As block break approaches, many students start to make plans for the four days of freedom that we have to make sure that we fit the most in as possible. This block break, I really wanted to go hiking. As soon as the suggestion was put out, all of a sudden there were 10 people in on the trip. The planning processes with big groups is often a lot of work, but we finally decided that Garibaldi Lake would be the best option for our group. Some people wanted to do lots of more intensive hiking, while for others it was their first time hiking and they wanted an easier trail.
Garibaldi Lake is about 30km north of Squamish on the way to Whistler and is a very popular hike for this reason and because of the spectacular scenery. It is about a four hour hike up through dense Douglas Fir forest. At around 6 km, it begins to flatten out after you reach a geological rock feature called the barrier, which I thought was really cool.
The Barrier was formed when lava from Mt. Price (a nearby mountain) ran down towards the Cheakamus Valley. However, this was at a time when there was a large glacier in the valley. When the lava hit the glacier, it was stopped and solidified. When the glacier melted a large cliff was left, which you can see in the photo.
Past this, the lake is a few more very enjoyable kilometers.
An interesting side note that we were wondering about was why the lake has its famous turquoise colour. After a bit of research, I found that it is because the lake is fed by two glaciers. Glaciers are moving ice rivers, which grind up the rock bellow and create small particles called glacier flour. The small particles run off into the lake, which then makes the water have this colour.
Anyways, back to the hike. We camped for two nights in the very well maintained campsite and did a few day hikes from there. One day a group, hiked a ridge beside the lake called Panorama Ridge in the beautiful sunny weather, while others stayed by the lake and relaxed. The next morning we had an early start at 5:30 to get up to the top of Black Tusk ( a nearby mountain) to see the sun rise. It was a beautiful hike up through Taylor Meadows, however when we got up top, it was very foggy and we couldn’t see anything. It even started to snow!
It ended up being a perfect block break, getting outside and relaxing in the sun. I really enjoy block breaks because in first and second year most of us do not have any school work hanging over our heads and we are all free at the same time, which allows us to do really fun trips.