Sunday, 20 August 2017
A Canadian Adventure - Day 17
Whistler parkrun and the Joffre Lakes
Thirty people turned up for today's parkrun, a fair sprinkling of whom we'd met two weeks ago at Richmond. The first four pictures were all taken at the parkrun, which took a scenic route around the Lost Lake. Well named, as several of the Brits got temporarily misplaced and nearly went round the lake twice.
The run director has to put up with a constant supply of tourists, some of whom forget their bar codes. That's no problem here so long as you can remember your name and number. He's also very relaxed about unaccompanied children, though I think he might have had something to say if four year old Sebastian had not dragged his dad around with him in 43 minutes.
Shrewsbury Paul was pleased to be first home. His GPS indicated ascent of about 600 feet, so we are all excused for going a little slower than usual. Some of us have additional excuses.
We enjoyed a slow coffee surrounded by rental mountain bikes. That's the major activity hereabouts. There are apparently some good routes, though the emphasis seems to be on downhill adventure riding rather than the touring that I prefer. Given that a lot of the routes are no doubt in trees I don't feel I'm particularly missing out by not hiring a bike here if the weather is suitable for walking, which it was today.
So Sue and I headed off to Joffre Lakes, about 60 km away. Many others were also headed there and parking required patience. There seemed to be thousands of people crammed onto the narrow but very well surfaced trail. I couldn't be bothered to change out of my parkrun trainers. Sue donned three season boots and walking poles as our guide book said there was a tricky bouldery section. There might have been in the past, but it has now been sanitised almost to wheelchair friendly status. Sue looked a bit out of place; trainers or sandals were the norm. There were large numbers of Oriental and Indian folk on this trail, as well as the usual Caucasians.
There are three lakes, all of which sport fine views to nearby summits and glaciers that were free of cloud on this warm, sunny and Clear day. The smoke seems to have dissipated from this area. In between the top two lakes the water plunges down some falls. Given that we'd been parkrunning today, their name, Holloway Falls, seemed quite appropriate.
There were queues of people waiting to pose on tree trunks in front of the views. One enterprising chap from Oxford was using a drone to take pictures. He could get all three lakes into one frame. "The middle one is the bluest" he confirmed. Some folk were showing off their swimming skills. The water looked very cold; it was after all emanating from a glacier.
After the 3.5 hour 'there and back' stroll, we adjourned to the Mile One Eating House in the nice town of Pemberton. Their burgers were excellent despite some of the names (out of deference to AlanR I chose a 'Rusty Tractor' burger). We were lucky - early enough not to have to queue - by the time we left there was a long queue of customers who would have to wait an hour for their meals. At least they could listen to the jazz and blues classic soundtracks that were playing.
A chat with our waiter had him chuckling at our having been suckered in by the Joffre Lakes hype. He reckoned there were much more scenic walks in the area that didn't involve walking through a forest on a crowded sanitised path. Pemberton could be a good alternative base to Whistler.
1 to 4: Whistler parkrun number 7
5: A Joffre Lake view
6: Crowds at the upper lake
7: Holloway Falls
8 and 9: Dinner at Mile One Eating House
5 km parkrun, 8 km hike in trainers, and 4 km wandering around Whistler and Pemberton.