Aiguille Glossary of Hiking Terms
Aiguille: a tall, narrow, characteristically distinct spire of rock. From the French word for "needle". Used extensively as part of the names for many peaks in the French Alps. Around Whistler in the alpine you will find several distinct aiguilles. Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park could be called an aiguille, however its long and prominent history has given it another, better description of "tusk". You will find aiguilles on many hikes in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park. The image above is from from the Tantalus Range in Squamish, viewed from Levette Lake. The image below is an aiguille above Wedgemount Lake.
Here is another image of the above Tantalus Range aiguille with a plane flying over. The Tantalus Range is a popular area for fly-in hiking or airplane touring. Black Tusk Helicopter does an excellent tour of the Tantalus Range.
Other hiking trails in Whistler you will encounter aiguilles are on Blackcomb Mountain, the Sproatt Alpine Trail, Black Tusk and around Cirque Lake. Blackcomb Mountain has come alive with beautiful hiking trails in recent years. With the 2008 addition of the Peak to Peak Gondola which connects Blackcomb to Whistler, the demand for mountain trails is higher than ever. A dozen years ago, you would just have had some rough hiking trails to follow, and not many hikers to follow them. Now you have mapboards, trail signs, viewpoint seating areas and six popular, named trails to hike.
The trails are mostly easy and relaxing, however the Decker Loop Trail at the far end of Blackcomb is very challenging and spectacularly scenic. For the most part, you will find yourself winding through a nice alpine forest scattered with enormous fields of erratics leading to one great viewpoint after another.
You can hike for as little as 15 minutes or more than 3 hours, depending on the trail or trails you choose to follow. Blackcomb Lake and Blackcomb Peak that looms far above it are the most popular destinations for hikers and getting there and back can be done in a couple hours. The hiking trails on Blackcomb Mountain begin at the Rendezvous Lodge and are immediately beautiful. Dozens of sightseers will be snapping photos right from the start of the trail. Mapboards along the trails give you an indication of the mountains and lakes you can see in the valley below and beyond. The Blackcomb hiking trails run in a linear route and the different trails are basically sections of one large trail. In short, you hike in one direction, but have the option of making the trail longer or shorter as you go.
Glossary of Hiking Terms Whistler Hiking Trails