My Second Camping

I didn't want to give that subject to this post but it sounds funny πŸ˜›
Well, this time we went to a really magnificent place: Joffre Lakes. Since the heat wave in Metro Vancouver had reached its peak during last week (27C) we decided to go to mountains this time. I was thinking how nice it will be to cool down a bit, breathing fresh air, watching mountain peaks under snow and hiking a bit. So, on Friday after work, San picked me up and we went toward Pemberton. The plan was to make a base camp on Nairn Falls camp ground and then, on Saturday to go to Joffre Lakes.
About 140km later, the temperature was about 38C :left: I was thinking to myself, am I crazy? We are surrounded by the 2000+ meters high mountains, there is still snow there, yet the temperature is like in Northern Africa. Or in southern Europe, as I hear from my friends and relatives from Serbia, they are on a big heat wave now. Then San explained that entire area is actually under the influence of the weather from Okanagan valley, a dry, almost semi-desert plateau. 40C during summer is normal thing there :left:
The weather forecast for Saturday was almost the same, meaning hot, so we decided to leave camp early in the morning and start to climb before air becomes too warm. Joffre Lakes are actually three glacial lakes that, so to say, share water from Matier glacier. The Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is located about 35km from Pemberton toward Lillooet and the lowest of all three is on 1200m above sea level and only about 200m from parking. That was the easiest part. The lake has a beautiful green colour so typical for that kind of lake.

Getting to Middle Joffre Lake was a bit tricky; trail is about 3,5km long and elevation gain is about 300 meters. In maps that we had, it was marked as medium hard but according to what we saw it could be graded a bit higher. There are at least two difficult parts and one of them is called Boulder field, the name that says all by itself. Getting over it requires attention, some of the rocks are shaky and there is a certain possibility to twist your ankle, not to mention something worse. Then, trail goes into forest, which is a relief because even at 9 in the morning air became warm and there was no wind at all. Several steep sections are here and there hard to climb but not that bad, at least for me; we read somewhere that one of the hikers wrote the entire trail is not that hard to climb but more technical than the others.
But once we reached the lake all the troubles were forgotten. Words can't describe how beautiful it is.

Someone said that Joffre lakes are the closest to Banff you can have in the western BC. We immediately forgot how hard it was to get there, thirst, hunger (of course, we forgot food in the car :P), mosquitoes of a size of an average stork…

It all gave us strength for the final effort, climbing to the Upper Joffre Lake, placed right under the Matier glacier, about 1,5km from the place we were and about 150 meters higher. Trail has only one steep section and it took us about half an hour to get there. And again, magnificent scenery.

It is about on a snow level. Even on a hottest day, there is a fresh breeze from a glacier. Surrounding mountains are all over 2000 meters: Joffre Peak (2721m), Mt. Matier (2783m), Mt. Hartzel (2615m), Mt. Petch (2579m), Slalok (2653m), Ts'zil (2377m), Taylor (2318m). Matier glacier is the biggest but there are two more: Stonecrop and Ts'zil glacier.
Matier glacier
We didn't see any wildlife, except few very big ants; I was thinking that on this altitude we are safe but San told me there are grizzly bears in the area, black bears, cougars and goats – even though I was not quite sure how goats could be a threat to us :left: – but we didn't see tracks of any of them (read: poop) πŸ˜†
After spending some time making photographs and enjoying the scenery, we decided to go back; we were hungry and the other reason was connected with more and more people coming. We thought it will be very busy soon and we were right. On the way back we met at least 50 hikers, some of them quite unprepared for the climb. Having solid boots or climbing shoes, along with enough water is essential; some of them climbed in their tennis or basketball sport shoes… not to mention that they started to climb at noon and their water bottles were long time empty before they reached end of the Boulder field… Even though in maps there are warnings about footwear and water, the area is marked as "recreational" so I guess many people are not really aware where are they going…
What lasted for more than two and half hours to climb, took only one and half hour to go back. We were fast, going down the trail so easy, lightheadedness that almost costed me a twisted ankle, but it was too hot and we were now really hungry. A choir of wolves howling in my stomack was a probable reason we didn't see any goat. They are, after all, cautious animals :left:
Since it was still middle of the day, we decided to visit nearbu Duffy lake; San was thinking to swim there but at the end we only wet our feet in it. My personal record: 5 seconds before toes become numb πŸ˜› It was that cold :smurf:

Saxifrage mountain from Duffy Lake
On a way back, in Pemberton was about 40C, we hurried to our base camp to get some cold water and try to get rest and cool down on a hot day. But nothing, even relief, can come without hard working



more photos here;

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31 Responses to My Second Camping

  1. SittingFox says:

    You're making me miss Jasper :cry:Beautiful, beautiful place. The one thing about mountain dayhikes is at least you're usually headed downhill on the way back!

  2. volkuro says:

    Breathtaking.That's my kind of trek :up:

  3. qlue says:

    Originally posted by SittingFox:

    The one thing about mountain dayhikes is at least you're usually headed downhill on the way back!

