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Rainbow Lake Trail & Exploration Beyond

July 12 - 14, 2004

For a detailed trail map, click on the map above.
Day 1: 9:00 am departure from trailhead
Some of the boardwalks and crossings have seen better days...
Now that's a sturdy bridge!! (It's Whistler, go figure)
Rainbow Mtn at left; the lake lying behind the saddle at center.
Rainbow Mtn. with lake below. We climbed the small pass at left, dropped down to Hanging Lake to check out the camping prospects, but decided to climb back up and ascend the ridge above Rainbow Lake in search of a more spectacular base. At 3:00 pm we found our little haven - and just in time; I was totally "done" for the day!
We named our little glacial pond "Heart Lake". Before setting up camp (green dot) we plunged into the icy water, numbing our skin and our brains...
Our lakeside mountain camp. Yes, that is a bug screen attached to our tent. They weren't that bad, and we only used it a few times.
Who needs Hawaii when you've got this in your backyard??
Day 2: After a night of thunder, lightening & hail , we awoke to sunny skies. That's me preping food in the bug shelter. Our planned day hike would take us up the valley just to the right of our tent and beyond to stunning Beverley Lake.
Bathing in the icy creek as we ascend the pass above Rainbow Lake on our cross-country journey to Beverley Lake.
Obvious evidence of glacial activity...
Spectacular Beverley Lake; elvevation 5,000 feet. About 5 km's from our base camp. We descended to the lake, made our way along the left shore to the far end where we came upon a pic-nic table of all things! No doubt a fly-in destination, as no trail leads here and only a few people a year might make the journey here from Rainbow Lake on foot.
From the far end of the lake, looking at one of the may little bays. The "back" side of Rainbow Mtn. rising above.
What really lies on the other side: This mountain appears as just a small hump from the Rainbow Lake end (see camp photo above Day 2), but from Beverley Lake you can see how it just drops off into a valley far below.
Day 3: On our last day we ventured on a day hike along Sproat Ridge. See Map

Spectacular views surrounded us: Brandywine Glacier to the south-west, Black Tusk and Garibaldi to the south-east and of course Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedgemount to the east.

Andre looks to the exceedingly recognizeable peak of Black Tusk (the photo of me on the home page of this site was taken on the descent of the Tusk in Sept. '02.)
Gin Lake below, Rainbow Mtn. behind from Sproat Ridge
Overcast skies, but hot & muggy. We ate lunch on a rise just to the left of this photo and watched as about two dozen ravens hopped over the snow, pecking at bugs.
Our favorite little lake along the way. We swam in it in the morning, and on our return before the final climb to the ridge above our camp (hill at left between tdwo trees). That's me sitting on the rock at center after a refresing swim in the tolerably icy water.
This is a close-up of Black Tusk taken the evening before from a short walk along the ridge above our camp.
Returning to camp just before 3:00 after a 5hr day hike, we plunged into our "Heart Lake" and collapsed int the tent for a half hour of sleep before packing up and embarking on the great descent down to Whistler and our car.

4:30 Departed camp (above)

5:00 Swim at outflow of Rainbow Lake (okay, okay, so you're not supposed to swim in the Whistler watershed. But we were hot, tired and pretty damn clean after about 2 dozen swims and soaks over the past 3 days. My skin was so dry it felt like it might crack (my big toe actually did)

5:30 Departure from Rainbow Lake. Photo at right is of the waterfall at the outflow.

6:00 "Dinner" of leftover lentil dahl, dry ramen noodles and 2 squares of Swiss chocolate each.

8:00 Arrival at car. Find out that highway back to Vancouver is closed until midnight due to construction in the Chekamus Canyon. Go for dinner in the village and crash at Rainbow Park (where else?!) until 11:45.

1:45am Home!