Garibaldi Park Whistler A to ZBergschrund or abbreviated schrund: a crevasse that forms from the separation of moving glacier ice from the stagnant ice above. Characterized by a deep cut, horizontal, along a steep slope. Often extending extremely deep, over 100 metres down to bedrock. Extremely dangerous as they are filled in winter by avalanches and gradually open in the summer.  The Wedgemount Glacier at Wedgemount Lake is a great way to view bergschrund up close in Whistler. 

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

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At the far end of Wedgemount Lake, the impressive glacier window can be seen with water flowing down into the lake.  From the scree field below the glacier you can see the crumbling chunks of glacier separate and fall away into the turquoise pool of water.  Up on the glacier you see crevasses extending all the way to Wedge Mountain.  Many are just a few centimetres wide, and others more than a metre.  Most are several metres deep, though peering into them you can only see eerie darkness.  The left side of Wedgemount Glacier is the route hikers take to reach Mount Weart, the Wedge-Weart Col and Wedge Mountain.  All glacier travel is dangerous, the left side is relatively safe as compared to the extremely dangerous, crevasse packed, middle and right side of the glacier.  Novice hikers venturing up the glacier are advised to keep far to the left, or only at the safe, lower edges near the glacier window.  The most impressive bergschrund on the Wedgemount Glacier are found near Wedge Mountain.  There you will find massive schrund peeling away from the steep, north face of Wedge.

Bergschrund Wedgemount Glacier

Bergschrund Wedgemount Glacier

Bergschrund Wedgemount Glacier

Bergschrund Wedgemount Glacier

Bergschrund Wedge-Weart Col

Bergschrund in Whistler: Overlord Glacier

Another place in Whistler to see impressive bergschrund is at Russet Lake in Garibaldi Park.  Massive and menacing, the Overlord Glacier enters the valley between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in the valley below Russet Lake.  These images are from Russet Lake in Garibaldi Park.  Russet Lake is a fantastic alpine lake that lays at the base of The Fissile.  The Fissile is the strikingly bronze coloured mountain so visible from Whistler Village.  From The Village look into the distance at the Peak 2 Peak hanging between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and you will see The Fissile.  Its pyramid shape in the distance perfectly separates the two mountains.  Though Russet Lake is not terribly impressive in terms of size or colour, the valley around it is remarkably beautiful.  The colours change from moment to moment in and extraordinary way.  The distinctive colour of The Fissile and the stark grey of the mountains around contrast amazingly with the blue of the lake and green grass in the valley.  So many different factors fill the place with colour.

Schrund on Overlord Glacier

Bergschrund on Overlord Glacier from Blackcomb

Russet Lake Map v20

Bergschrund in Whistler: Wedgemount Glacier

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.  Extending from Wedge Mountain to Wedgemount Lake, the Wedgemount Glacier flows down the valley.  Extensively lined with schrund, the Wedgemount Glacier is a great place to see bergschrund up close in Whistler.

Wedge Mountain and Wedgemount Glacier

The sheltered valley, beautiful turquoise lake, wonderfully huge glacier across the valley and brutally jagged mountains all around all contribute to making Wedgemount Lake something special.  It's challenging and exhausting to hike to and an absolute paradise to relax in.  Down by the lakeside you can actually find two recliner chairs, built out of the rocks by the lake.  Such a perfect way to enjoy the sun rising over the not-so-distant glacier across the lake.

Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Park

Wedgemount Lake Garibaldi Park

Wedgemount Lake Trail Map v14

Bergschrund in Garibaldi Park: Panorama Ridge

Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park is best known for its brilliantly vibrant view of Garibaldi Lake surrounded by mountains.  What is less appreciated, however, is the amazing array of glaciers flowing down the mountains.  Garibaldi Lake's bright blue colour catches you attention first, but the stunning detail of the glaciers is hypnotizing.  Thousands of crevasses zig-zag the glaciers and brutal looking bergscrund are easily visible along the steepest sections of the glaciers.

Bergschrund from Panorama Ridge

Bergschrund from Panorama Ridge

Bergschrund from Panorama Ridge

Panorama Ridge Map v13

Two Fantastic Books About BC Hiking!

Scrambles in SW BCA Passion for MountainsHere are two excellent books on hiking and geology of British Columbia.  Matt Gunn's Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia includes the various routes to the summit of Wedge Mountain as well as summit routes to the neighbouring peaks, Weart, Cook, Parkhurst and Rethel.  Mount Weart is the second highest mountain in Garibaldi Park and is located just north of Wedge Mountain, separated by the Wedge-Weart Col.  Published in 2005, Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia is still the best guide in print or online.  A Passion for Mountains by Kathryn Bridge is a fascinating look at Don and Phyllis Munday's prolific exploration of the mountains in BC.  Based out of Vancouver, they were dominant figures of the climbing community in the early 1900's.  In 1923 they visited their friend Neal Carter in Alta Lake(Whistler) and explored the mountains around the valley.. many for the first time!

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The Coast Mountains run from the Yukon down to Vancouver along the west coast of British Columbia in a band that averages 300 kilometres wide(190 miles).  ...
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Surprisingly often in Whistler's forests you will find a tree growing on an old fallen tree or out of a decaying tree stump. Decaying logs and stumps in ...
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Twentyone Mile Creek begins its long and steep journey from Rainbow Lake, high up and between Mount Sproatt and Rainbow Mountain.  Cutting between the two ...
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Glacier Window: the cave-like opening at the mouth of a glacier where meltwater runs out.  Glacier windows are often extraordinarily beautiful.  A blue glow ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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December hiking in Whistler is mainly done on snowshoes, though if it hasn't snowed for a few days, trails to Whistler Train Wreck and Rainbow Falls can ...
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There are plenty of beautiful and free snowshoe trails in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  From the surreal paintings of Whistler Train Wreck to ...
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Rent Hiking Gear Whistler & Garibaldi Park

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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Ancient Cedars is a nice, easy/moderate 2.5 kilometre (1.6 mile) hiking trail on the far side of Cougar Mountain, just 13.1 kilometres north of Whistler Village. A small, untouched grove of huge western ...
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Wedgemount Lake itself is a magnificent destination for a day hike or spectacular overnight beneath the dazzling mountain peaks and stars above Garibaldi Provincial Park. Many sleep under the stars on one of ...
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Skookumchuck Hot Springs(aka T'sek Hot Springs and St. Agnes Well), located two hours north of Whistler along the edge of the huge Lillooet River. The name Skookumchuck means "strong water" in the language ...
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The Sproatt East trail is a beautifully wild, steep, but relatively short trail to the magnificent, wide open alpine and summit of Mount Sproatt.  Mount Sproatt (1834 metres) towers over Whistler Valley ...
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