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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
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Default Garibaldi Provincial Park Questions

Hey everyone!

I have 3 nights and 4 days for a backpacking trip in BC area and am eyeing Garibaldi Provincial Park. This is in mid July and I am really looking for alpine/above the treeline hiking. I had a few questions:

1)Thinking of staying at Garibaldi Lake for a night, then going up to black tusk. For second night camp at Helm Creek and go up to Panorama Peak. For third night camp at Helm creek and explore the area. And then head back down the 4th day. Does this sound like a recommended hike scenery/mileage wise for Garibaldi? Again, really looking for alpine scenery!

2) Russet lake via Musical Bumps seems like an awesome area to explore too. But I could not figure out how to fit that in with Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge. Ideas for how I can also fit in Russet lake? Is Russet lake via Musical Bumps trail "nicer" in terms of alpine scenery? Can I do Helm Lake to Pano Ridge & Black Tusk two nights and then drive up to Village to do Russet?

3)The regulations mention sticking to established trails but I read a lot of trail reports about venturing off trail. Is it okay to go on off trail hikes? Is camping at non-established campsites okay? For instance, I read a trail report about venturing off to Gentian peak.

4) Besides Garibaldi, any other recommendations for really nice alpine scenery within 6 hour drive of Vancouver?

Thanks a ton!!!!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 06-26-2017, 11:12 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
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1) That's a very reasonable trip and could likely be easily completed in 3 days instead of 4. Garibaldi Lake/Taylor Meadows campground will be busy and does fill up. Helm Creek, less so. Lots of additional trips in the area (Price and Clinker give good views of Mount Garibaldi and the lake). Expect some snow to remain on the ground in July.

2) Russet isn't nicer, just different. Much less busy. By approaching from Whistler Gondola via the bumps, you will avoid having to approach from the valley bottom (and the high note trail on Whistler is quite nice). Approaching via the Singing Pass Trail, same elevation gain as Garibaldi Lake Trail, slightly rougher trail, but much more peaceful. You could very likely do three days at Garibaldi Lake/Black Tusk, followed by one day at Russet.

Alternatively, spending more time at Russet, you could explore Whirlwind, Fissile, and Overlord all without glacier travel and have the place entirely to yourself.

3) If an established trail exists for the route you are travelling, stay on it (for example en route to Black Tusk). Don't braid trails. If there is no established trail where you want to go, for example from the cinder flats towards Gentian Peak or Castle Towers, you will have to go off trail and be respectful of the alpine flora.

4) Mountain Lakes Hut above Britannia Beach, Tricouni/Cypress area between Sq and Whistler, Downton Creek area on the Duffy Lake Road, Tenquile Lake area near Pemberton, Railroad Pass Group on the Hurley.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks a ton for your help! A few more questions:

1) I have read quite a few reports of break-ins at Garibaldi parking lot, with the most recent being March 2017. This has me concerned. Is it safer to drive in from Cheakamus parking lot and approach from there instead?

2) I had a hard time finding information on this but taking the Gandola to whistler mountain and then musical bumps to Russet, what's the elevation gain and mileage?

3) I am thinking of hiking out from Helm on morning day 3 (through Cheakamus) and then going up to Russet and camping there one night. Is that reasonable?
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 06-27-2017, 02:51 PM
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1) Yes, it is rampant. Leave nothing in your vehicle and make sure you get insurance that will cover a broken window if you are renting. I'm not sure that Cheakamus parking lot is any safer than Garibaldi Lake Trailhead. It's quieter though for sure.

2) From the Roundhouse (top of the Gondola) to Russet looks to be about 10km, 800m+ (one way). MAP

3) Probably. If you get an early departure from Helm, it should only take a couple hours to get to the car, then a quick resupply in Whistler Village and catch the gondola around noon and it should be doable. It wouldn't exactly be leisurely.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-28-2017, 01:53 AM
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I'd recommend that you book your campsite sooner rather than later - you must reserve a site to camp in most of Garibaldi.

https://secure.camis.com/DiscoverCamping/

Choose "Backcountry Garibaldi" from the first drop-down menu.

It's possible to do Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge in the same day from Taylor Meadows if you start early.

Yeah, Garibaldi is so popular that it's really necessary to stick to the established trails. Wandering off will only encourage the others to follow suit, so if you're heading off to a lesser-known destination pick a quiet moment to venture off if you can.

Stats from Whistler summit to Russet Lake (based on my GPS tracks): distance is about 12-13 km, elevation gain is only about 500 m but it involves multiple ups and downs, and you'll gain at least as much again returning to the gondola. But the views are stellar on a clear day, and the flower meadows are spectacular.

Other suggestions: Manning Park is 2.5 hours east of Vancouver and has some fine, mellow alpine hiking. Frosty Mtn is excellent.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-02-2017, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! Another thing I learned is that there is still 2 meters of snow around Russet Lake and Helm Creek camgrounds! Wow. I don't believe all of this will melt in 3 weeks so now I am reconsidering the whole thing as we are not prepared to camp in snow
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 02:39 PM
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Just a heads up to everyone, there was a rash of vehicle break-ins this past Canada Day long weekend at the Rubble Creek trail head. From what I saw, I would guess upwards of 10. My car was broken into The RCMP are on it, but it looked like all the vehicles that were left overnight along the road (below the upper lots) were hit.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zuifon View Post
Just a heads up to everyone, there was a rash of vehicle break-ins this past Canada Day long weekend at the Rubble Creek trail head. From what I saw, I would guess upwards of 10. My car was broken into The RCMP are on it, but it looked like all the vehicles that were left overnight along the road (below the upper lots) were hit.

That is such a shame! I am nervous about parking there but we will have a rental car with insurance. Hoping for the best.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 11:14 PM
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Fred, I saw a report from a BCMC trip this past weekend that showed bare ground camping at the north end of Russett Lake. There is snow around, but several of the high points are snowfree, as seems to be the area around the Russett Hut.

Fun is where you make it...
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 11:25 PM
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Photos I referenced are https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...BxVUZyY3d0b1h3

Fun is where you make it...
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-10-2017, 11:32 PM
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The campground at Russet Lake is in the right side of the photo by Kirsten Boyle
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 07-11-2017, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by msulkers View Post
The campground at Russet Lake is in the right side of the photo by Kirsten Boyle

Thanks a ton for the information! This makes decision making even more difficult now I will be going in about 10 days and I doubt much of the trail conditions for Russet will change (as far as snow coverage) in that amount of time. So I am thinking of hitting up Joffre for a night, then Wedgemount Lake, then Helm Creek campground (each for a night). Though open to suggestions!
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