Arete Glossary of Hiking Terms
Arête: a thin ridge of rock formed by two glaciers parallel to each other. Sometimes formed from two cirques meeting. From the French for edge or ridge. Around Whistler and in Garibaldi Provincial Park you will see dozens of excellent examples. Russet Lake in Whistler, across the valley from the hut there is as a wonderful example of an arête. The far side of Mount Price, near Garibaldi Lake also has an enormous arête. Near the Wedge-Weart Col beyond Wedgemount Lake is a prominent arête to the summit of Wedge Mountain. The video below is an aerial view of the mountains around Wedgemount Lake. Rethel is the one on the right and Parkhurst on the left. The video continues with Wedge Mountain, Wedge Glacier, Mount Weart and Mount Cook.
The video below shows Rethel up close then a panorama of the valley to include Parkhurst, Wedge, Weart and Cook.
Click the video here to see the prominent arête leading to the summit of Wedge Mountain(top middle - pictured below).
Wedgemount Lake is one of the most spectacular hikes in Garibaldi Park. Though it is a relentlessly exhausting, steep hike, it is mercifully short at only 7 kilometres (one way). The elevation gain in that short distance is over 1200 metres which makes it a much steeper hike than most other Whistler hiking trails. Compared with other Whistler hikes, Wedgemount Lake is half the roundtrip distance of either Black Tusk or Panorama Ridge, for example, at 13.5k and 15k respectively (one way). Wedgemount Lake itself is a magnificent destination for a day hike or spectacular overnight beneath the dazzling mountain peaks and stars. Many sleep under the stars on one of the many beautiful tent platforms that dot the landscape. Solidly built, wooden tent platforms are everywhere you look at Wedgemount Lake. Strategically positioned, these platforms manage to maintain an amazingly secluded feel despite their numbers. In all Wedgemount Lake has 20 of these tent areas. Most are wooden, but several down by the lake shore are gravel, yet every bit as nice. At a fast hiking pace you can reach Wedgemount Lake from the trailhead in just an hour and a half but at a leisurely or backpack laden pace you will likely take over two hours. The trail is well marked and well used. The steepness of the trail doesn't require any technical skill, however that last kilometre before the lake you will be scrambling on all fours quite a bit. The elevation gain makes a tremendous difference when carrying a heavy backpack and unprepared for the exertion. There is hardly a section of the trail that is not steeply uphill. The first 15 minutes takes you into the deep forest and then across Wedgemount Creek. This crashing creek can be heard from quite a distance and gives you a hint of the steepness of the trail to come. For more information, maps and directions to Wedgemount Lake and the amazing Wedge Glacier, click here...
Glossary of Hiking Terms Whistler Hiking Trails