I had heard that Wedgemount Lake was a difficult hike from various hikers that had gone before me, and they weren’t kidding. It is a slog where you are continuing up and up from the get go with very little rest in between, except for a small flat section that lasts about five – ten minutes.
I led a small group of up people up there a few weeks ago for an overnight trip. If you can do two nights, even better. With my full – time class schedule, one night is all I could get.
The trail is rated difficult and takes approximately six to seven hours return, with an elevation gain of 1160 metres. The best time to go is between July and September as it is apparently difficult to get there during the winter due to the amount of snow. If anyone has ever hiked the BCMC trail on Grouse Mountain, it is equivalent to hiking that about five times over, and made even heavier with big backpacks. There are a couple of boulder fields to cross with some muddy sections, so you need to be careful where you step and take your time.
The last push to the top is a boulder section where you are practically on your hands and knees with a short scramble to the top that takes you out to the wide open area that is surrounded by glaciers and mountains. In the midst of all of this amazing scenery, is the beautiful turquoise Wedgemount Lake. There are actually two lakes with one hidden behind some mountains on the opposite side of the lake.
This is a hike that is best done on a clear, partially cloudy or a day where the clouds are high enough in the sky so that you can see all of its glory and splendor. There are ample places to set up your tent, but you must register online with BC Parks as it is part of Garibaldi Provincial Park. The cost is $10.00 per night per person and you must print off your camping permit and attach the bottom portion of the form to your tent and keep the other on you at all times, otherwise you could be fined or evicted.
When we arrived, we set up our tents, had a bite to eat and decided to head over to the glacier. We went on a small stable section of the glacier but did not go far as we did not have the proper gear for our feet. Microspikes or Crampons are recommended in particular crampons and some rope as you don’t want to fall into the crevasses.
The hike down took just over three hours, is hard on the feet and relentless. It is a great hike and one that I probably don’t see myself doing more than twice per year as it is quite hard on my hip. If you have a camera, in particular a Mirrorless or DSLR take them with you, you will not regret it.