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article imageHiking the Wedgemount Lake area Special

By Joseph Boltrukiewicz     Dec 10, 2015 in Travel
Whistler - Wedgmount Lake hiking trail starts from an easy to find location off a busy road between Whistler and Pemberton but to get to the final destination point at the lake and its glacier is quite a different story.
This hiking trail is mentioned in numerous books and classified as a strenuous one. The two distinctive peaks of the Lions, clearly seen from Vancouver, have an elevation gain of 162.5 metres for every kilometre of hike and it looks really hard when hiking the Lions from Lions Bay. Everybody knows that the Lions are pretty hard to hike. To get to the Wedgemount area, it's a vertical gain of 171.5 metres per 1 kilometre of the hike of the distance of 7 kilometres in one way only.
Ever present lichens on the hiking trail to Wedgmount Lake indicate clear air  area between Whistler...
Ever present lichens on the hiking trail to Wedgmount Lake indicate clear air, area between Whistler and Pemberton, BC, Canada
Hard core hikers mention this trail as a pearl in their crown. The lake and the glacier touching the lake's water is located at an elevation of 1,865 metres and the round trip can take up to eight or nine hours. The best time to hike is in the summertime when the days are longer and weather conditions favourable.
Receding Wedgemount Glacier in the area of Wedgemount Lake  between Whistler and Pemberton  BC  Cana...
Receding Wedgemount Glacier in the area of Wedgemount Lake, between Whistler and Pemberton, BC, Canada
The trail rises up after some 300 metres of easy hiking in the forest and one can only be sure that it will be all the time like this only after completion of some 5 kilometres of the trail. Due to the presence of slippery tree roots and rocks, the trail has to be hiked with constant attention from one step to another. More and more, the roaring sound of falling water on the right side of the trail sparks te imagination of how the spot may look from where the water is coming from.
Mountains and peaks around Wedgemount Glacier in the area of Wedgemount Lake  between Whistler and P...
Mountains and peaks around Wedgemount Glacier in the area of Wedgemount Lake, between Whistler and Pemberton, BC, Canada.
The mid point of the entire hike brings thoughts of what's going to happen furthermore if such a strenuous job had already been done. The last two kilometres of the hike are a real challenge and overkill in one package. The trail sharply rises up amid not clearly defined way of where to proceed. Streams and small creeks of water (its intensity depends on the season and weather) make it muddy, slippery and dangerous to hike in some quite steep areas. It all seems that the devil's first made the trail here some time ago.
Ice of Wedgemount Glacier in the area of Wedgemount Lake  between Whistler and Pemberton  BC  Canada...
Ice of Wedgemount Glacier in the area of Wedgemount Lake, between Whistler and Pemberton, BC, Canada.
Once the hardest part of the hike is done, all the beauty of the lake is now seen in the presence of its glacier. At the end of the hike there's a small hut for those who can stay overnight. It's a great idea to do so to both relax after the hard hike and enjoy the beauty of the area for a longer time.
A rock mark of the farthest extent of ice of Wedgemount Glacier in 2014. From here to the front of t...
A rock mark of the farthest extent of ice of Wedgemount Glacier in 2014. From here to the front of the lake (centre of the image in grey) there's some 100 metres away.
Older books publish the images of the Wedgemount Glacier entering directly to the lake's water. Now, this situation doesn't exist anymore. The glacier receded in recent years significantly. When hiking up to the front of the glacier, at some point there's a rock marked with blue plastic tape. Last year somebody marked the furthest extent of the glacier by marking this rock with a felt pen with a short written info and date on it — Edge of Wedgemount Glacier 2014. This rock mark is some 100 metres from the front of the glacier which now is as far as some 400 metres from the bank of the lake. If last year's marking was correct, this may be the farthest distance the glacier has receded ever. With the average 35-40 metres of the world glacier-ice receding rate, this one may have set up the a new world record! A close inspection of the rocks the opposite the glacier, some 1 km away from it where the hut is, reveals the huge chunks of flat rocks with scratches from previous glacier movement.
This young kayaking enthusiast brought his inflatable kayak (Innova  made in Czech Republik) all the...
This young kayaking enthusiast brought his inflatable kayak (Innova, made in Czech Republik) all the way up to kayak the cold water of Wedgemount Lake, between Whistler and Pemberton, BC, Canada.
The area of the lake with its glacier is a breathtaking spot of extreme beauty. The colours of the vegetation, rocks, snow, ice, and emerald lake remind us the scenery is completely out of this world. Well developed lichens covering the rocks indicate the presence of clean air. Many creeks carry their waters from neighbouring mountains to the lake so there's no easy way to get to the front of the glacier from where the hut is located at the end of the hiking trail. All inconveniences and hardship of hiking from a few hours before are paid off when contemplating and enjoying this true and natural beauty.
Kayaking Wedgemount Lake  between Whistler and Pemberton  BC  Canada.
Kayaking Wedgemount Lake, between Whistler and Pemberton, BC, Canada.
More about wedgmount lake, Whistler, Bc, Canada
 
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