Yesterday was fantastic. The plan was to scout out Joffre Lakes to see if the ice was suitable for a possible future weekend of camping and outdoor skating. It ended up being a full day of exploring the areas around Pemberton.
Colleen, Lucas, Tyler, and I set out at 7am to make it to the trail head before noon. We were told to expect rain, but instead we were treated to lightly falling snow and clear roads. It was an absolutely beautiful drive -- made better by a mix of Shania Twain Live in Las Vegas and Kendrick Lamar.
We were surprised to find the parking lot at the trailhead to be full. I thought this would mean the trail would be busy, but we were relieved to find it was just a group of boy scouts who were camping at the first lake. No one likes a crowded trail.
All three lakes were completely frozen over just like the last time I was thee a year ago. I have a dream of seeing these alpine lakes in the summer when they are supposedly the most amazing green colour. I must make sure that happens this summer.
Lucas did the entire hike in denim shorts and his childhood winter cap. Maybe one day I'll be that hard core...
Between the second and third lake is a waterfall that is very much like a natural staircase. With our waterproof boots and micro spikes on, we were able to clamber all over it.
When we got to the third lake, we started digging into the snow to see if we could reach the ice surface. We gave up after four feet. I don't think there'll be any skating on that ice this season.
Tyler had a bit of fireball whisky with him which somehow turned into the invention of whisky snowballs -- a delicious and highly recommended treat.
On our way back down the trail we ran into a group of hikers from Seattle. They were very friendly and kind enough to take a group photo for us. In exchange we served them up a couple of our whiskey snowballs which they thought were hilarious.
The hike didn't take us nearly as long as expected so we decided to keep the fun going and go in search of the Keyhole Hot Springs. They turned out to be down a very well maintained logging road nearly two hours from Pemberton. By this time it had gotten dark, so we strapped on headlamps and trekked down a narrow path that led to a small camp ground and the hot spring pools. There was snow falling and steam in the air, so I didn't feel comfortable setting up my camera to take a long-exsposure photo. It's a shame though, because I would have loved to have captured the magic of the place. We spent a few hours lounging in the warm pools and occasionally cooling down by jumping into the freezing cold river that ran adjacent. By the time we made it back to Langley it was past 2am.
It was a long day, but it was also the best day. We had such an incredible full day in the wilderness!