Thursday, July 21, 2016

SUP Garibaldi Lake

Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards came out as an option a few years ago, with a target market of condo dwellers who didn't have room to store a full board. They tend not to paddle quite as well as their rigid counterparts but their pack-ability and durability make them way more versatile for those looking to go on an adventure. Garibaldi Lake is the Jewel of Garibaldi Park and for that reason the trail and campsite at the end of it are often as busy as Whistler on a Powder day. Hauling our SUPs and camping gear up the hill for 2.5 hours was not a pleasant experience, in fact I brought earphones and just put my head down and tried to get it over with. The feeling of paddling away from the crowds at the campsite and off into this ridiculously beautiful lake was completely worth all of the pain on the way up. I'd been to the back of this lake once before in the winter while doing the popular Garibaldi Neve Ski Traverse, however the summer was going to be a whole different story. 

A bit of a disclaimer here; we arrived to near perfect weather and wind. This lake is big and open and in some conditions would not be cross-able on a SUP. We had an extra days food just in case the weather picked up and we couldn't make it back across.  The lake is also very very cold and falling in would not be a pleasant experience, you might die, or you might just experience severe shrinkage. Some people would advocate for wearing a wetsuit.

There were a few bugs around that evening making sitting around on the shore slightly annoying, so we headed out for a float and beer at sunset. A short Lone Wolf IPA Tragically Hip Disco Dance party ensued before bed. 
No tight jeans or shoes with sparkles on them were seen after leaving the campground
Jake's hat has been seen in some fashion magazines though. 

Black Tusk and very White Brendan

Paddling into Sentinel Bay, you will note that the SUPs are looking a little low in the water.
I would recommend carrying two pumps up to the lake, a little peace of mind is worth the extra weight
There really isn't much to say about this. 
We spent the afternoon exploring Sentinel Bay and the glaciology huts. We met an Orca named Steven

Gentlemen, relax.
This is where the glacier ends and the lake begins
Table Mountain - get it?
VOC Burton Hut, complete with Snake Infused booze and a million dollar view (if it had windows). 
Don't go here in the spring or early summer because it will be underwater. 

Next day hike, hut is on the shoreline. 
Jake heads up the lateral moraine 

The North side of Mt Garibaldi, she is a snowy beast! Jake is wearing my coat because he claimed that someone took his coat out of his bag vindictively.
Also because I am tougher than he is. 
On the shoulder of Guard Mountain. 
Ummmmm left? (thanks Jake for grabbing my camera)
No really, turn left. 
I arrived back at the campsite to a bunch of gawkers and immediately hit my fin on the ground and fell into the lake.