Cathedral Park inter-generational hiking
June 30 – July 5, 2012
My brother, sister and I periodically take my parents on these alpine hikes and try to achieve a bit of style by taking them to someplace where the hiking is easy to reach, trails are accessible and the views are tremendous. We’ve been to Talus Lodge in the Rockies (heli-in), I’ve taken them to Whistler’s alpine and hiked. This time my brother-in-law (Curtis) and sister-in-law (Helena) joined us Also joining us were our aunt from Calgary and Curtis’s mum.
We wanted to get the older folks (parents and my aunt are late 70s; Curtis’s mum Jean is early 80s) into the alpine without too much hustle and bustle. They all used to hike but don’t move quite as quick as they used to but still love mountains and the fresh air. Eventually we decided on Cathedral Lakes Lodge. This is a private lodge located at 2000m in the heart of Cathedral Provincial Park in the heart of B.C.’s southern interior. Given that alpine starts at 2100m it defiinitely fits the bill for quick alpine access and is in the dry part of BC at the northern tip of the Mojave Desert.
We had planned this over a year ago so were at the mercy of weather. Unfortunately June in Canada was about as cold and wet as it could get and by the time of our trip there was still snow high. We were a bit limited by the snow and the weather but for the most part we managed to get two fine days of hiking and only had to hole up in the very comfortable cabin for one day when it snowed!
On our first day we took a jeep ride from the parking lot way down in the valley up to the lodge and got comfortable. Mum and Dad, Kor Kor and Jean wandered around Quiniscoe Lake and then we continued on to a loop around Lake of the Woods and Pyramid Lake – which took the better part of the morning. In the afternnon we went for a short hike around Quiniscoe Lake.
Map and a very convenient thermometer – its not warm
Base bathroom facilities
Sunshine at the lake at 2000m . Not warm though
Curtis, Sue and Jean just got here from California and Phoenix where its a bit warmer than here
Starting our hike to Lake of the Woods – Sue and Chai
Curtis and Sue at Lake of the Woods
Setting up for a timer shot at Lake of the Woods – Helena, Kor Kor, Sue, Curits, Dad and Mum
Curtis checking out bear poo at a trail junction while Kor Kor looks on in fascination
Alpine flowers just hitting their stride
Afternoon hike halfway around Quiniscoe Lake
Helping Mum get up some rock slabs
Sue and Curtis at the waterfall at the head of Quiniscoe Lake
The W end of the Lake just before we hit snowpatches which make getting all the way around the lake tricky
Chilling at Tom’s Cabin – Chai holding court, Sue, Dad, Jean, Curtis, Kor Kor, Jean
Curtis and Helena
Dad, Mum and Sue
On our second day we went for a hike to Red Mountain taking the direct switchbacks to a viewpoint overlooking Quiniscoe Lake. Our hike started from lakelevel at 2000m to about 2200m where the older folks could chill (literally as it was breezy and cold!) and could take in views. It was great views and a south-facing slope so we only had to deal with a few snowy patches then a nice big grassy meadow to sit and take in fresh air. Kor Kor’s knee and hip weren’t feeling too good so she headed back down with Mum & Dad .
Sharon and I continued on and hiked to and over Red Mountain (2469m) and Quiniscoe Peak (2585m). Weather was coming in so we booked in down the obvious snowfield at the Quiniscoe – Pyramid col and down to Glacier Lake. From there it was a short haul to the lodge.
The next day the weather got worse and it was actually snowing! In July!!! The rest of the group booked out early in the morning without telling Sharon and I (thanks guys! Sheesh). Luckily the lodge was dry and warm. We hung out and sensed the winds building and trying to tear the building off its foundations then caught the afternoon’s jeep ride out and back to Vancouver.
Mum leading out the pain train on the hike
Nuggies! Just after hitting the first patch of snow at about 2200m
Sue, Dad, Mum with some pretty big mountains
Mum, Curtis and Chai
Kor Kor, Sue, Shar and Mum
Curtis, Chai and Helena
Moving to another spot to get a different view. Dad, Sue and Chai trail KorKor
Me and Curtis
Kor Kor and Sharon watch as Mum picks flowers
Dad always gets good shots
Sharon with her summit beer!
Mum, Kor Kor, Sue, Helena and Chai
Curtis, Sue, Helena and Chai try in vain to stay out of the wind
Sharon and I continued on to the peak of Red Mountain and looked down on Quiniscoe Lake
At Quiniscoe Peak
The survey marker at Quiniscoe Peak
Sharon booking it down to the pass and wishing she had her bike
Self-timed poofy hair shots just before we boot-skied down a snowfield to Glacier Lake
Sharon with her little legs churning down the talus towards Glacier Lake. Watch her scurry!
Glacier Lake – pretty close
Again channeling her little bike
Shar with her last hiking beer of the day
Posing at Quiniscoe Lake after we got down from the alpine – you can see another snowfield you can descent to the head of the lake
At the jettys of Quiniscoe Lake
Another dinner at Tom’s Cabin
I was going to get some pictures of the lodge exterior but the next day it snowed and the rest of the group ditched us. It was pretty gross outside but warm inside