Saturday, January 2, 2010

Start as you mean to go on (hopefully with better results next time)

We tried, but were defeated. The Lizzie Creek cabin was not to be ours this New Year's day. Still... we got out there, did some interesting parking, had an adventure in the forest... and got home again. So, not too much to complain about.

The day started off as too many winter days do, very early. With the music still pumping at the New Year's party in a warehouse a few blocks away we loaded up the car and set off in the rain for the Duffey Lake road. Too early for most of the Whistler traffic, we had a quiet but snowy drive up Highway 99 and past Pemberton. We turned off the highway to skirt Lillooet Lake, and were driving in at least a foot of fresh snow. My car plugged away and got us to our starting point... would we ever get it out again?

Deep powder car parking

Angie takes a tentative step into the unknown

Last time we headed into Lizzie Lake was in the spring , which brought quite a different set of obstacles to what we found this day. We didn't fancy crossing the creek as there was a lot of snow on the banks and rocks... it would have been even colder on (bare) feet than last time. We opted for the "bypass" route, which involved carrying skis and slipping around on some barely snow-covered roots, logs, and rocks for 45 minutes. Fun.

With that out of the way, we found our real problem. The delicate, spindly Alder trees that grow all over the old roads were a slight annoyance last time as they poke you in the face with their branches... but covered in snow they are a whole different story. They look pretty... but all that snow weighing down the branches is ready to be unleashed as you brush past, dumping tons of snow on your head. This was funny for the first 5 minutes, but 2 hours of bushwhacking and getting cold and drenched later we realised we were moving too slowly to make it into the cabin that night.

Snow-covered Alders. They might look pretty, but they suck.

This was one of the less dense sections... seriously.

So, we had a conference. We ate some sandwiches. We decided to get out while we still had light. At least the Alders had less snow on them in this direction...

Heading back up the nasty hike

We made it back to the car at sunset. Though we failed to make it where we were going, I at least felt we had achieved something by making the smart decision and getting out in the light (just), all together, and ready for another day. We loaded up, and had a wild snowy drive back to Pemberton and some Italian food. YUM.

We're heading back north tomorrow morning for a day trip... we will ski that new snow one way or another!