Garibaldi Park Whistler A to ZAblation Zone: the lower altitude region of a glacier where there is a net loss of ice mass due to melting, sublimation, evaporation, ice calving or avalanche.  The ablation zone of a glacier such as the Wedge Glacier has meltwater features such as englacial streams and a glacier window.  An englacial stream refers to meltwater flowing inside a glacier.  A glacier window is a cave-like opening at the mouth of a glacier where meltwater runs out.

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

 Garibaldi Park WhistlerAblation Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAccumulation Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAdit Lakes  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAiguille  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAlpine Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArête  Garibaldi Park WhistlerARRTI  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArmchair Glacier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Barrier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBattleship Islands  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBears  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBench  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBergschrund  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBivouac  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCairn/Inukshuk  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCarter  Garibaldi Park WhistlerChimney  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCirque  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCloudraker  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCoast Mountains  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCordilleran  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCornice  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCorrie Lake  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCrevasse  Garibaldi Park WhistlerDalgleish  Garibaldi Park WhistlerDeadfall  Garibaldi Park WhistlerEmerald Forest  Garibaldi Park WhistlerErratic  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Fissile  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFitzsimmons Creek  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFitzsimmons Range  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFyles  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGaribaldi Ranges  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGaribaldi Volcanic Belt  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGemel  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGlacier Window  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGreen Lake  Garibaldi Park WhistlerHoary Marmot  Garibaldi Park WhistlerKrummholz  Garibaldi Park WhistlerLithophyte  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMoraine  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMt Garibaldi  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMt James Turner  Garibaldi Park WhistlerNorthair Mine  Garibaldi Park WhistlerNunatuk  Garibaldi Park WhistlerOverlord  Garibaldi Park WhistlerPeak 2 Peak  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRoundhouse  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRubble Creek  Garibaldi Park WhistlerScree  Garibaldi Park WhistlerSpearhead Range  Garibaldi Park WhistlerTarn  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Table  Garibaldi Park WhistlerTownsend  Garibaldi Park WhistlerUsnea  Garibaldi Park WhistlerWinram

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The ablation zone is located below the firn line.  Firn originated from Swiss German and means "last year's snow".  It has been compacted and recrystallized making it harder and more compact than snow, though less compact than glacial ice.  A glacier such as the Wedge Glacier which stretches from Wedge Mountain down toward Wedgemount Lake, the ablation zone is very beautiful.  A big pool of meltwater spills down the rock face and into turquoise coloured Wedgemount Lake.  The pool of water is at the toe of Wedge Glacier and the large glacier window appears like a huge, gaping mouth.  Big chunks of ice float in the pool and chunks of glacier split off into the water.  The Wedge Glacier has been receding for decades.  In the 1970's the glacier terminated with a steep and vertical wall of ice at the shores of the lake.  Today the glacier terminates a couple hundred metres above Wedgemount LakeWedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park is a great place to see a glacier in Whistler.  The trailhead is located near the north end of Green Lake, just north of Whistler Village.  Wedgemount Lake is a beautiful turquoise, glacier coloured lake lake is nestled in a gorgeous and hostile looking valley surrounded by mountains.  Rethel Mountain, Parkhurst Mountain, Wedge Mountain, Mount Weart and Mount Cook surround the lake with Wedge Glacier filling the valley between Parkhurst and Weart and flowing down from Wedge.

Ablation Zone Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Aerial Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Aerial Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Aerial View Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Aerial View Wedgemount Glacier

Ablation Zone Aerial View Wedgemount Glacier

Wedgemount Glacier Iceburg

The main attraction to hiking to Wedgemount Lake is the stunning lake itself.  The wonderful colour of the lake with the dark and menacing Rethel Mountain across.  Wedge Glacier can be down at the end of the lake and walking there is easy to do and gives you a great, up close look at the mighty glacier and the ever-changing glacier window.  If you are camping overnight, you will pass several rustic, gravel tent clearings directly opposite the glacier and just steps from the lake.  Up towards the hut there are several wooden tent platforms for tents as well.  No matter where you set up your tent you have a breathtaking view of this alpine paradise.

Ablation Zone Glacier Window View

Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Wedgemount Lake Tent View of Glacier

Beautiful Wedgemount Lake

Ablation Zone at Joffre Lakes

Another great place to get up close to see an ablation zone of a glacier is at Joffre Lakes.  There is a glacier window found above Upper Joffre Lake that most visitors to the lakes don't bother to hike to.  It is just a five minute hike up the rocky slope that stretches above the campsites.  Here you find a small glacier window and a lot of glacier water flowing out.  Not as impressive at the one at Wedgemount Lake, though the area is pretty nice to explore and the view of Joffre Lakes is magnificent.  There are also so great rock outcrops that are warm and sunny places to lounge in the summer.

Joffre Lakes Glacier Window

Joffre Lakes Ablation Zone

 Garibaldi Park WhistlerAblation Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAccumulation Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAdit Lakes  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAiguille  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAlpine Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArête  Garibaldi Park WhistlerARRTI  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArmchair Glacier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Barrier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBattleship Islands  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBears  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBench  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBergschrund  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBivouac  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCairn/Inukshuk  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCarter  Garibaldi Park WhistlerChimney  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCirque  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCloudraker  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCoast Mountains  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCordilleran  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCornice  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCorrie Lake  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCrevasse  Garibaldi Park WhistlerDalgleish  Garibaldi Park WhistlerDeadfall  Garibaldi Park WhistlerEmerald Forest  Garibaldi Park WhistlerErratic  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Fissile  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFitzsimmons Creek  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFitzsimmons Range  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFyles  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGaribaldi Ranges  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGaribaldi Volcanic Belt  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGemel  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGlacier Window  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGreen Lake  Garibaldi Park WhistlerHoary Marmot  Garibaldi Park WhistlerKrummholz  Garibaldi Park WhistlerLithophyte  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMoraine  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMt Garibaldi  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMt James Turner  Garibaldi Park WhistlerNorthair Mine  Garibaldi Park WhistlerNunatuk  Garibaldi Park WhistlerOverlord  Garibaldi Park WhistlerPeak 2 Peak  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRoundhouse  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRubble Creek  Garibaldi Park WhistlerScree  Garibaldi Park WhistlerSpearhead Range  Garibaldi Park WhistlerTarn  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Table  Garibaldi Park WhistlerTownsend  Garibaldi Park WhistlerUsnea  Garibaldi Park WhistlerWinram

The Spearhead Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that runs in an arc that connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The Spearhead ...
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Lithophyte trees are trees that grow out of rock.  Hiking in Whistler you encounter quite a few examples of quite large trees that grow out of what appears to be ...
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Alec Dalgleish (1 August 1907 - 26 June 1934) was a highly respected mountaineer and climber out of Vancouver in the 1920's and 1930's.  His enthusiasm and ...
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Coast Douglas-fir trees are medium to extremely large trees that you will encounter in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. They are the second tallest conifer ...
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Bivouac or Bivy: a primitive campsite or simple, flat area where camping is possible.  Traditionally used to refer to a very primitive campsite comprised of ...
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Overlord Mountain is the highest peak in the Fitzsimmons Range.  Overlord is surrounded by several mountains that collectively are named the Overlord ...
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Aiguille: a tall, narrow, characteristically distinct spire of rock. From the French word for "needle". Used extensively as part of the names for many ...
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The Barrier formed as a result of huge lava flows from Clinker Peak on the west shoulder of Mount Price during the last ice age.  About thirteen thousand ...
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Rent Hiking Gear Whistler Garibaldi Park

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMount Sproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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