February 16-18, 2002, Elfin Lake Hut, B.C.

Canada BC
Posted by ema on 9/11/02 9:00am
Our annual 3 day trek north was again to Elfin Lake Hut. We were hoping to try a new hut even further north, but got last minute cold feet when told that a tent and stove would be in order. We've been to Elfin many times and have grown quite comfortable with its spacious 33 bunk confines, complete with a gas furnace, stoves and propane lights - and friendly Canadians. To venture farther without adequate intelligence seemed sheer madness.

The main problem with this area is its proximity to the coast - and thus clouds and general moist conditions. The trailhead is accessed via a 10 km/3500 foot drive departing highway 99 just north of Squamish. After a two hour hike up a logging road (the snow was firm so we packed our skis), Red Heather warming hut was our lunch stop and our first glimpse of the hordes. Then about another hour to the top of the ridge (5000-5500 feet) and the fun began - a gradual descending approach to Elfin Lake Hut along this ridge which on this day took 1/2 to 1 hour (though it could take much more in icy conditions). The trail was well marked both by tracks and orange poles - this is a popular route! We were pleasantly surprised to find open bunks even on a Saturday night (and being among the last parties to arrive at around 5 PM).

I must mention that the bunks are precisely 6 feet in length and it can be somewhat sardine-like attempting to get a good night sleep - depending on one's height (I'm 5'11"). We depend on good spirits:)

The hut is located at the base of the Mt. Garibaldi massif and there are many options for day travel. Because the weather was socked in and snowing hard on this Sunday, we felt our way about halfway up to the Gargoyles and skiied back (flat light but about 8 inches of new snow to plunge through). I elected to spend the afternoon reading while Nick attempted an afternoon run.

Monday morning was much better (see photo) so we got to ascend the Gargoyles and have an enjoyable run back to the hut before our ski out - which only took us an hour and a half - then back to Seattle.


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2002-09-11 16:00:01