the rocks.
Stream courses and attractive wildflowers
Rock Bluff, our lunch area on top. Place where video taken Sept.09/12
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...
...collapsed ice cave
....rocks embedded in ice, melting out.
...bottom lip of the glacier, air gap below...
more views.of glacier..
Heading back, pass the wildflowers on an uphill traverse towards the shelter
Heading down the steep trail, down below the lake area
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).