Whistler Alpine Hike – High note trail to musical bumps

The Whistler Alpine is beautiful. We ski in this area lot in the winter and do like to check it out when the snow is gone. W/B built a new hiking trail – the 8km long High Note Trail – that goes from the top of Whistler Peak, around Whistler and Piccolo and ends at the Piccolo/Flute saddle. From here you can turn back and hike back up to the peak, make a loop by hiking up Burnt Stew Basin back to Harmony Saddle, or take the Gnar Core route – go over Flute, Oboe to Cowboy Ridge and down Singing Pass back to Whistler Village over about 15km. At the top of Flute you enter BC Parks where you remain until the bottom third of the Singing Pass trail.

This hike took us 6 hours and 40 minutes, 360m of climbing, 1800m of descending. As we are not avid hikers, the last stretch of Singing Pass trail felt like some sadist hitting our shins with bamboo whips. There has to be a better way to descend a mountain…

Ron at the trail head

Emma starts the descent. Amazing views of Black Tusk and Black Tusk Meadows dominate the landscape.

The First part of the trail descending the peak is more rocky and technical to make people consider continuing the route. We enter a very nice bench cut trail at tree line to continue hiking the flank of Whistler

Great work on the trail! The trail is very well built and nicely bench cut as it meanders through the trees.

across open meadows

over rocky slopes

Views of Cheakamus and its receding glacier are also prevalent on this hike! The small Corrie lake on the other side of Cheakamus River is also a good landmark when venturing to this area.

 

Looking back you can see the volcanic Mt. Fee and Mt. Cayley of the Squamish - Cheakamus Divide

As you continue further East you can see Cheakamus Lake. How do you know Lee is a mountain biker? Cause he’s doing some trail work on someone else’s trail! Clearing off some debris

Nice rock work as you round Piccolo

 

Another great view of Cheakamus Lake! The blueberry bushes are starting to change colour. Snow is coming!

A great spot for lunch!

A technical trail feature!

The following pano pictures are of the area we mostly see covered in Snow. This is the Shoulder of Flute/Oboe. The sign in the back ground is where we start to skin up. You can see Blackcomb mountain and Decker in the background. On the west side of Flute you can see the natural line where a snow cat track is to guide people up Flute.

The top of Flute looking into Flute bowl. A cornice usually hangs on the steep part of Flute. Amazing view of the Spearhead Range can be seen from here.

The top of Flute before heading to the backside. The BC Parks boundary. If you read the sign closely you can see the cost of riding your bike down Singing Pass!

A view of Oboe from the top of Flute backside. Fissile is the least snow covered peak on the right taunting Lee to come and ski it!

Another view of Oboe further down Flute backside

Ron and Lee at the Flute – Oboe shoulder. You can see why the skiing on the backside of Flute is soo nice!

Another view of the bbackside of Flute higher up on Oboe.

Flute in Winter

Flute in winter

 

Cowboy Ridge from Oboe.

Lee pointing at the mountain that taunts him – Fissile. He will not rest until every aspect is skied.

Once at the bottom of Oboe, we start down the Singing Pass trail. Last ski season the trail markers were at about our waist level…

The Singing Pass trail is an 11.5km, wide, ditched regulation BC parks trail that would be better descended on a bike.. really.. as you can see Lee is pining for his bike right now. It didn’t help that by this time our shins felt like 1000 of the 5000 bamboo whips have already been applied.

A new bridge on one of the more gnarly creek crossings. In winter this one is of the crossing you actually have to pay attention to. It will be interesting to see if the placement of this bridge will help with the ski out.

Looking back from near the bottom of the Singing Pass trail. Overlord – Fissile – Cowboy Ridge

Finally the bottom! Lee, to no avail, stretches his legs to try to help them recover… We still have a bit of descending through the bike park to go…

Some other view of Whistler from a hike we did last May

The Old Place.

 

View of Black Tusk/Meadows and Cheakamus Glacier in May

Black tusk

View of McBeth -> Fitsimmons -> Overlord -> Fissile -> Wirlwind -> Cowboy Ridge -> Oboe -> Flute from Harmony

Excitation – accessed from Harmony

Hiking Down to the Saddle

Exhilaration – accessed from Harmony

View to the Roundhouse

View of Overlord -> Fissile -> Cowboy Ridge from Harmony

View of the Spearhead Range! 7th Heaven ski runs -> Blackcomb -> Decker -> Trorey -> Tremor -> McBeth -> Fitsimmons -> Overlord -> Fissile -> Wirlwind -> Cowboy Ridge -> Oboe -> Flute!

 

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