It seems that 2017 was a pretty low-key year for us, covering barely 3/4 of the distance of last year, and only spending 4 nights out backpacking. However, we did fit in a few more nights in the tent as we car-camped on several weekends. It also seems we did more short hikes this year as our total number of hikes is not too far behind last year, and our total elevation gain is only 10% less.
The long dry summer didn’t lead to as many trips as might be expected due to the considerable smoke from the terrible fires in the interior of BC, plus a 2-week break visiting family in the UK. As such we didn’t have the opportunity to fit in a good multi-day trip or two. On the plus side, we did hike half-a-dozen new trails which was awesome, as well as revisit some long-lost favourites, and the wildflower displays were some of the best we’ve ever seen.
Our top five trips of 2017:
- Mount Outram. Despite fearsome statistics, this hike proved to be less intimidating than expected and treated us to some of the best flower meadows we’ve ever seen. Alas, the clouds rolled in on the morning of our summit attempt (we got snowed on as we ate breakfast – in July!) so we saw none of the promised views. I guess we’ll just have to go back!
- Iceberg Lake. I’ve been wanting to hike this trail ever since I read about its development a few years ago. It was worth the wait: the trail was a joy to hike, and the destination was spectacular with plenty of scope for return visits. The only downside (for me) was its popularity as I’ve become quite accustomed to hiking where there are fewer people.
- Skyline Ridge. One of the hikes starting at the lodge of the Sea to Sky Gondola, and perhaps the one we were most interested in tackling. Once on the main ridge (after about 90 minutes of logging road), the hiking was stunning with views galore and a lovely lightly-used trail that rambles through gorgeous subalpine terrain.
- Twin Lakes. It’s only been two years since we were last here, but this time we managed to camp up by the lower lake and spend a day exploring the nearby summits. Spectacular country that deserves even more time to venture into neighbouring valleys.
- Tenquille Lake. Another revisit, this time from 2011. Our timing didn’t quite work out to make it to one of the peaks we were aiming for, but it didn’t matter: the hiking was superb, the flower display was utterly mind-blowing, and the mosquitoes were as hungry as we’ve ever known them to be!
The top three were easy; after that the order gets a little fuzzier as we also really enjoyed revisiting Mount Harvey (and seeing the incredible view from the summit for the first time) as well as Skyline I in Manning Park, where we caught the beginning of the glacier lily bloom. We got out on just one Wanderung hike this year (to Skyline Ridge), but it turned out we’d hiked with everyone else before and had a great time catching up.
As with last year, I’ll finish with a summary of our stats, with the difference compared with last year shown in parentheses.
- Number of hikes: 38 (-3)
- Number of days hiking: 42 (-7)
- Total distance: 370 km (-121 km)
- Total elevation gain: 20150 m (-2230 m)
- Average per trip: 9.7 km, 530 m (-2.3 km, -14 m)
- Average per equivalent day hike: 8.8 km, 480 m (-1.2 km, +25 m)
Well 2018 beckons, and I think we’ll definitely be planning a couple of longer trips this year, perhaps a long-overdue return to the Rockies (as we promised ourselves last year!) or just more time exploring some of the alpine backcountry in the Pemberton area. Who knows?