During a very short trip to Whistler in British Columbia, Canada, we had a target to go for a hike and get some exercise. Unfortunately, we had forgotten to bring hiking shoes so we decided to visit the village to buy a pair.
We came across Escape Route in the North Village and found a pair of Solomon shoes that we liked. The salesperson was extremely nice so we thought we’d get his thoughts on where we should hike. He started off by recommending Joffre Lake and Rainbow Lake.
We had seen pictures of an incredibly beautiful scene that seemed to be used on several promotional blogs for hiking around Whistler and asked if we knew where that hike could be found. His face lit up and he said, “that’s Wedgemount!”.
We should have taken note when a super experienced hiker shows excitement towards a destination as foreshadowing of what was to come the next day. He mentioned that it’s an “exciting” hike and a “bit of a challenge”, but “stunningly beautiful” when you get up top.
Upon returning to our AirBnB, I did some research on the hike and found some troubling information online. The trail websites and blogs all noted it is a “difficult” and would require seven hours. The hike increases in elevation by 1,100m in only 7km! It all sounded daunting, but we had invested so much time into it that we decided to give it a shot.
With two new pairs of shoes in hand, we headed to bed early to get to Wedgemount early in the morning. We drove 15 minutes north of the village to reach Wedgemount and found a logging road as the only way in. Because it’s summer, we were able to drive further in to reach the trail head. The trail head shown on some maps will be wrong because a new trail head has been built; the one on Google is correct.
Several reviews of Wedgemount said that the road is impassable in a regular car, but we were able to get through it with a Honda Accord. We had to avoid the big bumps and holes and drove very, very slowly. For the steep inclines, we had to keep momentum so as not to have the car slide back. If it was muddy or raining however, I think an SUV or truck would be required to reach the trail head.
The hike up was one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my life. It required mental and physical stamina. The final 300m requires scrambling (using your hands and feet to climb on loose rocks) up a steep incline. Looking back was nauseating so I kept focused on climbing up and getting to the peak. It took us three hours to climb up, even with what felt like a quick pace.
Upon reaching the peak, everything came together and the feeling of satisfaction was incredible when the view opened up over the last rise. The scenery is breathtaking and no words, nor images, can do it justice. Seeing this with your own eyes should be on everyone’s bucket list. The aquamarine coloured lake fed from a glacier is stunning. The climb down was pretty hard on the knees and took a little less than three hours. Total round trip was seven hours including a one hour lunch at the peak.
One of the sad realities whenever I return to my home province is that I didn’t realize what I had access to until I moved away. I now appreciate so much more the incredible beauty of British Columbia. The alpine trails and scenery are just fantastic and the accessibility so convenient. A two hour drive up from Vancouver and you’ll find yourself in a mountain paradise.
One of my guilty pleasures when I visit my hometown of Vancouver is to indulge in a few hours walking or cycling around the seawall at the Stanley Park. With time limited, we decided to rent bicycles along Denman Street and rode around the seawall. It was such a beautiful day that I couldn’t help but take a few pictures along the way.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short post from Beautiful British Columbia!