Elfin Lakes Birthday Snowshoe

It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a month since we decided to go for an overnight trip up to the Elfin Lakes hut for my birthday. The skies were forecast to clear around dusk and the possibility of some Aurora colours through the night was also present. Starting a 4-day weekend with this short trip sounded like a nice plan.

We headed for the FSR straight after work and were putting our snowshoes on at the trail head around 5:30. We set off and hoped for our time to work out with the weather so we would be traversing Paul Ridge towards the hut for golden hour.

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Squamish from the only small gap in the trees on the earlier stages of the journey
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Breaking out into the alpine just in time
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Follow the leader. These tracks were probably left by Mickey & Steven

The clouds cleared fairly well and the late evening sun gaves us some spectacular light in what was a surprising but delightful winter scene, in MAY, on birthday. Just something I don’t normally experience at this time of year.

 

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Just a whispy layer of  clouds clinging to the mountain
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The sundown period was quite notable
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Colours and patterns. The snow reflected and bounced the sunset colours around. 
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Almost there. We hung out and soaked up the mesmerising display, the hut was only another 10-15 mins along the trail.

Night skies were clear there was a hint of aurora in the Northern skies over Garibaldi mountain, the colours were not visible to the naked eye, but it was interesting to have the camera confirm its presence. We met Steve and Mickey while making dinner and settling in to the hut. They were camping in a tent up there under the stairs with their kick-arse snowman buddy, Charlie. The Milky Way was quite visible despite the orange glow of Greater Vancouver low in the south, near the galactic core.

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Mickey points out a shooting star that’s out of frame. What a place to just sit back and soak up.

 

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The less impressive end of the Milky Way and some Aurora colours on the Norther Horizon. 

We got up to see the sunrise over the mountains before snarfing some breakfast and preparing to take the journey back down. It took me so long to finally get up to Elfin, but the payoff for the suspense was immense, the conditions and scenery were just perfection. A spectacular 18 hours trip into another world, we were back at the car at 11am and heading home to start the long weekend.

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Despite the date signifying the turn of another year in my life, sunrise over the mountains will never get old. 
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One of the lakes
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The morning scene from Paul Ridge as we set out on the way down.
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The pilots awaken for another day.
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