Panorama Ridge and Lake Garibaldi

Summer in BC is a time to get outdoors and enjoy the scenery. On this occasion the challenge was Panorama Ridge via Lake Garibaldi with Andrea, Kayla, Sterling and Mariana. Total distance 37k, total elevation 1930m, trip time 11hr 50. We considered doing Black Tusk as well but this was one summit too far and instead we enjoyed a somewhat chilly swim, some fishing and dinner instead.

The trail starts with a 6k of hard switchbacks before leveling out for another 3k of gentle climbing up to Lake Garibaldi. Here you are greeted with breathtaking views across the lake up to the mountains. After a brief sustenance break we continued on the 11k route from Garibaldi to Panorama Ridge. After some switchbacks you come out in to the Taylor Meadow which has a beautiful range of flowers, lakes and takes you between Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk. The final 2k of this hike is a tough scramble up rocks and rubble which stresses some already exhausted legs to breaking point! The views once you reach the peak make the hours and pain so worthwhile. Unfortunately the visibility wasn’t great due to smoke from the forest fires.

The return trip was much easier and quicker and highlighted but my first sighting of a Canadian bear (a Black bear that walked to and then swam across a lake, luckily leaving us alone to continue as planned).

At the bottom we had the choice of relaxing in the sun and swimming or the 6k hard route up Black Tusk. We were all in agreement that this might be more than we could handle so took the easier option to relax by the lake. The swim was refreshing but not as cold as I thought given it is a glacial lake. In spring I’m sure it would be a whole different matter!

Post swim I ventured off to catch dinner while the others enjoyed the sun. 30 minutes later I returned with a lovely rainbow trout to be added to the vegetables and quinoa. Once this had been shared around the group with  a side of Pad Thai it was time to head home. The walk back is a long one and switchbacks are never ending and resulted in a sprint finish after a couple of hours of descending!!

An excellent trip and will  definitely be back on a clearer day to do Black Tusk!!

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