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The Consolation Lakes, including Disc & Obelisk Lakes, have long been eye candy on the topo maps for Andre.

Remote, and well fortified by needle-like mountains, unbelievably thick and terrorsome bush, fewer than one party per year suscessfully attempts these lakes and their surrounding peaks. They lie at approximately 1,050 - 1,300 meters in the mountains west of Pitt Lake and north of Coquitlam Mtn. The most common approach is via Debeck Creek, about 10 km's up Pitt Lake.

After much studying of maps, Andre saw it should be possible to approach the lakes from "behind" via the Coquitlam / Pitt Divide which would be accessed via the west end of Widgeon Lake. We had 2 small dinghys hidden at the lake which would be used to paddle to the west end of the lake.

Andre allowed 5 days for the journey, but unfortunately, only one other person was willing to join Andre on this potentially most difficult and demanding trek; his cousin Cary from Bellingham, WA.

So the journey begins...
Day 1, July 23
A Multi-Stage Journey:
  • Paddle 6 km's through the Widgeon Slough
  • Bike 8 km's along deteriorating old road to trailhead
  • Hike 3 km's steep uphill to Widgeon Lake
  • Locate & inflate hidden dinghys
  • Paddle 45 min. across lake to base at far end
Click Map to Enlarge
Departure from Grant Narrows into the Widgeon Slough. Bikes, packs and boys load into the inflateable Metzler.
The Crew: Cousins Cary (left) and Andre
Cary, Cary and ... Cary?

Bush biking, cooling off in the falls, and the warrior inside coming to surface

After one of the hottest days on record, the boys finally arrive at their first major destination: Widgeon Lake
Disappointment Strikes ....
Upon arriving at the lake, Andre and Cary headed into the bush to retrieve the 2 well hidden dinghys which would transport them to their access point to the difficulty reached Coquitlam / Pitt Divide. Stored under a long, overhanging rock, both vessels had been destroyed beyond hope by some cave-nesting beast.

Disappointed beyond words, the only hope remaining would be to build ....a raft!

Day 2
And a raft they did build!!

Using driftwood and some planks from the cabin remains on the small island just a short swim from the shore, Andre and Cary spent the entire second day at work on the raft.

With tiny saws as their only tools, they hauled wood from the log jam at the far end of the lake and even tried to use old, rusty nails from the cabin remains; but these only bent under even the slightest force. It was a day of intense labour, but by the end of it they had themselves a floating vessel!

Cary on the nearly-completed raft (before decking with the planks from the cabin remains) with the Widgeon Cheif behind
Day 3
A day of exploration and sloooow raft paddling...

With 2 of the 5 days used, it was clear that the Consolation Lakes had been lost once again. However, the peak of the Widgeon Cheif beckonned and if attained would give access to the ridge behind.

So, they set out on the raft, paddling stroke by stroke, only moving inches at a time. Finally having reached the opposite shore of the bay, they followed a distinct bear path, then made their way up the increasingly more precipitous cliff walls, clambering among twisted roots and discovering numerous caves.

The route up wasn't easy - often a tangled web of roots to slither through
Exploring some of the interesting rock & cave formations along the way - a mecca of fun for the guys!
Looking south

Getting higher... and this is only part of the lake; it stretches left (to the outlet and the main trail) and quite far to the right (unvisited except by float plane or dinghy)

Andre (above & below). Notice the float plane & its shadow over the lake above!
Looking north-east, Pitt Lake lies behind the close green ridge.

Cary above the valley the "Fools Gold Route" takes

Mouse Capers

This mouse caused Andre & Cary extensive grief. Their camp became "The Wonderful World of Disney" to this critter. Scurrying from one pile to another, climbing through this and over that, including up Andre's pant leg, they set about playing games with it: capturing it under bowls & pots, setting it adrift on pieces of wood, and stranding it on islands of rock, only to watch it dive in the water and swim off!

Evening back at camp & relaxing by the fire
Day 4
More of the same exploration of the Widgeon Cheif.

They came upon 2 climbers high above the lake in the most unlikely of areas to meet anyone. Imagine Andre's shock when the one climber, Chris Rowe, addressed Andre by name!! The morning Andre and Cary had left, I'd received a phonecall from Chris. He'd come across my website while looking for photos of Widgeon Lake and saw that we'd brought a canoe to the lake. Unknowingly, he and two others were heading up the same weekend as Andre & Cary with the intention of being the first to climb the Widgeon Cheif (our name for it - it is actually unnamed). And an even bigger coincidence, Chris was the very fellow our neighbourhood friends Tony & Yoskyl Webb had been saying we should meet for years as he is a good friend of theirs!

On the return back to camp, the guys deserted the raft at the bay and swam back instead, throwing their waterproof bags containing gear & food ahead of them as they swam. This method of transportion proved much more efficient than the raft!

Day 5
After four days of intensive heat wave, the last day dawned cooler and slightly overcast. It was time to pack up and begin the multi-stage journey back home.
Camp - - - or strewn remains of someone's pack??
Evening paddling through the Widgeon Slough