Whistler, BC is about 75 miles (125 KM) north of Vancouver, BC. The road up from Vancouver is named “Sea to Sky highway” and rightfully so, is probably one of the most beautiful mountain drives in the world. The first half of the trip up from Vancouver gives you beautiful panoramic views of Pacific ocean and various islands. The second half is in the mountains with various peaks and glaciers in site.
This time around we spent 3 days at Whistler with 2 days of hiking and one day of relaxation. The first day, We did a hike called “ High Note Trail”. We took the Whistler Gondola from the village to the roundhouse lodge and then walked down to the Peak chair and rode it up to Whistler peak which is at about 7,500 Feet.
The trail head for High Note Trail starts from top of peak chair and is about 7 miles loop which takes you back to the roundhouse lodge where you can down load to the village via Gondola. There is also a cut off about half way in to the hike called “Half Note Trail” which will cut your hike in half in case you are tired. Take plenty of water and snacks. Throughout the trail, you come across unbelievable views of Balck Tusk, Dark Blue Cheakamus lake as well as surrounding glaciers.
The second day, we left at about 6:30 AM to hike Wedgemount lake which is one of the toughest hikes around Whistler. The trail head is about 11 KM north of Whistler village and is well marked. We started our 14 miles RT hike at about 7:00 AM and its pretty much straight uphill until you get to the lake. You gain about 3500 feet of elevation in a short distance which is what makes it one of the hardest hikes in the whistler area. Make sure and pace yourself and have plenty of water, food and layers of clothing.
We got to the lake at about 11:00 AM and the view of Green Wedgemount lake with Wedgemount glacier running in to it is absolutely incredible. There are also plenty of beautiful wooden camping platform right on the lake for people that want to camp over night as well as a climbers shed to sleep in. From the lake, you can do side hikes to various peaks such as Wedge mountain, Mt. Weart, etc. If you are brave, you can also swim in the ice cold water at the foot of the glacier J We started hiking down about 2:00 PM and were back at the trailhead by 6:00 PM.
On a side note, Whistler/ Blackcomb was just rated number one ski resort in north America by the Ski magazine ( 8100 acres with great backcountry skiing) and Whistler village was rated by National Geographic as one of the top 5 ski towns in the world.