    Unless you stay at the top! :p

  4. rose-marie says:

    Looks great, but cold!I thought it was a crocodile on that second photo! :p

  5. sanshan says:

    Next time we'll stay at the top for one night. πŸ™‚

  6. gdare says:

    Adele, I know, I remember your posts from few years ago :up:Louis, I am glad you liked it. One day when you come to BC we can go there again :up:Aadil, as San said, we plan to go there once and spend the night near third lake. Stars on the sky must be magnificent there. Maybe we could see northern light, too.Rose, as I said it was not cold at all. Except for water :DThere are crocodiles in BC, in zoo for sure πŸ˜›

  7. Stardancer says:

    Beautiful place. The water is so clear.:up:

  8. Words says:

    Wow, that is an exceptional landscape! Stunning.

  9. Furie says:

    Wow, that's beautiful. All we need is to remove the animals from the woods and I'd be fine to go camping. *looks up*Maybe keep the talking foxes. They're sho cyute…

  10. gdare says:

    Star, colour of water is stunning. And so clear you can see bottom even in deep parts :up:Words, we've just returned from my 3rd camping πŸ˜› It seems that all glacial lakes has the same shade of green :DMik, πŸ˜† Do you think Boulder field won't be a problem for you? P

  11. derWandersmann says:

    The green colour is caused by suspended rock flour, Darko … Glaciers are great grinding, pulverising machines, and they grind the rock that they move over to an extremely fine powder … "rock flour."

  12. Spaggyj says:

    40 degrees?! :yikes: Shame about the lack of wildlife. But, so beautiful, once more. I am quite jealous of the view.

  13. gdare says:

    dW, I know. Last weekend we went to another glacial lake and it is surrounded with what looks like a white sand but is actually a ground rock silt. Looks like a tropical beach, though :cool:Kimmie, yes 40. Quite hard to believe but this is Canada, too πŸ˜€ We will try to visit a lot of places in a years to come and I will make posts with a lot of photos :up:

  14. Spaggyj says:

    Hurray :hat:

  15. studio41 says:

    Originally posted by Stardancer:

    The water is so clear.

    exceptionally! the pictures feel so rugged and beautiful, reminds me of a "roughing it" camping experience I had as a youth. experiencing the beauty wasn't always 'easy' trekking about with heavy packs to survive a week, but the nature was breathtaking and calming and easily savoured.

  16. gdare says:

    Jill, everything was forgotten the moment we came to the lakes, especially the middle one. I was just speechless :yes:

  17. studio41 says:

    :up: :happy:

  18. Mickeyjoe-Irl says:

    You've really taken to camping :yes: I guess that immigration officer was right. πŸ˜€

  19. gdare says:


  20. Suntana says:

    Originally posted by Darko:

    Someone said that Joffre lakes are the closest to Banff you can have in the western BC. We immediately forgot how hard it was to get there, thirst, hunger (of course, we forgot food in the car :p ), mosquitoes of a size of an average stork…

    With that in mind, if you needed a title for your camping Post, Darko, you should have consulted me. I would have suggested:My 2nd NightmareMy 2nd TortureMy 2nd PunishmentBe Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The SequelAnd several more. Very nice scenery, Darko, but Woooooo!At the end of the day, I would HAVE to go back to the 5-Star hotel.

  21. gdare says:

    Originally posted by Suntana:

    At the end of the day, I would HAVE to go back to the 5-Star hotel.

    On a way back we were talking about how nice it would be to go to hotel room and have proper shower, air condition, meal in restaurant…. Instead, we went to camp. But it all has its charm. Except for mosquitoes… :left:

  22. gdare says:

    dW, San is very experienced on that field so she got most of the things for our camping trips, including a tent and sun-heated shower :DThe only thing I have bought is sleeping bag but even that after she told me there is a sale in Sport Check :DThe best things could be found in MEC shops and prices are great :up:

  23. derWandersmann says:

    Depending upon how much crap you want to carry with you, there are tent-like things that you can pitch, which are sun-heated showers.Canvas ones can be had from Panther Primitives, from whom you can download a PDF catalogue, and more modern ones from Cabelas, and you can order a catalogue from their website.There are other firms, as well … start googling.

  24. derWandersmann says:

    Funny … I belong to a coΓΆp in The Northwest … REI … I think I have the oldest existing membership number, at least in the Midwest … I joined in the '60s.

  25. gdare says:

    They should offer you a lot of sales offers and discounts πŸ˜€

  26. AnitaMargita says:

    Seems like a perfect camping place. :up:

  27. H82typ says:

    Always something interesting here @ Darkos. πŸ˜€

  28. gdare says:

    Ana, camping place was actually too hot and with too many mosquitoes but lakes were worth it :up:Dennis, thanks :cheers:

  29. Pingback: Duffy Lake Loop | gdare

  30. Jill says:

    “mosquitoes of a size of an average stork…” YIKES. But, I believe it! They migrated here. πŸ˜€ Beautiful country you have there.

  31. gdare says:

    Thanks, Jill! It is amazing here πŸ™‚

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