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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2021, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Default Panorama Ridge at 56 with 100 others

September 26, 2021

At some point in your life, but not likely in your 20's, 30's, or even 40's, you start to consider that it might be the last time you get to experience a place like Panorama Ridge. Well the last time I climbed to the top of Panorama Ridge I had just turned 50 and it was pretty exhausting to make it that time. What would it be like at 56?

The first 8 or so km are uneventful and are just a 2 hour slog to reach the meadows. Unless of course you were one of the dozen or so trail Runners that day which probably did it in half that. First time out of the old growth it starts to open up at Taylor Meadows.

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Surprisingly for a late September hike and with the parking restrictions in place it was one of the busier days I have seen on the way to Panorama and the most I have ever seen on the top of it. Next, Black Tusk came into view across the meadows.



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Hard to get lost with the number of people around, the signs, and the maps. This one at the upper junction of the trail back down to Garibaldi Lake very near the junction with Black Tusk trail and the last outhouse if you need it. Map was not on the signboard but instead on the ground. Group members asked if we can go to the lake. And I replied that the first objective was to reach Panorama Ridge and after that we will see how much time and energy is left for side trips.

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You start to get some peek a boo views of Garibaldi Lake looking back.

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Upon reaching the saddle with Helm Creek/Lake the volcanic nature of the area becomes apparent with Cinder Cone and the flats made out of fine grained volcanic cinder material.

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From the saddle you can start to look up at the objective. Trail goes through the sparse trees which offers a small amount of protection but not for long.

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Looking back down on Cinder Flats and the beaten trail going across it.

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Looking up the ridge line at right center that you now ascend. Mostly simple scrambling but pretty slippery talus at times. Also to left is a pocket glacier that is slowly disappearing.

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View looking across valley to Black Tusk which I went up about 4 years ago.

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A couple of Garibaldi Lake shots from the top. I love the "Table" which is the flat topped dark coloured feature just in front of Mount Garibaldi. Formed by volcanic activity under the glaciation that covered the area at the time.

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Looking back towards first subpeak which had dozens of people on it. Also the pocket glacier which this late in the year has little snow on it and so you can see the ice and crevasses. To think I have butt slided down that a few times when it was covered in snow. That was before I had ever seen it exposed. Wouldnt try it anymore.

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Looking down into upper Helm Creek and Cinder Cone.


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And finally some shots on the way back. First from the shore of Garibaldi Lake where we did take that side trip which only added a couple km.

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And a nice shot of the "Barrier" that holds back Garibaldi Lake from emptying into the valley below. Very unstable rock as it is very friable and continually eroding.

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So the trip was accomplished. But it may be the last time reaching these heights. What was once an 8 hour hike for me and would often have many side trips to Cinder Cone, Gentian, even doubling Black Tusk and Panorama .. is now 10 hours and thoroughly exhausting. But never say never again.
martin, solo75, Paulimus and 1 others like this.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2021, 04:41 PM
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That's really well showcased one of most iconic hikes on BC Coast. That pocket glacier is getting smaller and smaller and will eventually disappear like many others


Re "the last time reaching these heights". No, no and no. You can and will reach them many more times. You only need to adjust certain things. I am talking from experience & despite permanent foot injury am still able to hack 40+km days on terrain harder than Pano Ridge. Human interaction, ranging from permit hassle/closures to pure annoyance with crowds often lacking basic back-country etiquette is more serious issue.


Great pics too
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2021, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zeljkok View Post
That's really well showcased one of most iconic hikes on BC Coast. That pocket glacier is getting smaller and smaller and will eventually disappear like many others


Re "the last time reaching these heights". No, no and no. You can and will reach them many more times. You only need to adjust certain things. I am talking from experience & despite permanent foot injury am still able to hack 40+km days on terrain harder than Pano Ridge. Human interaction, ranging from permit hassle/closures to pure annoyance with crowds often lacking basic back-country etiquette is more serious issue.


Great pics too
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm not saying I wont get back to those heights again. I will sure try to. But you do need to appreciate it each time because you never know when it might be the last to such a place. Stay tuned for Panorama at 60!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-12-2021, 12:12 PM
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Beautiful! well done

I last hiked up to Panorama Ridge when I was 18. I last ascended the west lion at age 19, haven't been back since, although I look at it every morning from my kitchen window. I turn 65 next year. I find, at this age, that yes the body is certainly getting in the way although I tend to overcome it by keeping going.

The bigger issue I think is that there are so many amazing destinations I've never been to so I tend not to back to places I did many years ago.

BC and the mountain world in general is so full of jaw-dropping places that we can never cover them all. Panorama Ridge? That one merits a return for sure

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-13-2021, 02:36 AM
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Keeping active as we age is certainly very important but people don't usually think about mental side. There are so many benefits there too. When we are content sitting on top of Pano ridge and taking in that postcard view, "happy hormones" are doing wonders. I fully believe many ailments are side products of stress and general discontent. Today I pulled over at Coq summit to stretch legs, it said "Falls Lake" 0.9 km, sounds good. Ya it's a short walk, ya lake is unremarkable, ya it was cloudy but I was happy like a kidd because I've not been there before.


Just keep going. Like Katie does. Short steep hikes in Kootenays, bike rides in Ucluelet or trips up Pano ridge. If legs give in some day, we'll charter a helicopter. Keep going.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-14-2021, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Ah yes, I went up the Lions at about 18 years old. I didnt get to Panorama though until 35. Then went for lots of romps up and beyond it. Nice alpine area on the way to Gentian.

Now looking for more variety and new landscapes. Definitely some stuff to do in Manning or Coquihalla that I havent tried before.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-15-2021, 04:51 PM
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tinman610,
Really nice photos; thanks for posting. I may be able to get to the area this summer, contingent in many other things. The photos and descriptions are very helpful.
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