Midsummer escape to Whistler – three days of hiking, swimming and biking

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    Ye Chu

    Midsummer escape to Whistler – three days of hiking, swimming and biking


    First day: Saturday, July 31, 2021 Musical bumps to Russet Lake ‘C’ hike


    Have you ever experienced, in Chinese tea shop, the aroma of freshly brewed jasmine tea? Well, we experienced this heavenly scent repeatedly with the newly bloomed purple Lupins on the trail to Russet Lake.


    I had 21 people signed up for Russet Lake hike, however, with the news reports of another heat wave and potential fire smoke, I ended up with 8 very dedicated and determined hikers. Everyone froze their 3 litres of water as we expected a heat wave and it never appeared! We experience cool temperatures with cloudy skies and a few welcomed sprinkles of rain. We absolutely did not need three litres – two would have sufficed. The comradery in the group was lovely and we all enjoyed the endless views to Cheakamus lake/ glacier, Mt. Davidson and Castle Towers. We had a relaxing lunch on Oboe summit across from Cowboy ridge. Three of us were on the NSH Swiss trip in 2019 and we were imagining cows grazing on the grassy alpine ridge. When we arrived at the Clair-Kees Hut, there was a new rope around the hut with a sign saying that Marmots live here and that they eat Lupins, grasses and Valeria. What a perfect place for them to live surrounded by Fissile peak and Russet Lake.


    To get inside the hut, you need a code to open the door. However, the compost toilets were unlocked. The hut costs $50/night.


    The trip was 27 km and it took us 9.5 hours to complete. We were extremely pleased that we finished feeling great with plenty of extra water in our backpacks.


    Sunday, August 1, 2021 Five lakes bike ride and swim


    The weather turned out to be so cool that I had to wear a sweater. We were hoping it would get hotter as we wanted to go swimming.


    Eleven people had signed up and nine showed up. We biked the brand-new paved trail connecting Function Junction to Alpha lake called Miller Trail. We decided to go at leisure pace to enjoy the beauty of the valley and the five lakes. We had lunch and swam in the fifth lake.


    At 5:30 pm, we had a BBQ at our place on the Alpha lake and the group presented me with a thank you card and gift card. Such a lovely surprize! After all these years of leading trips, it was really nice to be appreciated – a big thanks to Brenda, Louise, Lynn, Afsana, Emilia and Venus (who treated me to lunch) for their kindness. I offered to teach the group paddle boarding, but after several yawns, the bikers thought it best not to learn a new sport when they can barely keep their eyes open! LOL!


    Monday, August 2, 2021 Blackcomb Lake Loop ‘A’ hike and swim

    Finally, the hot weather showed up for our easiest day. We hiked 10 km over 220m elevation gain. The trip took exactly 5 hours including our swims in Blackcomb lake and Decker Tarn. With such hot weather, the glacial waters were a welcome treat. Some people felt this was not an ‘A’ hike and said so many times as they thought it was too strenuous. But in the end, they said they were glad they came. We had icy cool drinks at the Rendezvous Lodge and everyone agreed we had perfect weather for our three days of activities.


    A shout out to those crazy determined NSH who completed the three-day triathlon challenge of hiking, biking/swimming and more hiking/swimming: Louise, Brenda and Emilia! Congrats!

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